Project profile: Aurs Burn Viaduct

South of Barrhead, the unusual concrete viaduct is one of the largest monuments remaining from the former railway branch. It now offers a safe route for school children to get to and from home. We’ve secured its safe future use with over 240 separate repairs.

Project profile: Aurs Burn Viaduct

Location: South of Barrhead, East Renfrewshire

Contractor: Balfour Beatty

Status: Open to the public

What is the project?

The impressive six-arch concrete viaduct, built in 1901, needed extensive renovations, which our contractor Balfour Beatty tackled over two phases.

Phase one of the work was completed in November 2021 and included the resurfacing of the deck and repairs to the concrete arches in spans five and six which were most in need of attention.

Phase one of works under way in September 2021

(Phase one of works under way in September 2021)

Phase two began with detailed inspections, at a height, on the remaining spans using access cradles to gather information to help our engineers develop a plan for repair work to the other spans.

Concrete repairs being undertaken by rope work during phase 2

(Concrete repairs being undertaken by rope work during phase 2)

Parapet repairs under way during phase 2

(Parapet repairs under way during phase 2)

Some of the repairs required steel anchor studs to be drilled into the underlying concrete, to anchor the repair mortar to the existing structure.

Repairs were carried out to four closed-up refuge areas, making the structure safe for public use. The deck was resurfaced and pipes cleared to minimise damage from water ripping onto the structure. Japanese knotweed and lots of other vegetation was also removed, so the deck could be turned into a public footpath.

Span two after concrete repairs

(Span two after concrete repairs)

Span four after concrete repairs

(Span four after concrete repairs)

What stage is it at?

Work was completed in May and the viaduct is open for public use.


The Paisley and Barrhead District Railway was a railway in Scotland that ran between the towns of Paisley and Barrhead.

Paisley was an important manufacturing town, specifically in the textile industries. The line opened initially for goods trains only in 1905, serving industrial sites and eventually closing in 1984.

"We only have five concrete viaducts in the whole of the estate, which makes Aurs Burn very special, and we’re delighted our work to maintain safety means it can be preserved for many more years of use. This was a big job with concrete repairs involving mortar, carefully colour-matched with the original, covering almost 400m2 of surface area. It’s very satisfying to see the viaduct back in good condition, particularly as it's so well used by the local community, including two schools that sit on either side of the burn."
HRE Engineer Colin McNicol