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General Information

Name in local language: Viaduc de Garabit
Beginning of works: 1881
Completion: 17 September 1884
Status: in use

Project Type

Awards and Distinctions


Location: , , ,
, , ,
  • Truyère River
Part of:
Next to: Garabit Bridge
Near: Bridge over the Truyere at Garabit (1993)
Coordinates: 44° 58' 32" N    3° 10' 38" E
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Technical Information


main span 165 m
rise 52 m
height 122 m
total length 564.69 m
weight 3 249 t
pier height max. 80 m
northern approach viaduct total length 45.91 m
southern approach viaduct length 70.09 m
main bridge
length 447.82 m


volume of masonry 18 647 m³
weight of metal used 3 326.414 t


piers wrought iron
arch wrought iron
truss wrought iron


14 June 1879

The project receives approval.

26 April 1884

Arch is joined.

9 August 1888
— 13 August 1888

Load tests.

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Garabit ViaductCoordinates44°58′31″N 3°10′39″E / 44.97528°N 3.17750°E / 44.97528; 3.17750CarriesrailwayCrossesriver TruyèreCharacteristicsMaterialWrought ironTotal length565 m (1,854 ft)Longest span165 m (541 ft)HistoryArchitectGustave EiffelConstruction start1882Construction end1884Construction cost3,100,000 francs

The Garabit Viaduct (Viaduc de Garabit in French) is a railway arch bridge spanning the Truyère, near Ruynes-en-Margeride, Cantal, France, in the mountainous Massif Central region.

The bridge was constructed between 1882 and 1884 by Gustave Eiffel, with structural engineering by Maurice Koechlin, and was opened in 1885. It is 565 m (1,854 ft) in length and has a principal arch of 165 m (541 ft) span.


By the late 1870s, Eiffel & Cie, the company founded by Eiffel in partnership with Théophile Seyrig, had established a place among the leading French engineering companies. Between 1875 and 1877, the company had built the Maria Pia Bridge over the Douro at Porto, and when the construction of a railway between Marvejols and Neussargues, both in Cantal, was proposed, the work of constructing a viaduct to cross the Truyère was given to Eiffel without the usual process of competitive tendering. That was at the recommendation of the state engineers since the technical problems involved were similar to those of the Maria Pia Bridge. Indeed, it was Eiffel & Cie's success with that project that had led to the proposal for a viaduct at Garabit.

Design and construction

Opening with a single track in November 1885, the Garabit Viaduct was 565 m (1,854 ft) long and weighed 3,587 tonnes (3,530 long tons; 3,954 short tons). Even more impressively, the actual deflection (load displacement) was measured at 8 millimetres (0.315 in), just what had been calculated by Eiffel. At 124 m (407 ft) above the river, the bridge was the world's highest when it was built. The overall project cost was 3,100,000 francs.

Until 11 September 2009, one regular passenger train each way passed daily over the viaduct: a Corail route from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers. On that date, the viaduct closed after cracks were discovered in one of the foundation piles. After a safety inspection, the Garabit viaduct reopened the next month, with a speed limit of 10 km/h (6 mph) for all traffic.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Garabit viaduct" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

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