Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This line is closed. It ran west from Douglas to meet the existing Glasgow and South Western Railway branch to Muirkirk. It both blocked any further advance by that company and served several coal mines.

There is an old joke related to the line 'Which two stations are the closest? Douglas and Glenbuck, there's only Inches between them.'






Dates

  /  /1865Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Line authorised, extending the Douglas Branch (Caledonian Railway) west. A Bill for a branch to Glespin is abandoned. Caledonian Railway given running powers from Muirkirk [1st] to Ayr and Troon, in return the Glasgow and South Western Railway is given running powers to Edinburgh, Leith and Granton.
  /  /1868Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time to complete line.
  /  /1870Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Further extension of time to complete line.
01/01/1873Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Caledonian Railway line via Douglas reaches Muirkirk [1st] and is opened to goods and minerals. The Caledonian Railway use the Glasgow and South Western Railway's Muirkirk Shed.
  /09/1873Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
The Caledonian Railway begins to use Muirkirk [1st] (the Glasgow and South Western Railway station) for merchandise traffic.
01/06/1874Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Opened to passenger traffic to Muirkirk [1st]. (Later a second Caledonian Railway line was built from Coalburn to a new Muirkirk [2nd] but the line was not used as the Glasgow and South Western Railway threatened to apply for running powers through to Lanark - however Muirkirk [2nd] did open).
02/05/1883Muirkirk and Lesmahagow Junction Railway
Poneil Junction (Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)) to Alton Heights Junction (Lesmahagow Railway) opened to goods and passengers. (Alternative date 02/04/1883.)
10/09/1888Glenbuck Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Glenbuck and Galawhistle branch opened to minerals, extending the line from Bankend south west. Originally a private line. The further portion running west to Muirkirk, the Mid Lanark, Spireslack and Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway), was not opened
  /  /1896Strathaven and Darvel Railway Mid Lanark Lines (Caledonian Railway) Mid Lanark, Spireslack and Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Lines authorised for the Caledonian Railway; Darvel to Strathaven Central, Spireslack Colliery No 1 Pit to Muirkirk (Auldhouseburn Junction), Stonehouse [Lanarkshire] and Stonehouse [Lanarkshire] to Lesmahagow [2nd] and Alton Heights Junction. The Glasgow and South Western Railway is granted running powers over these lines in exchange for the Caledonian Railway having running powers from Darvel to Troon and Kilmarnock to Ayr.
01/10/1896Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Douglas West station opened on the existing line. This station was better sited for the village than the existing Douglas station.
07/11/1900Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Glespin Valley Branch (Carmacoup/Kennox colliery) authorised and access for the Glasgow and South Western Railway granted.
  /  /1901Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Carmacoup branch, from Inches serving Kennox No 7 Colliery (Carmacoup) authorised. The Glasgow and South Western Railway is granted running powers.
  /  /1910Mid Lanark, Spireslack and Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Spireslack Colliery No 1 Pit to Muirkirk (Auldhouseburn Junction) abandoned.
05/10/1964Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway) Douglas Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Muirkirk [2nd] to Ponfeigh (excluded) closed to all traffic. Douglas Colliery branch remains open.
05/10/1964Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)Douglas Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Muirkirk [2nd] to Lanark (Smyllum West Junction) closed to passengers.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Douglas to Muirkirk

This was the terminus of the Douglas Branch from Lanark. It remained a terminus until 1873 when the line extended to Muirkirk.
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More details

See also
Douglas Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Passing through Happendon, South Lanarkshire, in 1964, the year the station closed. ...
Colin Miller //1964
Looking towards Lanark. ...
John Robin 23/05/1963
2 of 2 images.


HR 103+57581 with the RCTS (West Riding Branch) Three Summits Tour from Leeds City, approaching Poniel Junction on 30 June 1963 during the ...
K A Gray 30/06/1963
Poniel Junction looking east in 2004, with the Muirkirk and Lesmahagow Junction Railway branching off to the left and the Caledonian's main ...
Ewan Crawford 24/10/2004
Looking east towards Happendon from above Douglas West. The coal loading point in the centre of the photograph is on the trackbed of the line but ...
Ewan Crawford //
Poniel Junction. CR 4.4.0 54504 eastbound. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1953
4 of 5 images. more


This was a two platform station with a passing loop. There was a goods yard on the east side, approached from a reversing spur to the south.
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The former station at Douglas. View looks west. The goods yard and shed was to the right (a little of the shed remains) and two platforms to the right ...
Ewan Crawford //
West of Douglas West looking west. Note how well preserved the ballast is here despite the line having been closed since the 1960s. ...
Ewan Crawford //
View east at Douglas West from the former eastbound platform. A part of the bing remains in the distant left. Portions remain of both station ...
Ewan Crawford 24/06/2001
Bleak country indeed in this September 1964 view westwards from Douglas West towards Muirkirk, just a few weeks before complete closure of the line. ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /09/1964
4 of 7 images. more


This was a two platform station with a loop on a single track line. The main station building was on the eastbound platform with the signal box at the east end of that platform.
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The bridge which carried the Kennox Colliery branch over the Douglas Water just to the east of Inches station. ...
Bill Roberton //1989
Looking west over the remains of Inches Station, South Lanarkshire, in 1989. The station closed along with the line between Muirkirk and Ponfeigh in ...
Bill Roberton //1989
Looking west towards Inches station. The trackbed in foreground is the line from Lanark and that to the left is the branch from a colliery. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Not long to go now eh? The signalman at Inches and the driver of a Muirkirk-Lanark DMU exchange a few words in September 1964, just weeks ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
4 of 7 images. more


This was a single platform station on the north side of a single track line. The station was south of Glenbuck itself and west of Glenbuck Loch. It was not particularly convenient for Glenbuck, just under a mile away by road.
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The timber platform at the former Glenbuck station in a view looking east in 2001. ...
Ewan Crawford //2001
Looking west across Glenbuck Loch. The railway ran on an embankment across the loch (seen distant top). ...
Ewan Crawford //
2 of 2 images.




This was built as a double track junction for the new line to Coalburn, built in 1898. The original line opened in 1873.
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More details

See also
Mid Lanark, Spireslack and Muirkirk Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Auldhouseburn Junction seen in 1999 looking to the junction from the trackbed of the never opened line to Coalburn. Note the red brick structure, this ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
1 of 1 images.




This signal box was located on the single track line between Muirkirk [2nd] and Auldhouseburn Junction.
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This was a two platform station dating from 1896. This is the better known station at Muirkirk which was in use as the lines closed.
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More details

See also
Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway)
View from the second Muirkirk station, which survived into the 1960s, westwards towards the first station. The junction between the CR and G&SW, a ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
Photostop at Muirkirk on 30 June 1963 for the RCTS (West Riding Branch) 'Three Summit Tour'. HR 103 + 57581 had taken over the special (which ...
K A Gray 30/06/1963
HR 103 + 57581 stand at Muirkirk during a photostop on 30 June 1963 with the RCTS (West Riding Branch) 'Three Summit Tour', which ran from ...
K A Gray 30/06/1963
Train for Lanark (destination Carstairs) about to leave Muirkirk in October 1964, just before closure. ...
Colin Miller /10/1964
4 of 13 images. more





Glespin Branch

This was a two platform station with a loop on a single track line. The main station building was on the eastbound platform with the signal box at the east end of that platform.
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More details
The bridge which carried the Kennox Colliery branch over the Douglas Water just to the east of Inches station. ...
Bill Roberton //1989
Looking west over the remains of Inches Station, South Lanarkshire, in 1989. The station closed along with the line between Muirkirk and Ponfeigh in ...
Bill Roberton //1989
Looking west towards Inches station. The trackbed in foreground is the line from Lanark and that to the left is the branch from a colliery. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Not long to go now eh? The signalman at Inches and the driver of a Muirkirk-Lanark DMU exchange a few words in September 1964, just weeks ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
4 of 7 images. more







Ashawburn Branch












Lightshaw Branch