Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Carmyle rail bridge closed off again

It’s quite a while since I last crossed over the disused railway bridge between Carmyle and Clyde’s Mill, near the site of the old power station.

I didn’t even know it was there the first time, as I was just wandering along the old path left behind after the Caledonian Railway Line had been lifted many years ago, and was on the bridge before I realised just where I was.

At the time, the locals had gone to town on the fencing that was presumably supposed to stop anyone getting onto the bridge, as it has lain derelict for decades, unmaintained, riddled with holes, and covered with grass hiding some of them. It was interesting to wander over this, and I was quite happy that my featherweight frame would have had little effect on the old structure. Even so, I did look where each footstep was planted, and thanked my engineering background for being able to spot where all the really substantial load bearing beams had been lain, and kept away from anything that was not made of decent rolled H or I beam.

While one could go from Carmyle, the opposite wasn’t really true even then, unless you were prepared to do some scrambling up a vertical brick support, as the Clyde’s Mill end just ended abruptly, and still does now, even more so.

However, while the fencing used to resemble Swiss cheese a few years ago, with entire sections sawn out and carried away, when I passed recently, it was all secure, and even had barbed wire added.

I have to admit, had I known how far into Westburn I was going to have to walk before getting back onto the road for Carmyle, I just might have been tempted to do some scrambling and try for the short cut! You really do have to go for a long walk now that the emergency services training centre has now cut the path of the Clyde Walkway completely off from Cambuslang access.

Sorry for not including a shot of the bridge itself, but the view from the north side of the river is pretty poor compared to that from the south, so I didn’t bother.

Carmyle rail bridge

On reflection, given that this bridge was built in the days of steam (an assumption on my part as I’m not a rail historian of any sort) and would have been heavily over-engineered, it seems to me that there would be enough life left in it to allow its reuse as a footbridge, and to provide a very convenient access point to the Clyde Walkway from either side of the river.

I’m sure it wouldn’t take a huge amount to lay a new and safe walkway over the existing supports, and the load presented by walkers and cyclists would be minimal.

I’m equally sure that such a path could be constructed to be largely self-supporting, so the main load on what would be considered the ‘old’ structure would be a vertical loading on the existing piers, with little, if any, dependence on the aged original spans.


March 29, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , , ,


  1. Just been browsing Cambuslang images and came to your page. I was here recently (August 2014 I think) and was disappointed to find the same battlements as you encountered. I believe the reason for reinforcing the impassibilty of the bridge is gang fighting between youths from Carmyle and Westburn. Here’s a link:

    bit of journalistic dramatising as you’d expect but the injuries are real. So sealing off the bridge would have been an easy solution. I am moving nearby soon and would like to see it reopen at some point, that part of Cambuslang is a bit cut off from everywhere else.


    Comment by crowsus | March 1, 2015

  2. Thanks for the note – I’m afraid there’s something wrong with that link though.

    Still, I can guess at the content of the story, and it’s disappointing to learn this sort of thing is still happening.

    Fortunately for me, I’m not usually flitting around when these things happen – and I try and visit places when they are largely deserted.

    You’re right about the area being a bit cut off, and if you find my post about the ‘new’ fire and rescue training centre built nearby, then you’ll see I learnt that it had become vastly more cut off than it had been before that place cut off all access to it, as it closed off all the land to the east.

    Maybe someone will find there was a Right of Way, and the centre will have to open a path.


    Comment by Apollo | March 2, 2015

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