Loch Ken Viaduct

Loch Ken Viaduct was built in 1859 by Thomas Nelson & Company of Carlisle for a cost of £12,288. It was designed by B & E Blyth.

The viaduct formed part of the Port Patrick Railway section from Stranraer to Castle Douglas and became operational on 12th March 1861. It was considered one of the major engineer challenges of the line, spanning the narrowest part of Loch Ken, near Parton in New Galloway.

Figure 1: Looking West from the Eastern end. © DAJ 2016

It consists of three main wrought-iron spans of 138 feet each, following a south-facing curve. Two stone pillars support the three spans, and there are two onshore spans of stone.

During the second Word War, the port of Cairnryan near Stranraer became a military port responsible for the mass movement of supplies – Loch Ken Viaduct carried most of the supplies (and many troops) onward to Carlisle and beyond.

Figure 2: The Western end of Loch Ken Viaduct. © DAJ 2016


On 30th December 1935 a train carrying goods and passengers derailed on the western end of the viaduct. There were no injuries or damage to the structure.


Like so much of the UK rail network, the line was axed as part of the Beeching Cuts and finally closed on 14th June 1965. Loch Ken Viaduct is now owned privately and was, for a period, used for access however it is now considered unsafe and permanently closed.


Town/Village Parton (nearby)
Region Dumfries & Galloway
Country Scotland
Grid Reference NX684703
Longitude -4.05910
Latitude 55.01025