A conveyor belt for coal which is believed to be the longest of its kind in Europe has been launched.
The journey from mine to railway will take 73 minutes
The 13km (8 miles) belt will transport coal from the Glenmuckloch open cast mine near Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire, to a railhead in New Cumnock, Ayrshire.
The belt cost almost £10m to build and will save 50,000 lorry journeys, or two million road miles a year.
It travels at 2.8m per second and takes 73 minutes for the coal to travel from mine to railway.
It has been developed with Scottish Executive support by ATH Resources, which owns and operates five open cast coalmines in East Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire.
ATH Chief Executive Tom Allchurch said it would make a big difference to both the company and the area around the mines.
"It is the culmination of an awful lot of hard work to bring off a major project which will be beneficial for the local environment around our operations," he said.
"It will keep an awful lot of traffic off the road - 50,000 lorry movements a year."
The belt is capable of carrying 500 tonnes of coal an hour along its route.
"It runs over the top of a hill and through another of our sites, down the hill and into a rail loading facility," said Mr Allchurch.
He said one of the main beneficiaries would be the town of New Cumnock which would no longer see the coal lorries passing through.