Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line. Located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Highlands, the viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel.

The West Highland Railway was built to Fort William by Lucas and Aird, but there were delays with the West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (Guarantee) bill for the Mallaig Extension Railway in the House of Commons as the Tory and Liberal parties fought over the issue of subsidies for public transport. This Act did pass in 1896, by which time Lucas & Aird (and their workers) had moved south. New contractors were needed and Robert McAlpine & Sons were taken on with Simpson & Wilson as engineers. Robert McAlpine & Sons was headed by Robert McAlpine, nicknamed 'Concrete Bob' for his innovative use of mass concrete. Concrete was used due to the difficulty of working the hard schist in the area. McAlpine's son Robert, then aged 28, and his nephew William Waddell, took charge of construction, with his younger son Malcolm appointed as assistant.

Construction of the extension from Fort William to Mallaig began in January 1897, and the line opened on 1 April 1901. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, however, was complete enough by October 1898 to be used to transport materials across the valley.

Glenfinnan Viaduct has been used as a location in several films and television series, including Ring of Bright Water, Charlotte Gray, Monarch of the Glen, Stone of Destiny, German Charlie und Louise, and four films of the Harry Potter film series.

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    Founded: 1897-1901
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    User Reviews

    Tom Veitch (4 months ago)
    Recommend not to view a train passing from the viewing point by visitor centre. You are just so far away and can't appreciate the curve of the Viaduct. Recommend to walk much closer. There are so many great spots.
    Maria Kajda (5 months ago)
    As a Harry Potter lover I really enjoyed coming here, walking up the paths and hiking up the hill above the viaduct to watch the trains passing over. Great scenery, car parking close by and a chance to stretch your legs. The paths and walk up the hill are easy and accessible for most.
    Alex I (5 months ago)
    Magical but not that magical. You need to have some spare hours to walk around the footpaths to get the best views and take great pictures. The most magical is when the steam engine passes through. So you also need to check the times of that. Otherwise it is just a normal viaduct, yes full of history. When I was there the car park was full, o place to park and it was very busy.
    Gayle MacLeay (5 months ago)
    Glenfinnan is absolutely stunning, managed to catch the Jacobite going over the viaduct which made my day! It does get very busy and there isn't much parking so visitors should arrive in plenty of time to find a spot. The gift shop is also nice.
    Denise Speirs (7 months ago)
    Amazing place to visit. You must walk round the full trial, the views are spectacular. Not too tough and about 2 miles total. The cafe is amazing, THE BEST CHIPS! Portions are big and the food is very tasty. Staff extremely friendly in the busy summer months. Brilliant place.
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