It is one of the greatest railway bridges in Scotland and you can walk or cycle across it. The Spey viaduct was completed in 1886 as part of the Moray Coast Railway. It crosses the third longest river in Scotland, the Spey. The bridge is around 290m long and riding across it is one of the top cycling experiences in the country.
The bridge is part of National Cycle Route One and around 4 miles from Portgordon and 10 miles from Elgin. The approach to the bridge is through a forested section. The trees hide everything and make the sudden appearance of bridge and river even more special.
Once on the bridge everything feels massive. The length of the bridge. The width of the river. The iron work on the bridge. It made me think of American railroads crossing legendary rivers, like the Mississippi.
The most impressive feature of the bridge is the central section where you enter this world of beautiful iron lattice and engineering genius. It is a special place to pause and take it all in. Being on a bike or walking allows you to really admire this, more so than if you were siting on a train. You can't do that anyway as the line closed in 1968.
Crossing this bridge was so special that I turned around and did it again! I have crossed quite a few bridges in Scotland and this one is easily the best.
What about the Glenfinnan Viaduct, I hear you ask? Yes, it is spectacular, but you cannot walk or cycle across it and that slower pace and freedom to stop makes it easier to appreciate the beauty of the Spey Viaduct.
Glenfinnan is also a very busy place in the height of the tourist season. The Spey Viaduct is less famous and I managed to get it all to myself when I cycled across it.
The West Highland Railway that crosses Glenfinnan is renowned for its scenic beauty. I am sure the Moray Coast Railway would receive similar plaudits if it was still open today. Not only does it have this viaduct, but there are magnificent viaducts in Cullen and superb coastal scenery.
It is sad to see these structures no longer carrying trains that would bring visitors to the area, but I am grateful that they survive and can be enjoyed on foot or on two wheels.
Near to the viaduct is Spey Bay station. It is now a private home, but I was lucky enough to be invited inside.