The Tranent Wagonway in East Lothian was first built in 1722. It was originally built to transport coal from a Tranent shaft to Cockenzie and Port Seton for use as fuel in a salt making process. New archaeological excavations have revealed three wooden railroads, each placed immediately above the last. The Waggonway Project of 1722 stated that it appeared to have been an attempt to improve the railway with “rough-cut lumber” in a short period of time. The shape of the distance between the two tracks was also changed from an initial 3 feet 3 inches (about one meter) in the first phase to 4 feet (1.2 m) in the second and third phases. The project team said there were no other similar sites in railway archeology. His research identified the three leveling stages that occurred between 172225, 172830 and 174344.
The second stage has been described as “extremely well constructed”, with cobblestones laid to form a track between the rails for the pulling horses. the wagons, said railroad historian Anthony Leslie Dawson. : “Although we know that these railroads had a limited lifespan due to their method of construction, see this process of replacement and upgrading underway, including a change in gauge in the archaeological records , is exceptional.“The excavation of the wagons has shown that these wagons are much more complex than the single-phase structures previously excavated, and the survival of the lumber in place, including the joints, helps us better understand the construction of these early railroads. Project archaeologists also excavated a building in a salt marsh at Cockenzie, and discovered evidence of the site’s use in salt production from around 1630 to 1780.