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The 1722 Waggonway Project was established in 2017 to preserve, promote and enhance Scotland's earliest railway, the 1722 Tranent - Cockenzie Waggonway. We are an entirely voluntary unincorporated association, with a dedicated core team who bring expertise in archaeology, research, engineering, architecture, events management, Health & Safety and the heritage sector. Since 2017 we have excavated the remains of the 1722 Waggonway and associated salt pans, revived salt-making in Cockenzie and opened a heritage centre which celebrates these historic industries.

Using the knowledge gained from our archaeological digs, we now know enough to be able to accurately build a working wooden waggonway, exactly as it was constructed in the 18th century.

If you like our plans, please help us along the way with a DONATION or CONTACT US to get involved!



One of the key aims is to create an industrial heritage attraction for East Lothian, that visitors can enjoy as part of a wider heritage offering in this corner of Scotland. Cockenzie, Port Seton and Prestonpans have an incredible industrial history, and we want to enhance this by adding a working piece of historic infrastructure to benefit the area. There are currently no working wooden waggonways, or 18th century-style salt pan houses in the UK and this will be a significant living history heritage asset for East Lothian & Scotland. The location is yet to be decided, but the group is currently exploring a promising location within EH32.

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The first phase of this exciting project will cost around £100k and we are aiming to achieve this in a 5-year timeframe. There are a variety of costs involved - building the waggonway and initial fleet of 3 waggons will cost circa £70,000, but there are core project costs, design work, marketing, interpretation, publication costs and more which are essential to making the whole project a success. Funds will also be raised via sponsorship, subscriptions and grant funding.  The value of volunteer labour is difficult to quantify, but as a general principle, phase 1 would equate to at least £90k.



Fundamental to the project will be the mobilisation of volunteers - locals, schools, students, veterans - which will, foster a connection and ensure many are invested in the future of the project. We need all the help we can get, and our ‘Waggonway Navvies’ will be central to the project. We have a track record of delivering engaging community events, practical heritage build projects and with a strong existing membership base, this will stand us in good stead for the effort required to ensure that all our volunteers have a great time as they learn traditional skills as part of this fantastic project.


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