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A Wade bridge on a section of Wade Road in Badenoch. Heritage Paths Project
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Alloa Waggonway

Start location: Station Hotel, King Street, Alloa (NS 885 930)
End location: North Castle Street, Alloa (NS 884 924)
Geographical area: Stirling, Clackmannan and Falkirk
Path Type: Urban Path
Path distance: 0.7km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes

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Route Description

This old route starts to the west of the Station Hotel on Alloa's ring road (A907). It goes steadily downhill in a very straight line to the Royal Mail depot and joins into some other cycle tracks. Originally it would have gone to the docks but has been truncated at some point.

OS Landranger 58 (Perth & Alloa, Auchterarder)

Heritage Information

This path follows part of the route of an old Waggonway which took coal from various mines in the Sauchie area to be shipped out of Alloa's port. It was first built in 1766 or 1768 and is sais to have been initially used to link Alloa's glassworks with the port but was later extended to reach the coal mines. Originally the Waggonway had only wooden rails, which wore out by 1785. At this point the rails were upgraded with a new track of rails made of fir plated with bars of Swedish Iron. These rails were able to take trains of three wagons, each carrying 1.5 tons and pulled by one horse.

Around 1810 the track was again replaced by one made entirely of cast-iron. By this time each wagon carried only 1 ton in weight but one horse could pull eight of these at a time. The final set of new rails were made of iron and were installed in 1840.

Although the track was still used until the 1920s it was superceded by the railway which served the collieries and villages nearby. This path is fascinating for its survival in what is now an urban area. It forms part of the Devon Way (National Cycle Network Route 767) which continues northwards, past the new Alloa railway station as a very nice off-road rural route.

In 2021, this former waggonway's significance as a site of national importance was recognised by the installation of a Transport Trust commemorative plaque on Mar Street, Alloa.




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