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Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway

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Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway

This railway is open. Parallel to the route is a cycle-way.

The line is also known as the "New Monkland Line". It was built by the Monkland Railways.

 
Bathgate Branch (Monkland Railways) Clickable map of the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway

Local area 

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The line runs through a former mining district. The area is now mostly given over to farming. In the area south of Westcraigs, including Benhar and Hartwoodhill there were a number of pits which the North British Railway (who later owned this line) and Caledonian Railway both tried to reach.

Chronology 

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Initially built as a single track. The line from Armadale Toll to Bathgate portion made use of an mineral line built by the Slamannan Railway.

Description of route 

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The line ran from Greenside Junction at Kipps to Bathgate via Caldercruix.

Greenside Junction

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This was a junction between the Kipps branch of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the Bathgate line. The junction faced west towards Glasgow. There was a signalbox here called "Greenside Junction".

Coatdyke 

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This two platform station remains open.

Airdrie

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This station has a bay platform for trains heading west towards Glasgow. After closure of the line in the 1950s between Airdrie, Bathgate and Edinburgh for passengers the station became a terminus for passenger services to Glasgow, although the Bathgate line remained open for freight until the 1980s. When the Moffat Mills branch to Bathgate section was closed and lifted the line from Airdrie to the Moffat Mills branch was singled and the track by the eastbound platform at Airdrie lifted. Later the line to Moffat Mills was lifted and the line cut back Aidrie, but later extended to Drumgelloch where a new station was opened, and regular passenger services were able to run east of Airdrie station for the first time in 30 years. The line has now been fully re-opened as a double track line and the eastbound platform at Airdrie reinstated.

There was a scrapyard by the station. The line was crossed to the east of the station by the Caledonian Railway's Airdrie branch. There was a signalbox here called "Airdrie South". The former "Airdrie" signalbox still stands here although it was made redundant by the Yoker Re-signalling Scheme. As part of the scheme some of the sidings by the bay platform were lifted leaving today a track by the bay and another siding.

Drumgelloch (Old)

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This was the terminus of the line but is closed and removed as the platform occupied the former eastbound trackbed. Trains ran west to Glasgow from a single platform.

Near here the line from the Malleable Ironworks at Calderbank crossed over the route of the line (the Calderbank line was older) and joined the Ballochney Railway branch to Moffat Mills at an east facing juncton at Calderbank Branch Junction.

Drumgelloch (New)

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This is a new two platform through station on the re-opened line. It is located immediately west of the former Clarkston station.

Clarkston (Lanarks)

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This station is closed and later the line was lifted, eastbound track first, then westbound. There was a signalbox here called "Clarkston".

Moffat Mills Junction

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This branch ran to the bonded warehousing at Moffat Mills. After closure of the line as a through route this traffic kept the line open east of Airdrie for a few years. On suspension of the traffic and lifting of the branch the line was cut back to Drumgelloch where a new station was opened. The course of the former branch, which included a substancial viaduct, can still be discerned.

Brownieside Junction

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Going west from Clarkston to Plains there were branches to Moffat Mills (a west facing junction) and to Calderbank Branch Junction (from Brownieside Junction which was an east facing junction), on the Ballochney Railway and a colliery at Plains. The line from Rawyards to Calderbank Branch Junction to Moffat Mills was originally a branch of the Ballochney Railway which served Forges and later the Moffat Mills Distillery. The alignment of the branch was changed on construction of the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway to provide conenctions to the new line.

Plains

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This station is closed. The platforms, particularly one, remained until the line was re-opened. (This page previously erroneously stated the platforms were staggered.) There was a signalbox here called "Plains" upon the site of which a house was built after line closure. This house was considered too close to the line on re-opening and was demolished as part of the preparatory works.

The residents of Plains would like to see a new station open on the re-opened line.

Stepends Signalbox

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This signalbox was to the east of Plains. There were a number of colliery lines here, some of which must have been released by ground frame rather than directly controlled by the box.

Caldercruix

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Parts of the station remained here until re-opening - the platforms. The land was, still fenced off and marked as British Rail property. On re-opening it was planned to open a new station further west. Due to various issues this was not done and the new station was built at the site of the original station. The station had a signalbox "Caldercruix West".

There was a paperworks here which the railway was keen to build a short branch to. Local coal mines were also served. These branches were controlled by "Caldercruix East" signalbox.

Forrestfield

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This station is closed. A lamproom remained until re-opening along with some portions of the platforms. The nearby former hotel is presently (2011) derelict. The railway runs at the rear of the building. The station had a signalbox called "Caldercruix".

Westcraigs Junction

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All lines here were closed. The Shotts branch remains as a cyclepath (see below). This east-facing junction was located to the west of Westcraigs station. A branch ran south from here to Shotts where it joined the Shotts Ironworks branch of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway. This line not only served the Shotts Iron Works but would also have been useful for coal trains running from the Woodend Colliery (to the east of Westcraigs) to the Coltness Ironworks at Newmains. The signalbox here was called "Westcraigs Junction".

Westcraigs

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The line is closed. The platforms and high goods loading bank remained here although no buildings other than the stationmasters house remained. On opening of the cycleroute along the closed trackbed the westbound platform was buried.

In preparation for re-opening the platforms were removed although the goods loading bank remains.

Blackridge

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This new station has been opened east of Westcraigs and close by the former Woodend Junction.

Woodend Junction

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There were a number of now closed freight branches to coal mines from the here. The last to close ran to Woodend Colliery where some kind of activity continues today. The junction to Woodend Colliery faced west and the line ran northeast from this point. There was also a coalmine to the south of the main line here which was also rail-served. The signalbox here was called "Woodend Junction".

Armadale (Old)

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This station is closed. The station was not well sited for the town. The platforms were removed. There was a signalbox here called "Armadale Station".

Armadale (New)

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This is a new station with a large carpark to the east of the original Armadale station.

Armadale Junction

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To the east of Armadale station (both the original and new one) were a number of lines running to coal mines and into Armadale itself. These were controlled from a signalbox called "Armadale Junction". The line from Armadale Toll to Polkemmet Junction (Bathgate) and on to Blackston junction was originally a Slamannan Railway branch.

Polkemmet Junction

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This was a four way junction. There was the junction between the Coatbridge line and the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway branch to Bathgate (which was partly built to serve the Bathgate Chemical Works (just to the south) as Bathgate was a very small town when the line was built). Both lines were closed.

The junction faced north towards Bathgate. To the north of the junction the lines to Bathgate Lower and Blackston divided from the lines to Bathgate Upper and Edinburgh at a south facing junction.

Bathgate West Junction

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There was an east facing junction between the lines from Polkemmet Junction (and Airdrie and Morningside) and Bathgate Lower (and Blackston). The line ran east to Bathgate Upper station and Edinburgh. There was a signalbox here called "Bathgate East" and later "Bathgate West".

Bathgate Upper 

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The station here is closed. The station had two platforms and a by-pass which ran to the south of the station.

To the east of the station was a junction with the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway  which ran on to near Ratho on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. The junction was controlled by a signalbox called "Bathgate Upper", then "Bathgate East" and finally "Bathgate Central". When the Coatbridge line opened the existing Bathgate station was replaced by Bathgate Upper. The old station was located nearby the recently (2011) closed Bathgate terminus station. A semaphore signal could be found lying in the bushes by the station in the 1980s.

 

Shotts Branch

Benhar Level Crossing Signalbox

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This signalbox was to the south of Westcraigs Junction on the branch to Shotts.

Benhar Pits Junction

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This signalbox was to the south of Westcraigs Junction on the branch to Shotts. A line ran east from this north facing junction to pits to the west of Benhar. There was a signalbox here called "Benhar Pits Junction".

Hartwoodhill Junction

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This signalbox was to the south of Westcraigs Junction on the branch to Shotts. A line ran west from this north facing junction here to a number of pits above Hartwood. There was a signalbox here called "Hartwoodhill Junction".


Page created on 14/11/1997
Page last edited on: 07/08/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford