A History of Britain’s Railways

Kincardine Line

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Kincardine Line
(North British Railway)

This line is open between Dunfermline and the former Kincardine Power Station (although the Power Station was demolished there is an infrequently used lorry to train coal loading facility).

The line is used chiefly to deliver coal to Longannet Power station which is situated between Kincardine and Culross. Disused and un-usable track remains between Alloa and Kincardine.

Longannet Power Station is provided with coal by train and, until 2002, also from the neighbouring Longannet Colliery, which is a deep pit rather than an opencast site. The Power Station's demand for coal is high and many trains run to the site. There are growing traffic problems for these trains which run along the Edinburgh and Glasgow line and the Forth Rail Bridge. The line between Stirling and Kincardine may be re-opened to relieve the pressure on the other lines.

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act To be entered
Contractors To be entered
Opened 1 April 1850
Closed No, save a short section.
Clickable map of the Kincardine Line

Local area 


This line runs along the north bank of the River Forth. The area is not very highly populated. At Kincardine there was a coal-fired power station, at Longannet there still is a major coal-fired power station (coal is brought by rail and road) and at Longannet and Valleyfield there were coal mines. The Longannet mine opened in connection with the power station but closed in 2002 after an in-rush of water.



Description of route 


From west of Dunfermline to east of Alloa.

Elbowbend Junction

This is an east facing junction with the Charlestown Railway.



Little remains of the former station here. To the east of the town the line has an incline which slows the Longannet coal trains.



Very little remains of this station. There was a coalmine here which was linked to Kinneil's mine by a tunnel under the Forth. Before this the site was rail served. Today large offshore ponds are filled with ash from Longannet Power station.



A two platform station was built here, but nothing remains of the loop or the station. The line runs along a seawall beside the Forth.

Longannet Power Station


Longannet Power Station is served by the railway. There is a loop off the line which is served by triangular junctions at either end. The 'main line' runs by the seashore and the sidings are inland. The western arrival and departure curves are not much used these days as the line to the west is closed west of Kincardine and seldom used as far as Kincardine.



This was a two platform station. The concrete platforms remain but the line is now single and has been re-aligned through the station. To the east of the station the line is crossed by the Kincardine Bridge which former had a swing span. To the west of the station is a level crossing.

Kincardine Power Station


The power station has been demolished and the site is being cleared.

The power station was served by extensive sidings which were approached by an east facing junction with the 'main line'. Most of these sidings have been lifted and re-used by the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway to re-open the Slamannan Railway line between Manuel and Bo'ness. The yard had locomotive sheds at its north end. The power station was further served by sidings which joined at a west facing junction and ran into the works rather than into the large coal yard.

There was a signalbox at Kincardine which was demolished in the 1980s. There remains a loop here which is very occaisionally used by coal trains which are loaded here for Longannet. This was introduced to reduce the number of trucks driven through Kincardine.



Little remains of the station that was here save a railway cottage. There is a paperworks here which was served by the railway. This works may have closed recently.

Clackmannan (South?)


Very little remains of this station.

Kincardine Junction


This is a west facing junction where the line met the Stirling and Dunfermline Railway. There was a signalbox here in the 'V' of the junction and the first section of the Kincardine line was double track. Just before the junction the line crosses a main road on a large girder viaduct.

Page created on 19/01/1998
Page last edited on: 17/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford