“Birkinshaw” railway chair in cast iron (c.1840). One of three found near the Laigh Milton Viaduct (Kilmarnock & Troon Railway) during the viaduct conservation project (1995-96). The chair weighs 10.8 kg (23.9 lb).
This object was found during the Laigh Milton Viaduct Conservation Project (1995-1996). The viaduct, believed to be the world’s oldest on a public railway, was the work of leading civil engineer William Jessop. The double-track, horse-operated railway was opened in 1812, mainly for the export of coal, although it soon carried passengers. In 1816 it was the first railway in Scotland to operate with a Stephenson steam locomotive; nine years before the Stockton & Darlington.
Numerous significant railway relics were found during the restoration and this is just one of a number of them donated to ICE Scotland Museum.
For a detailed description of the conservation works click here.
For further information on the viaduct see http://www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=1243.
For a general description and images of early cast iron plate railways see https://tringlocalhistory.org.uk/Railway/c03_track.htm.
For a film of the restoration works click here.