Laigh Milton Viaduct - Gatehead, East Ayrshire
Looking towards the Laigh Milton Mill with the viaduct in the foreground.
This viaduct was opened in 1812 as the first ever railway(?) viaduct on the planet.
The viaduct was for a trackway or plateway - horse-drawn wagons running between metal guide rails -
between the coal mines near Kilmarnock and the port of Troon a few miles to the south-west.
From closer in you can see better the substantial size of the viaduct.
Built by the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway for the Duke of Portland it worked very well but of
course was a few years earlier than the invention of the steam locomotive.
An excellent piece of engineering, just a few years before its time.
A couple of images of the trackway or plateway.
As you can see the wagon's flat wheels ran outside the vertical plates and
on the flat tracks.
From that you can see that on bends the wagons were guided by the inside
vertical plate and the outside vertical plate would have had little effect.
On modern train lines the flanged - not flat - train wheels sit inside the rails on
both sides and on a bend the train is guided round mainly by the outside rail.