Castlecary Curve

Location type


Name and dates

Castlecary Curve

Opened on the Caledonian Railway.
Opened on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.


This Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway curve never opened but the earthworks still partly remain.

Jim McEwan wrote about this link in Caledonian Railway Association ^s ^The True Line^ No.10 August 1985. He said:

The abandoned link between the CR and the E&G at Castlecary was an E&G promotion done at the time when it appeared possible for the CR and E&G to come to agree to joint purse working. The abandoned line was to enable E&G trains to use Buchanan Street station, and when negotiations for the joint purse fell through, the CR interdicted the E&G against completing the spur.

It probably belongs to the period around 1865 when the larger Scottish railway companies were jostling to take over each other. There were quite a few short lived alliances, some successfully entered into and some not.

The E&G may have been interested in gaining access to Buchanan Street as the Cowlairs Incline was an ongoing burden (expensive, time consuming, dangerous, a bottleneck with a constantly in use incline engine requiring coal and with a rope which needed replaced annually). Not only that but at the time Glasgow Queen Street High Level had very short platforms (not that Buchanan Street was much better, but the approach was more level).

Interestingly the Hayhill Branch (Caledonian Railway), (Gartcosh Junction to Garnqueen North Junction), was opened in 1866 (authorised 1846, lapsed, then re-authorised 1854). Before this a reversal would be needed in Coatbridge. Perhaps it was already under construction, the aborted link and Hayhill Branch being related.

There was a similar situation around the same time at Sighthill West Junction [1st] with the same companies planning and then disagreeing on a connection. The E&G could have used this to enter Buchanan Street, reaching Glasgow without having to descend the Cowlairs Incline.


Curve junction abortive


  /  /1872North British Railway Caledonian Railway
Authorisation of a connecting line between the North British Railway and Caledonian Railway. (Castlecary Curve?)


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders v. 6 (Regional railway history series)

An Illustrated History of Carlisle's Railways

An Illustrated History of Edinburgh's Railways

An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways

Caledonian Dunalastairs and Associated Classes (Locomotive Monograph)

Caledonian in LMS Days (Railways in Retrospect)

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Carriages

Caledonian Railway Livery: The True Line Elegance and Style

Caledonian Railway Wagons & Non-Passenger Coaching Stock

Caledonian Routes 3: Stirling to Crianlarich - DVD - Oakwood Press

Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

Callander & Oban Railway Through Time

Callander and Oban Railway (Library of Railway History)

Central Glasgow 1893: Lanarkshire Sheet 6.10a (Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Lanarkshire)

Edinburgh ( Western New Town) 1877: Edinburgh Large Scale Sheet 34 (Old Ordnance Survey Maps - Yard to the Mile)

Edinburgh (Rail Centres)

Edinburgh (Rail Centres)
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Guidebook (Auld Kirk Museum Publications)
Edinburgh To Inverkeithing.: including The Port Edgar, North Queensferry And Rosyth Dockyard Branches. (Scottish Main Lines.)

Edinburgh Waverley

Edinburgh Waverley Station Through Time
Edinburgh's Transport: The Early Years v. 1
Glasgow Stations

Glasgow's Last Days of Steam

Haymarket Motive Power Depot Edinburgh: A History of the Depot, Its Work and Locomotives, 1842-2010

Landranger (66) Edinburgh, Penicuik & North Berwick (OS Landranger Map)

Last Trains: Edinburgh and South East Scotland v. 1

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

On Either Side, 1939: The Train between London King's Cross & Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Inverness & Aberdeen (Old House)

Rails Around Glasgow

Signalling the Caledonian Railway

The Caledonian Railway 'jumbos' the 18in. X 26in. 0-6-0s

The Caledonian, Scotland's Imperial Railway: A History

The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, station by station

The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)

This Magnificent Line (the story of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Railway

Through Scotland with the Caledonian Railway

Vanished Railways of West Lothian

Vanished Railways of West Lothian