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Float Viaduct is on the WCML a mile south of Carstairs, where the Edinburgh line branches off. This location has great panoramic views across to the railway line has it heads north on an embankment above the Clyde floodplain.
Railway type and traffic
The WCML here is busy with freight and passenger services:
A wide mixture of services including Freightliner container flows to/from Coatbridge, engineering trains between Millerhill and Carlisle, DRS/Malcolm's trains from Coatbridge and Grangemouth to Daventry, DRS nuclear flask trains between Carlisle and Torness and Hunterston, DHL parcels vans between Walsall and Law Junction/Aberdeen/Inverness, MGRs and enterprise services. Locomotives seen here include 66s (DB Schenker, FLHH /5s and /6s and DRS), 67s, 92s, 90s, pairs of 86s, DRS 20s, 37s and 47s.
Virgin West Coast loco hauled and Pendolino services between Glasgow Central and London Euston
Virgin Cross Country Voyagers between Glasgow/Edinburgh/Dundee/Aberdeen and various locations in England.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Float Viaduct, Carstairs
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual
location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
This is a fairly exposed location. In winter it can be very cold, especially if there is much of a wind. In the summer it's much nicer.
From the M74 - Junction 9:
Take the B7086 (Lanark) and continue along until Auchenheath. Then Join the A72 and travel in the Lanark direction until the junction with the A73 at Kirkfieldbank. Here follow the signs for Carlisle through to Lanark. In Lanark join the A70 and this will take you to Carstairs Village. In the village turn right down Carstairs Road, this will take you past Carstairs station. Continue down this road just over half a mile till you come to the church. Turn right at the church into Pettinain Road and continue straight along this road.
After another half mile you will cross the River Clyde, continue along and when you get to the top of the steep hill which is about another three quarters of a mile you will see a dirt track leading down to the line side and this track takes you right along to the bridge. Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Float Viaduct, Carstairs map co-ordinates
You will need to leave your car at the top of the hill and climb over a gate to access the dirt track.
The location is best reached via Carstairs which is difficult to get to by public transport, but it is possible. There is a limited train service from both Edinburgh and Glasgow by both ScotRail and Virgin XC.
Alternatively, it's possible to get the train to Lanark and then the bus to Carstairs
ScotRail train times for Lanark
Bus Timetable - William Stokes
Bus Timetable - Irvines
Travel Scotland Journey planner
Once at Carstairs then follow the road directions.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
It's a field, the nearest public amenities are back in Carstairs.
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Float Viaduct, Carstairs
Float Viaduct, Carstairs general view map
Float Viaduct, Carstairs close up map
Windows Local Live Link
- image quality may vary
Float Viaduct, Carstairs
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Railway Gen Group
There's not much shelter here, so when the sun is out, you need to keep it on your back. For southbound trains (and going away shots of northbound trains), the sun will be on your back from mid morning, for northbound trains you will need to wait until the sun swings round after lunch.
A long telephoto lens is highly recommended, as you can see the line for almost a mile to the north as it crosses the flood plain before reaching the viaduct. The viaduct it's self is reasonably picturesque although the sides obstruct the view a little.
As this spot is fairly remote, there is no traffic noise to interfere with taking videos.
One final point to note, there is OHLE, but it is reasonably spaced for taking photos between the masts. The line speed over the viaduct is 100mph, although services from the Edinburgh direction will still be accelerating up from 20mph at Carstairs South Junction.
Links to photographs at this location
Ewan's Pics - Lanarkshire
General views - All photographs © Ewan Tait unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Facing south
Fig 2- Facing north
Fig 3 - Facing north
Fig 4 - Facing north
Fig 5 - Facing north
Fig 6 - Facing north
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