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Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

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Maxwelltown
Cargenbridge
Lochanhead
Killywhan
Kirkgunzeon
Southwick
Dalbeatie
Buittle
Castle Douglas

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Portpatrick Railway
Kirkcudbright Railway
Glasgow and South Western Railway
Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway
The Port Road

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ScotRail


Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway 

This railway is closed. The line was built between Dumfries (Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway) and Castle Douglas. Castle Douglas became a junction for Stranraer (via the Portpatrick Railway) and Kirkcudbright (via the Kirkcudbright Railway). A short section of the line remained until recently between Dumfries and Cargenbridge. This section was out of use for years before lifting. ScotRail provide passenger services from Dumfries to Glasgow and Carlisle.

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act 1856
Contractors To be entered
Opened 7 November 1859
Closed 14 June 1965
Clickable map of the Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway

Local area 

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Dumfries county had a military road, along a similar route to the later railway, built in 1763 by Major Rickson. 

Chronology 

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Description of route 

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The line branched from the north end of the existing Dumfries station and ran to Castle Douglas. A Single track remains in situ between Dumfries and Cargenbridge only today. The line was double-track, although opened as single track and doubled as traffic levels increased.

Dumfries  

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An entry for Dumfries station is on the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway page. 

Maxwelltown 

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The photograph to the right shows the closed station at Maxwelltown, looking west. A number of out of use oil sidings remain at Maxwelltown and are not visible but to the right of this photograph.

Cargenbridge  

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When the line from Stranraer to Dumfries via Castle Douglas was closed, the section between Dumfries and Cargenbridge was retained for ICI Cargenbridge. This service has now been withdrawn and the sidings lifted. The track remains intact between Cargenbridge and Dumfries. There is a possibility of preservation of this section.

Lochanhead 

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The photograph shows the remaining cutting at Lochanhead. I have not been able to locate any trace of the platforms. A buildings remain to the south of the site by the main road. The photogaph is taken from the Lochfoot road bridge and looks west.

Killywhan 

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This station has been converted into a house. A platform remains intact. The photograph is taken from the old level crossing looking west. 

Kirkgunzeon 

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This station is now a caravan site. The platforms have been infilled but a small section, in front of the station building, remains intact. The photograph looks west. 

Southwick 

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This station is accessable by a rutted dirt road. The station site is heavily overgrown and wet, as are the remains of various munitions factories (dating from the war) which were to the north of the railway to the west of the station. The factory had its own rail network. The photograph looks east along the overgrown platforms from the level crossing.  

Dalbeattie 

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The site of the station is now an area of rough ground. Some of the platform remains can be found and the area of the former goods yard can still be discerned. It is unlikely that this large open space will not be redeveloped at some stage.

Buittle

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The station was closed early in the line's history when the track here was doubled. There was a siding here.

Castle Douglas  

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Castle Douglas was originally a terminus but became a junction between the routes to Stranraer and Kirkcudbright.

The station had two through main platforms and an extensive goods yard at the east end. There were lines round the eastbound platform making that one an island but these were lifted long before closure. These are likely to have been a frieght bypass and platform for Kirkcudbright trains. The overbridge to the west was once far larger as the junction was hard by the station - the Stranraer and Kirkcudbright routes were separated and crossed by the bridge. The Kirkcudbright branch trains could nearly have cleared the westbound track as the westbound platform extended down the branch - somewhat akin to the layout at Stanley Junction (north of Perth) for the Inverness bound trains. At some date the junction was moved west of the road overbridge.

The station site has been demolished and landscaped, part of the site being occupied by a car show-room. Some of the road overbridge to the west of the site remains. Some of the goods yard remains - there is a loading bank, cattle-shed and goods shed remain intact as part of an industrial estate. 

Ordnance Survey Grid References 

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1. NX.977.765 DUMFRIES STATION (0 Miles)
2. NX.976.770 Dumfries Junction [Maxwelltown Goods Junction]
3. NX.955.764 MAXWELLTOWN ( 1 3/4 Miles)
4. NX.946.750 End of existing track
5. NX.945.746 Cargenbridge reversing spur [Lifted]
6. NX.953.746 End of Cargenbridge sidings [Lifted]
7. NX.915.716 LOCHANHEAD (6 Miles)
8. NX.887.684 KILLYWHAN (8 1/4 Miles)
9. NX.873.664 KIRKGUNZEON (10 1/2 Miles)
10. NX.856.634 SOUTHWICK (12 1/2 Miles)
11. NX.854.634 Southwick Munitions Factory [Closed]
12. NX.833.616 DALBEATTIE (14 3/4 Miles)
13. NX.812.641 BUITTLE
14. NX.767.627 CASTLE DOUGLAS (19 3/4 Miles)

Bibliography 

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A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain : Volume 6; The Lowlands and the Borders, John Thomas ISBN 0 946537 12 7 

Scottish Railway Walks, M H Ellison ISBN 1 85284 007 2 


Page created on 01/09/1997
Page last edited on: 07/08/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford