A History of Britain’s Railways

Hamilton Branch

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Hamilton Branch
(Caledonian Railway)

This line is open to Passenger traffic and some goods traffic. The line is also known as the "Hamilton Circle".

The original line ran from Newton to Hamilton West. An extension was built to Ferniegair and Motherwell and Hamilton renamed Hamilton West.

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Opened 17 September 1849
Closed No
Clickable map of the Hamilton Branch

Local area 


This line runs from Newton, in the south east of Glasgow south east to Hamilton. Hamilton is an old town which greatly expanded when mining activity took off in the area. There was a large steelworks (Hallside) to the south of the railway at Newton the site of which is now partly occupied by housing and an enlarged carpark. The line passes through Blantyre where Dr David Livingstone once lived.



Description of route


From Newton to Hamilton West.

Newton East Junction


This is a west facing junction with the Clydesdale Junction Railway. To the south was the Hallside steelworks.



This is a two platform station.

Blantyre Junction


This was a north facing junction. The spur from here to Auchenraith junction was a later addition, the original junction for the Hamilton and Strathaven Railway being Strathaven Junction, a south facing junction.

Strathaven Junction


This was a south facing junction for the Hamilton and Strathaven Railway line.

Earnock Sidings


These sidings may presently be out of use. The depot is a wagon maintenance depot.

Hamilton Shed


To the north of Hamilton West station, and on the west side of the line, was a large engine shed. This shed provided freight engines for the many coal mines and works in the area and was also responsible for providing bankers for the steeply graded lines out to Strathaven and Larkhall and beyond.

Hamilton West


This was the first station in Hamilton, originally a terminus called Hamilton.

Hamilton Central


This is on a later continuation of the line from Hamilton (renamed Hamilton West) to Ferniegair and Motherwell via Hamilton Central. The line had three tracks between the two platforms and an all-over glass roof. The central track has been lifted and the roof removed.

Haughhead Junction


Here the lines to Motherwell and Coalburn split. The line to Motherwell continued east to join the Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway) at Ross Junction, a north facing junction. The line to Larkhall and Coalburn turned south, passing under/over the Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway) before joining it at Ferniegair Junction, a south facing junction.

Page created on 19/01/1998
Page last edited on: 11/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford