Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway

Introduction

This line was completely closed in the 1970s with a short section of its E&G built extension remaining in use between Bathgate and Polkemmet Junction. After closure of the Airdrie-Bathgate line all sections fell out of use.

With the re-opening of the Airdrie-Bathgate line a short portion between Bathgate Upper and Polkemmet Junction has been re-opened.

The line ran from Morningside to Bathgate with branches to Carluke, Addiewell and Shotts.

Plans to extend to Wilsontown, of the title, were dropped, perhaps due to the failure of the iron works there in 1842, while the line was being built. It terminated at Longridge, being extended to Bathgate by the Longridge to Bathgate (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) in 1850.

Why built

There were two main purposes of this line
- to deliver coal to the Coltness Ironworks
- to connect to the railway network to deliver coal to other locations






Dates

  /  /1841Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Act receives Royal assent. The Coltness Iron Works owners, the Houldsworths, were major shareholders.
05/06/1845Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Opened from Morningside [1st] to Longridge [1st]. New passenger stations at; Davies Dykes, Blackhall, Headlesscross, Crofthead [NB], Longridge [1st].
  /  /1846Shotts Iron Works
Works connected to the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway. Two more furnaces, a brickworks, briquetting plant and coke works were subsequently built.
16/05/1846Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
A passenger coach starts running from Longridge [1st] to Edinburgh to complete a Glasgow to Edinburgh route.
  /03/1848Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Passenger station at Davies Dykes closed.
  /  /1849Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness RailwayEdinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway absorbed by Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
  /  /1849Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Extended from Longridge [2nd] to Bathgate. This line may have reached Bathgate before the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, which formed a connection with it.
  /  /1849Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Closed to passengers.
  /  /1850Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Re-opened to passengers.
  /02/1851Bathgate Chemical Works
Opened. There was access from the nearby Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway Bathgate branch.
  /  /1852Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Act authorises merger. The Act give other companies permission to use main line and Shotts and Bathgate branches.
  /12/1852Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Closed to passengers. Blackhall, Headlesscross, Crofthead and Longridge [2nd] closed.
  /  /1861Cleland to Morningside Line (Caledonian Railway)
An extension of the Cleland branch to Morningside [CR] is promoted. The branch will serve numerous mines and the Coltness Iron Works, avoiding the Morningside Incline of the existing route to Morningside [1st]. It also provides possible access to Edinburgh over the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway owned Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway. The Morningside [CR] extension of the Cleland branch predates its extension east through Shotts to Midcalder.
01/10/1864Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Line extended to Bathgate and re-opened to passengers. Blackhall re-opened and Crofthead [NB] re-opened as Fauldhouse and Crofthead. The Longridge to Bathgate section was first opened to passengers with new stations at Longridge [2nd], Bents and Whitburn.
01/11/1893Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Blackhall station (at Blackhall Junction for Shotts Goods) closed.
01/09/1906Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Crofthead [NB] renamed Fauldhouse and Crofthead.
  /  /1919Kingshill Colliery No 1
Opened by the Coltness Iron Works. Connected to the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway. The town of Allantown is developed by the company and local council for miners.
01/05/1930Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Morningside to Bathgate (Polkemmet Junction) closed to passengers. Morningside [NBR], Fauldhouse and Crofthead (also known as Fauldhouse South), Bents and Whitburn closed.
04/04/1949Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Carluke to Castlehill Branch Junction closed. A section between Castlehill Branch Junction and a nearby Colliery remained open until 1955. Part of this line was built on the former course of a waggonway running from Castlehill Iron Works (Carluke).
06/03/1950Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Blackhall Junction to Shotts Goods closed.
24/04/1963Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Addiewell Goods [NB] to Whitburn closed.
17/06/1963Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Shotts East to Westcraigs Junction closed.
10/08/1964Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Bathgate to Fauldhouse closed. (This date is probably wrong, should be 1966).
02/05/1966Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Fauldhouse and Crofthead to Whitrigg Colliery closed to freight.
20/01/1969Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Whitrigg Colliery to Polkemmet Junction closed to freight.
15/07/1974Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway
Morningside to Castlehill Branch Junction (Kingshill Colliery No 1 and Kingshill Colliery No 3) closed to freight.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Morningside to Longridge

The main portion of this line ran from Morningside [NB] to Longridge [1st].

The Wishaw and Coltness Railway reached Morningside around 1844 from Carluke [1st] (reached 1842) - a short distance of around 2/3 of a mile. The extension was probably driven to reach the under construction Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway rather than a desire to reach Morningside itself. It did service the Chapel Colliery in passing.
...

More details

See also
Wishaw and Coltness Railway


This station was on the east side of Morningside Road, just south of the village of Morningside. It opened at the possible site of Morningside [1st]. A goods station existed here, approached from the east, before opening. The Ordnance Survey Name Book described it thus

This name applies to a small office adjoining the Wilsontown and Morningside Railway wholly for mineral ...

More details
On the right is the low mound of the platform at the NB's Morningside station as seen in 1997. Across a (now removed) distant bridge was the Caley's ...
Ewan Crawford 03/05/1997
This view is from trackbed of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway immediately east of Morningside (NB) station, itself immediately east ...
Ewan Crawford /12/1987
2 of 2 images.


This was the junction between the North British Railway's branch to the Coltness Iron Works and the course of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
...

More details


This was the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway and the later Castlehill Branch (North British Railway). There was a loop on the original line and a single line led off to the south west for the branch.
...

More details

See also
Castlehill Branch (North British Railway)






This station was at Blackhall Junction, the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway of 1845 and the 1859 branch to the north of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the Shotts Loops, serving the Shotts Iron Works. Named for Blackhall Farm to the west. Access to the branch was from west.
...

More details


This was the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway of 1845 and the 1859 branch to the north of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the Shotts Loops, serving the Shotts Iron Works. Access to the branch was from west. Named for Blackhall Farm to the west.
...

More details

See also
Shotts Branch Railway (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway)




This signal box controlled access to Knowton Colliery. The colliery was on the north side of the line, connected to the west end of a looped siding on the main line. The signal box was on the south side.
...

More details


This halt was north of Headlesscross Farm. The Railway Clearing House Maps shows 'Headlesscross (Gray and Paul's)'. Gray and Paul owned mines at Climpy and Wilsontown and Climpy Road ran south east to Climpy and Wilsontown, which suggests this was a loading location for coal worked to the south.
...

More details




Just to the west of Fauldhouse and Crofthead station the main WM&C line continued west, passing below the Caledonian route, while a branch turned ...
John Furnevel 15/09/2009
1 of 1 images.


This was a single platform station with the platform on the north side of a single track line and goods yard to the north, approached from the west. There was a stone building, extended in timber to have a canopy and waiting room, on the brick built platform and a water tank at the west end.
...

More details
View east along the trackbed towards Bridge Street over the site of the former Fauldhouse & Crofthead station in September 2009. Originally opened by ...
John Furnevel 15/09/2009
Remains of the platform at Fauldhouse and Crofthead in 1997 looking west. Unfortunately the platform was cleared away on conversion into a footpath. ...
Ewan Crawford 03/05/1997
2 of 2 images.


The trackbed of the Wilsontown, Morningside & Coltness Railway looking east from Fauldhouse in September 2009 in the general direction of Bathgate. ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2009
View north east along the trackbed near the former Fauldhouse and Crofthead station, taken in September 2009. The location is east of the site of the ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2009
J36 0-6-0 65345 with a special at a point approximately 250 yards east of the former Fauldhouse and Crofthead station (closed 1930). The train is ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 11/04/1966
3 of 3 images.


This was the original eastern terminus of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
...

More details
Overgrown site of the Longridge (eastern) terminus of the Wilsontown Morningside and Coltness Railway. View looks west. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.





Coltness Iron Works Branch

This branch ran from just east of Morningside [NB] station to the iron works. This branch was one of the principal reasons why the line was built. Built by the NBR in 1890.

This was the junction between the North British Railway's branch to the Coltness Iron Works and the course of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
...

More details




This junction was to the north of the Coltness Iron Works. Both the Caledonian Railway and the North British Railway had a connection to the Coltness Iron Works Railway here and this box controlled the junction between the two railway companies. The signal box was provided by the NB.
...

More details

See also
Cleland to Morningside Line (Caledonian Railway)







Kingshill Colliery Branch

This coal mine was opened just south east of Allanton by the Coltness Iron Company in 1919, producing coking and other coals. The surface buildings included a washery.
...

More details

See also
Kingshill Collieries Railway
Standard class 3 mogul 77005 of Motherwell shed stands at Kingshill Colliery with Scottish Rambler No 5 railtour on 8 April 1966. ...
G W Robin 08/04/1966
Scottish Rambler No 5 poses at Kingshill Colliery on 8 April 1966 with BR standard class 3 no 77005 in charge of 12 brake vans. ...
G W Robin 08/04/1966
2 of 2 images.





Crofthead Colliery Branch