Posted by: wrha | June 29, 2011

A Galashiels Journey

One of our further flung members, Andreas Hille from Germany, has sent us some photos he took while he was recently over in Scotland. He took a cycle trip along the Black Path, the cycleway/ footpath which runs from the north side of Gala down to Tweedbank. It’s a well used route, and a short section is even incorporated into the Southern Upland Way long distance footpath. Does anyone know if an alternative route will be made available following reinstatement? 

Once again, there’s plenty of evidence of advance works, particularly utility diversions which required the temporary closure of the path at one location.

Of particular note is the very attractive bridge 97, a footbridge over the formation not far north of the Ladhope Tunnel.  One hopes it gets retained in its present form following the rebuild, but I suspect it won’t meet modern safety standards or other such thing. Ho hum.



  1. Three questions
    1. As bridge 97 has been maintained, is it a heritage-listed structure?
    2. Is that a smoke deflector under the concrete footbridge?
    3. What happened to Roy Perkins?

    • I’m still here lurking.


      • Thanks Roy. Ithought we had lost you at Mystery Location 29. Where was it?

      • “Rothbury, note railway cottages.”

        Roy Perkins

  2. 1. As far as I’m aware Bridge 97 is not listed and is one of the many old structures that will not make it to the final form of the new line. I may have a word in the shell-like of friends at Historic Scotland and see what their take is on it, after all on behalf of WRHA I persuaded them to list a viaduct, tunnel and culvert a few years ago so it may not be an insurmountable issue.
    2. Unfortunately not, perhaps that’s wishful thinking?!
    3. He’s still around – back on here soon, no doubt!

    Matt S.

  3. 2. Oh sorry, thought you meant the new Station Brae. You were spot on!

    For Bridge 97 though, take a look at this photo:
    Class A2 60536 'Trimbush' - Galashiels

  4. As far as I can asertain the “Black Path” will be re-routed to accomodate cyclists and the likes.

    Quite why beats me, as I would like to know, Who is going to pay for it?

  5. There are two smoke deflektors under that footbridge as I have seen. There is a photo in “photographs of Edinburgh and Hawick railway” showing this bridge. The description says it´s a steam deflector.
    WRHA Comment Edit (MS) :

  6. A bit late to this party, but the concrete foot bridge in questions does indeed have two smoke/steam deflectors. I lived in Langlee (where the bridge is situated) for roughly 17 years before leaving the area, and I used to walk over or under that bridge almost every day.

    As for bridge 97, I never actually realised it was the remains of a bridge at all! As a small child, I always imagined it as being part of a castle and later in life, thought it was merely some sort of buttress to shore up the hillside. I’m supposing it was the spur that used to cross the Gala water behind what is now Skyes.

    And Geoff Rudderham, the Black Path is being re-routed because it’s still a major foot path used by many of the people in Langlee. Kids walk along it to go to school, parents short of the overpriced bus fare into town will walk along it, students going to the local college will use it too. It’s a very important resource to the locals in Langlee, and sees very heavy use, every day. You have to keep in mind just how down trodden and poor that small housing scheme is, and how it provides a safe walking route into town, compared to the Melrose Road.

    As a kid, I used to play in the woods either between what was the Waverley line and the Gala Water. It was a common occurrence to find old sleepers there, along with the remains of some of the sulfurous smelling ballast. Even though the line had only been closed the previous decade (this was the early to mid 80’s) it always felt like a real archaeological find, coming across the remnants of the line.

    I’m looking forward to riding on the train, the full route of the line when it eventually opens.

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