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Duchal Moor Railway

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Duchal Moor Railway

This narrow gauge railway is out of use.

Closed Out of use, mostly intact but Decrepit.

Clickable map of the Aberdare Railway
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area

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This railway runs uphill from by the High Reservoir for Kilmacolm into the wilds of Duchal Moor.

Chronology

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This railway was built by Sir James Lithgow, the Shipbuilder, to keep men employed after a drop in ship orders following war. The line was used to take grouse shooting parties into the hills. It may have closed in the late 1970s and is now decrepit. Lithgow still owns the shooting rights on the hills for the next few years.

The railway is narrow gauge. There was a station (parts of the platform still exist) and locomotive shed (still standing) by the reservoir. The route to the north of Hardridge Hill is lifted, the rest of the route appears to be intact. Much of the track is obscured by moor and can only be detected as a depression in the peat. The eastern triangular junction is largely complete and crossed by a recent dirt road. The points remain at all three corners, complete with weighted point level. The line to the south crosses a small viaduct (built from two 'I' beams and a sleepers), possibly the largest such structure on the railway. The western triangular junction is more overgrown than the eastern one. The western points here are overgrown completely, but the western and southern points can be found. The southern points still work. There is a siding at Lairds Seat.

The nearest standard gauge railway was the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway in Kilmacolm.

Photographs of the line
(Taken 03/11/2001)

Looking east towards Quarrier's homes. The long low rust coloured building on the right is the former locomotive shed. Looking east towards Quarrier's homes. The long low rust coloured building on the right is the former locomotive shed.
Looking east towards Quarrier's homes over the Kilmacolm high reservoir. The track is buried in the peat directly in front of the photographer. Looking east towards Quarrier's homes over the Kilmacolm high reservoir. The track is buried in the peat directly in front of the photographer.
The track buried in the peat at the location shown above. The track buried in the peat at the location shown above.
Looking west at the location shown above. Looking west at the location shown above.
Looking east at Knock More. Looking east at Knock More.
Looking east at Knock More. Looking east at Knock More.
Looking east from the west points at the eastern triangular junction. Looking east from the west points at the eastern triangular junction.
Looking west towards Lairds Seat at the west points of the eastern triangular junction. Looking west towards Lairds Seat at the west points of the eastern triangular junction.
Looking east at Lairds Seat. Looking east at Lairds Seat.
Looking north-west at Lairds Seat. This is a small viaduct built with sleepers, followed by a tight curve to the right. Looking north-west at Lairds Seat. This is a small viaduct built with sleepers, followed by a tight curve to the right.
The south points of the western triangular junction. The south points of the western triangular junction.
A viaduct to the south of the eastern triangular junction on the line to Coplie Hill. A viaduct to the south of the eastern triangular junction on the line to Coplie Hill.
A set of wheels lie nearby the former locomotive shed and 'station'. A set of wheels lie nearby the former locomotive shed and 'station'.

Page created on 05/11/2001
Page last edited on: 11/09/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford