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Arbroath and Forfar Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Arbroath Cathrine Street
"The dens" sidings
Arbroath Locomotive Shed
St Vigeans Junction
Letham
Waulkmill
Colliston
Leysmill
Border
Friockheim Junction
Friockheim
Guthrie Junction
Guthrie
Auldbar Road
Clocksbriggs
Forfar North Junction
Forfar Playfield

This site
Dundee and Arbroath Railway
Aberdeen Railway
Scottish Midland Junction Railway
North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway

Other sites


Arbroath and Forfar Railway

This line ran from Arbroath to Forfar. The line is closed (except for a short section between St Vigeans Junction and "The Dens" sidings in Arbroath). Today the nearest station is at Arbroath.

Survey 1826
Engineers Robert Stevenson
Thomas Grainger
John Miller
Act To be entered
Contractors Forbes and Graham
John Ballantine and George Bruce
William Ross
HVM Bolton and D McIver
James McNaughton and Co
Alexander McDonald
Bedlington Iron Co
Harford, Davies and Co
Murdoch, Aitken and Co
Opened 3 January 1839
Closed 1967

Dundee and Arbroath Railway North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway Broughty Ferry to Forfar Branch Aberdeen Railway Aberdeen Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Arbroath (New) Clickable map of the Arbroath and Forfar Railway

arbroath_abbey.jpg (22448 bytes)
Arbroath Abbey

Local area

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This line runs through farmed countryside. There is a very old graveyard at St Vigeans, near St Vigeans Junction. There were towns at either end of the line, but not a very high population in between.

Chronology

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The line opened in 1839 and by 1848 a portion of it was part of the main line to Aberdeen from the south, via Forfar. The line had to be re-gauged to become part of this network. The Forfar to Guthrie section of the line remained open after the closure of the line as a through route. Today a short portion of the line remains between Arbroath and St Vigeans Junction.

Description of route

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From Arbroath to Forfar via Guthrie.

Arbroath Catherine Street Opened:24/11/1838 Closed:1/2/1848
OS NO 640 410
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This was the original terminus station in Arbroath, The terminus was located to the east of Arbroath station. A line continued from Catherine Street to the harbour which remained in use as the harbour branch after closure of Catherine Street station. This served the wet dock at Arbroath and had a connection to the Lady Loan terminus of the Dundee and Arbroath Railway. This connection was lifted on the opening of the new Arbroath station.

To the north of Catherine Street and Arbroath station was a junction (which faced north) with a signalbox called "Arbroath Junction". Slightly further north was a second signalbox called "Wellgate". The two boxes were replaced by a single box on 26/3/1911 on the site of Wellgate by a box called "Arbroath North". This box became "Arbroath" on 21/3/1971.

"The dens" sidings

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These are refuge sidings to the north of the station and to the east of the running lines.

Arbroath Locomotive Shed

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This was a two road shed located on the west side of the line south of St Vigeans Junction. The shed was approached from the junction. There was a signalbox called "Arbroath Engine Sheds" until 12/2/1888.

St Vigeans Junction

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This was where the North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway branched off to the east. The junction faced south. The two lines ran parallel for a short distance while the route to Montrose climbed.

There was a signalbox called "St Vigeans Junction" here to the east of the line opened on 1880 and closed on 27/11/1960.. The signalbox also controlled access to the Arbroath Locomotive shed. Slightly further north was St Vigeans level crossing which had a crossing keeper's house.

Letham Mill

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There was a signalbox called "Letham Mill" here. Sidings served the mill. The line from here to Leysmill was singled on 27/12/1936. The line from here to St Vigeans Junction was out of use from 2/4/1956. The box closed on l 2/7/1956 when the line became one engine in steam.

Waulkmill

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There was a signalbox called "Waulkmill" and some sidings here. These served a boneworks and quarry. The box was reduced to a ground frame on 23/11/1908 and closed on 23/6/1936 when the line was singled.

Colliston Opened:24/11/1838 Closed:5/12/1955
OS NO 618 460
Top 1956:GPLHC

This view looks north. This station had staggered platforms, one on either side of a level crossing. The southbound platform is on the right. The northbound platform is on the other side of the level crossing which can be seen in the distance. The site of the northbound platform now contains a house. Appropriately the trackbed is their driveway leading up to a garage. There was a signalbox called "Colliston" here to the north of the level crossing and east of the line. The box became a gate box on 27/12/1936 and closed ~23/1/1965 with the line. There was a goods yard to the north of the station, on the east side of the line, approached from the north.

Leysmill Opened:24/11/1838 Closed:5/12/1955
OS NO 666 478  
Top 1956:GPLH1.10

The view looks towards Arbroath from the site of the former level crossing. This station had staggered platforms, one on either side of the level crossing. There was a signalbox called "Leysmill" here to the west of the level crossing and south side of the line. A short branch ran west from the level crossing. The line to Guthrie junction was singled on 13/9/1936 and line to Letham Mill was singled on 27/12/1936. The box closed with the line on 23/1/1965.

Border

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There was a signalbox called "Border" here to the south west of the line and sidings for the quarries on either side of the line nearby. The line closed with the singling of the line on 27/12/1936.

Friockheim Junction

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The view looks towards Arbroath. The Forfar line comes in from behind the camera to the right, and the Aberdeen line from behind the camera and off to the left.

This junction was between the Aberdeen Railway and the Arbroath and Forfar Railway. The junction allowed trains to run from Aberdeen to Arbroath. The route was replaced on the opening of the North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway which was built in connection with the opening of the Tay Bridge. The formation of the junction and the location of the box can still be discerned in the undergrowth. The junction faced south.

There was a signalbox called "Friokheim Junction" here to the south west of the junction. The box opened 16/7/1878 and closed 26/10/1917.

Friockheim Opened:4/12/1838 Closed:5/12/1955
OS NO 588 495
Top 1956:GPLH2.0

The railway crossed over the road here on a bridge. The view here looks north east. To the left the route continued on to Forfar and to the right it was joined by the spur from Aberdeen. There was a signalbox called "Friokheim Station" here to the south of the station and running lines. It was closed 13/9/1936 and replaced with a ground frame. A section of the line being lifted was left for access to sidings.

Guthrie Junction

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Although the site of Guthrie station has been largely landscaped (except for the main station building), the junction remains recognisable. Both the Arbroath and Forfar Railway and the Aberdeen Railway were double track and a loop existed on the up side of  the junction. The junction box was on the down side of the junction near the (now removed) road underbridge. This junction allowed trains to run from Aberdeen to Forfar. The junction faced west. There was a signalbox called "Guthrie Junction" here opened 1880. The line to Leysmill was singled on 13/9/1936 and the box closed on 19/3/1965.

Guthrie Opened:4/12/1838 Closed:5/12/1955
OS NO 567 501
Top 1956:GPFLHC3.0

The site of this station has been landscaped. A building still stands but the three platforms (one being an island platform) and turntable have been removed. The platforms and extra track were removed after closure of the Arbroath to Guthrie line, and before the closure of the Montrose (Kinnaber Junction) to Forfar line. There was a signalbox called "Guthrie Station" here to the west of the station and north of the lines. The box was reduced to a ground frame on 30/10/1932 and closed on 17/2/1957.

To the west of the station is the "Guthrie Gate" which is where the railway crossed the access road to the Guthrie estate. The railway was encouraged to build a castlated bridge with a gatehouse built into it.

Auldbar Road Opened:4/12/1838 Closed:11/6/1956
OS NO 537 510
Top 1956:GPFLHC

This station remains in a good state of preservation. To the west of a road overbridge were the two platforms, which still exist although the timber buildings have gone, to the east of the bridge was the main station building, still standing, and the goods yard. The station building is similar to that which stood at Alyth Junction. A bothy still stands along with a signalbox which was called "Auldbar Road". The signalbox is to the north of the former running line and east of the road overbridge. The box closed on 28/6/1966.

Clocksbriggs Opened:4/12/1838 Closed:1/1/1917 Re-opened:1/6/1919 Closed:5/12/1955
OS NO 497 519
Top 1956:GLH

This station was located by a level crossing. The station building still stands and the platform area is now the garden. There was a signalbox called "Clocksbriggs" here located to the east of the level crossing and south of the line which closed with the line on 3/9/1967. There was a goods yard on the north side of the line, approached from the east.

Forfar North Junction

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The line was met by the Scottish Midland Junction Railway at this point. There were two junction here, between the original line and the Forfar and Broughty Ferry line (junction faced west) and the original line and the Scottish Midland Junction Railway which faced east. There was a signalbox called "Forfar Junction" (opened 1870), and later renamed "Forfar North" (on 7/1/1895), here. The box was located to the north of the junction and had a line from the Forfar locomotive shed to the north of it which joined the main line slightly further east. The extensive fan of rails to the Forfar goods yard also west from here and were approached from the east. The box closed when the line was singled on 4/9/1967 and worked one engine in steam.

The cutting which carried the line to Broughty Ferry has been infilled. Nothing remains of the box, but a roadbridge over the trackbed remains. From here the line to Forfar Playfield ran south west and had a level crossing before the old station. The alignment from the junction to the level crossing is now an industrial estate access road.

Forfar Playfield Opened:4/12/1838 Closed:2/8/1848
OS NO 458 511
Top 1956:G

This was the original terminus which was replaced by Forfar (New) when the Scottish Midland Junction Railway opened. After that date the station was used for freight. Some hints of the site remain (embankments) but houses have been built on the site. There was a linen works to the south of the station, a gasworks and sawmill. Some years after closure to passengers the line to Forfar North Junction was singled.


Page created in 1996
Page last edited on: 07/08/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford