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Cairnryan Military Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Cairnryan Junction
Cairnryan Junction Yard
London Road
Innermessan
Leffnoll
Cairnryan
Cairn Point
Old House Point

This site
Portpatrick Railway

Other sites


Cairnryan Military Railway

This military railway ran from Cairnryan Junction, Stranraer to a military harbour at Cairn Point. The name of the line could be abbreviated to CMR. Cairnryan was also known as Military Port number 2.

Survey ?
Engineers ?
Act ?
Contractors ?
Opened 1943
Closed 1962

Clickable map of the Cairnryan Military Railway.
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Cairn Point, looking north.
Cairn Point Harbour.

Local area

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The line runs up the east coast of Loch Ryan. The area is farmed and has caravan park dotted along the coastline. After the Second World War the port was used for weapons disposal. After 1959 the military closed the port and it became used as a ship scrapyard, noteably in the 1970s HMS Ark Royal, the aircraft carrier, was scrapped here.

Today the jetties at Cairn Point are derelict and the Cairnryan has become a ferry port for Larne in Ireland.

Chronology

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Description of route

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For 6.25 miles from Cairnryan Junction to Cairnryan. Much of the route of the line has been landscaped. Stations were not properly established and passengers could be set down where-ever necessary.

The Cairnryan Military Port and Cairnryan Military Railway were built between 1941 and 1943 to provide extra dock space during the second world war. This space would be needed if the Glasgow and Liverpool docks were severely bombed. Cairnryan was "Military Port number 2" and Faslane was "Military Port number 1".

Cairnryan Junction

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From the east facing junction at Cairnryan Junction the line swung north. For more information about the junction and marshaling yard see the Portpatrick Railway entry.

Cairnryan Junction Yard
Map
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Looking south over the former Marshalling yard to the Portpatrick Railway.

At Cairnryan Junction Yard the line had marshaling sidings (10 roads). There had been a large water-tank by the sidings for locomotives.


London Road
Opened:1943 Closed:1959
Map
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Looking south towards London Road near Stranraer.

Where the line crossed the A75 there was London Road station. This was used as a station for Stranraer for internal passenger trains on the line.

Innermessan
Map
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Looking north towards Innermessan.

Further north was Innermessan where there were shipyard and workshops sidings which ran off a north facing junction. The site is now a caravan park.

Leffnoll
Map
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At Leffnoll there was a three road engine shed and marshaling yard off a north facing junction. The yard was capable of holding 2000 wagons.

Cairnryan
Map
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At Cairnryan there was a lighterage wharf, now the ferry port for Larne. This was served from sidings from a south facing junction. This was the south end of the deep wharfage harbour.

Cairn point
Opened:1943 Closed:1959
Map
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Looking north at Cairn Point at night.
Cairn Point, looking north.

There was a passenger station at Cairn Point by the main military harbour (two deep water wharfs, north and south of the point).

Old House Point
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Track continued a little further north from Cairn Point to Old House Point where there were further sidings and an engine shed.

Bibliography

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A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain
Volume 6; Scotland; The Lowlands and the Borders.
J Thomas ISBN 0 946537 12 7
Landranger Map 82 Ordnance Survey ISBN 0 319 22082 6
Legends of the Glasgow and South Western Railway in LMS Days DL Smith ISBN 0 7153 7981 X
LMS Engine Sheds
Vol 7; The Glasgow and South Western Railway
C Hawkins, G Reeve and J Stevenson ISBN 1 871608 10 4
National Atlas Showing Canals, Navigable Rivers, Mineral Tramroads, Railways and Street Tramways
Volume 1b; Southern Scotland
GL Crowther ISBN 1 85615 212 X
The Railways of Scotland Vol 12 CineRail

Page created on 11/03/1997
Page last edited on: 07/08/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford
Portpatrick Railway Cairnryan Junction Cairnryan Junction Yard Old House Point London Road Innermessan Leffnoll Cairnryan Cairn Point