Gretna Border Union Junction

Location type


Name and dates

Gretna Border Union Junction (1861-1960)


This junction, south of Gretna station, was where the 1847 portion of the Caledonian Railway was met by the 1861 branch of the Border Union Railway (North British Railway) from Longtown. The connection was double track with the Border Union rapidly dropping to single track before being met (at Gretna Junction [NBR]) by its own Gretna [NB] terminus station single track line.

The junction was controlled by Gretna Border Union Junction box which was on the west side of the junction. This box controlled the southern approach to Gretna Caledonian station and the approach to its goods yard (sandwiched in between the Caledonian and North British lines and approached from the south]]. There was also a good view of the rear of the Gretna [NB] station signal box across the Caledonian metals, it was a little to the south.

The Border Union line came to be known as the Waverley Route. The Caledonian route as the West Coast Main Line.

The box closed in 1915, replaced by a new signal box at Gretna Junction. This was beyond Gretna station and Sark Viaduct to the north and was where the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway (later Glasgow and South Western Railway) met the line. A connection could be made between the North British and South Western lines via a short length of Caledonian metals. This box was in connection with the opening of HM Factory Gretna during the Shell Crisis of 1915.

The Border Union junction closed in 1960. The branch to Longtown was retained and a new connection made for it to the south in 1963. This was made in connection with the then new Carlisle Marshalling Yard and provided the Waverley Route with an approach to the yard from the north via the former Caledonian.

The formation of the Border Union junction can still be seen. The land is now farmland. The West Coast Main Line was electrified in 1974.