A brief history
The Bridge is located near the ancient village of Logierait in Highland Perthshire and spans the famous salmon river, the Tay.
The Bridge was opened in 1865 to carry trains on the Ballinluig to Aberfeldy line, which branched off the main Highland Line from Perth to Inverness. In 1964, and after almost 100 years of use, the branch line was closed – a victim of the infamous Beeching cuts.
The bridge is one of the few open lattice girder viaducts left in Scotland and is formally listed as a structure of national historic and architectural significance. It is also the only community-owned ex-railway bridge in the country.
The Bridge is currently listed by Historic Environment Scotland as being of “Historic and/or Architectural Importance” in Category A – the highest category for preserving architecturally important structures.
In 1967 the Bridge was acquired by Kinnaird Estate who allowed the Bridge to be used for public access. From then on it provided a vital link between communities on opposite sides of the river. The savings for local residents and businesses (at time of writing) are estimated at £110,000 per year in lengthy diversion costs. In 1991 Kinnaird Estate attempted to close the Bridge, fearing it was in a dangerous condition. Aware that the crossing might be lost, two residents were granted interim interdicts at Perth Sheriff Court preventing the Estate from blocking access. Kinnaird Estate did not contest the orders and, as a result, in 1994 the Community formed the Logierait Bridge Company to secure the Bridge’s future. Kinnaird Estate gave the Bridge and its approach roads to the company, and matched the £2,500.00 it had raised for essential repairs. The Bridge then became the only Community owned ex-railway bridge in Scotland. Kinnaird Estate is now a major supporter of the Bridge.
In 2000 work on renovating the Bridge commenced which incorporated repainting, new decking, and new safety rails. Because of the environmental impact on the River Tay, due to stripping lead paint from the Bridge, the entire structure was sheathed in a plastic cocoon while the contractors stripped the Bridge back to bare metal. After dry blasting and wet grit blasting, the wrought iron was then repainted – each of the thousands of rivet heads and exposed metal edges being done by hand. The cost of this renovation approximated to £400,000 and was funded by Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sustrans, Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust, the Ellis Campbell Foundation, the Manifold Trust, the Rural Challenge Fund and local people. The official re-opening of the Bridge took place on Wednesday August 1, 2001. The event generated both local and national interest and was attended by Grampian Television, The Perthshire Advertiser and the Dundee Courier. About 120 people attended the event including John Swinney MSP and Pete Wishart MP.
The Bridge is a popular crossing point and is used as a shortcut by the community, including the Emergency Services and the Local Authority. A local census, in 2015 showed that approximately 200 vehicles a day crossed the Bridge. In addition the Bridge is used by cyclists and pedestrians. The Bridge is part of Route 7 of the National Cycle Network.