A History of Britain’s Railways

Hamilton and Strathaven Railway

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Hamilton and Strathaven Railway

This railway is closed. The line was built by coal and iron masters to serve coalmines and the ironworks at Quarter.

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act 1857
Contractors To be entered
Opened To be entered
Closed 1/10/1945 to passengers
Farvel and Strathaven Railway Mid Lanark Lines East Kilbride Line Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton and Coatbridge Railway Hamilton Branch Clickable map of the Hamilton and Strathaven Railway

Local area 


This line served an area with a fairly low population (except at either end), the Quarter Ironworks and a number of coalmines set in farmed countryside.



The line was built by iron and coal masters such as William Dixon of the Govan Ironworks. Of particular interest to these promoters would be the coalmines in the Hamilton, High Blantyre, Meikle Earnock and Quarter areas as well as the ironworks at Quarter. South of Quarter there were nothing like as many coalmines and the Quarter to Hamilton section of the line was the most busy and remained double track.

The railway was sold the the Caledonian Railway and it is probably no coincidence that these same promoters were to later promote the Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton and Coatbridge Railway which was to serve almost exactly the same coalmines in Hamilton and High Blantyre areas. The promoters must have rued selling the railway to the Caledonian Railway and creating a monopoly on transporting their own minerals.

Description of route


This was a line ran south from Hamilton to Strathaven. The line was doubled as it became more heavily used but was singled from Strathaven to Quarter following the opening of the Coalburn Branch line from Canderside to Cots Castle by Stonehouse abour two miles east of Strathaven.

The station was located to the north of the town at Flemington. When the Mid Lanark Lines extended the Coalburn Branch's Cots Castle line west to Strathaven the Flemington line was extended south to meet this at a new central station just to the south of Strathaven. Flemington was given over to goods and a new station, Strathaven North, served the north of the town.
Strathaven Junction


The line began from an south east facing junction with the Hamilton Branch (Caledonian Railway). This was convenient for trains originating in Hamilton but was inconvenient for passenger trains coming from elsewhere (for example Glasgow) and for mineral trains which had to reverse at Hamilton (later Hamilton West). Later a new curve was put in between Blantyre Junction? and Auchinraith Junction? to allow direct running.

Blantyre Junction?


This was a north west facing junction with the Hamilton Branch (Caledonian Railway) which was built to allow direct running of mineral trains down from the Strathaven line towards Newton and Glasgow.

Auchinraith Junction?


Here the lines from Haughhead Junction and Blantyre Junction? met. The junction faced west.

Hunthill Junction


From an east facing junction the East Kilbride Line (Caledonian Railway) left the line to Strathaven and ran west to East Kilbride. The Strathaven line turned south and entered High Blantyre station.

High Blantyre


This two platform station was located on a slight curve where the line turned from running west from Hamilton to south towards Strathaven. The station is completely gone now but a road in a housing estate more or less follows the alignment of the track. Hunthill Junction was immediately north of the station but the East Kilbride Line (Caledonian Railway) was not served by this station.

Meikle Earnock


Little remains of this station which was situated on the outskirts of what is now Hamilton. A branch to a coalmine at Eddlewood left from a south facing junction to the south of the station. Coalmines in that area were also served by branches approaching from Hamilton to the north although there does not seem to have been a connection between these systems.

Quarter Junction


At this north facing junction a branch left the main line and ran east to serve the Quarter Ironworks. This ironworks had a system of lines which connected it to mines at Simpsonland, Carscallan and Fairholm.



This station was located on the road to Quarter which was about a mile distant to the east nearby the Quarter Ironworks. After the opening of the Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway) the line south of here was singled. A station house remains standing by a former level crossing.



Glassford station was over a mile west of the town of Glassford. Little remains of the station here as it is partly landscaped but a roadbridge which once crossed over two tracks remains.



This was the original terminus at Strathaven, originally called Strathaven. The station was well sized taking a fair amount of land and having distinct goods and passenger areas.

The line was extended south as part of the Mid Lanark Lines scheme to Strathaven Central from a north facing junction to the north of the station. As a result the station closed to passengers and became a goods station instead. Strathaven North was opened on the new line to serve this area.

Nothing remains of the station today except a roadbridge over the former trackbed to the north. Immediately to its east is a bridge over the extension to Strathaven Central.

Strathaven North


This station was opened on the extension of the line from Flemington to Strathaven Central to meet the Mid Lanark Lines scheme. The station was located in a cutting and had a single platform. The cutting has been infilled and houses built on the site of the station. To the south the cutting remains intact and even some ballast can be found. The line turned from running south to running west crossing over the Stonehouse-Strathaven Road on a viaduct of which some piers survive before continuing west across another viaduct to reach Strathaven Central.

Strathaven Central

To the east of this station the line from Hamilton crossed a viaduct to meet the Mid Lanark Lines which also crossed a viaduct before running into the "new" Strathaven Central. The approach from Hamilton was at a higher level than the approach from Stonehouse and the two routes ran parallel for a short distance before crossing the viaducts. This station was better sited for the town than the old Strathaven station and had a large island platform and goods yard ar a higher level

The line was extended west by the Strathaven and Darvel Line which was owned by the Glasgow and South Western Railway from Darvel to Loudonhill. There were two booking offices at street level to the north of the station with footbridges down to the lower level island platform.

For many years the station site was the town's rubbish dump but it has been cleared. The island platform can still be traced and the goods shed still exists to the north.

Page created on 14/11/1997
Page last edited on: 11/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford