Hidden cost of the Castlecary Arches

The Castlecary Arches are one of the most distinctive features of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, which opened in 1842.

In order to ensure early locomotives could travel as fast as possible, the railway was designed to be level rather than direct. The construction of the railway was a massive engineering project requiring the construction of embankments, the excavation of cuttings and tunnels, and building magnificent viaducts such as the one over the Red Burn at Castlecary. In a move that seems unthinkable today the railway tracks here go straight across the site of a Roman fort which was part of the Antonine Wall, itself now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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