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Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway

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Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway 

This line is closed, save for sections between Neilston and Cathcart (used by electric passenger trains),  Cathcart and Newton (used by electric passenger trains and diverted trains), a siding north of Lugton (occasionally used by fertiliser freight trains), Lugton to RNAD Beith (used to deliver Government supplies to and from the site; the line has not been used for some time) and sidings at Stevenston (for the Stevenston and Ardeer works; these sidings are now out of use).

Much of the closed length of the line remains walkable. A pipeline has been laid buried in the trackbed at Uplawmoor. Many of the works associated with the line were built in concrete and remain intact.

The line was a protege of the Caledonian Railway.

Survey To be entered
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Closed Partly

Irvine and Kilmarnock Line Clickable map of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway

Local area 


This run runs from the east of southern Glasgow (at Newton where there was a steelworks) to the west of southern Glasgow (Cathcart to Whitecraigs) and on through the countryside to Ardrossan and Irvine. There were mines, ironworks and harbours around Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and Irvine.



Description of route 


From Newton to Ardrossan with a branch from Kilwinning to Irvine. The line was double track.

Newton Kirkhill Junction

This is an east facing junction with the Clydesdale Junction Railway just west of Newton station.

Kirkhill Junction  

(Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway




King's Park

Cathcart East Junction  

(Cathcart District Railway

Cathcart West Junction  

(Cathcart District Railway


Muirend Junction  

North east to south east curve to join the (East Kilbride Line) at Clarkston East Junction. The junction was probably not laid in and track used as carriage and redundant stock sidings.

Clarkston West Junction  

South west to south east curve to join the (East Kilbride Line) at Clarkston East Junction. Williamwood station is built on the site of this former junction. This curve was used between 1903 and 1904 when the Whitecraigs to Newton section opened. The curve was retained for a few years, closing to through traffic in 1907.


This station was opened in 1929 on the site of the Clarkston West Junction closed in 1907.



Waulkmill Glen Reservoir Viaduct 


This station was never opened, however the track here still is laid out for an island platform. The station would have been an interchange with the Barrhead and Paisley line.

Lyoncross Junction  

An east facing junction with the Paisley and Barrhead District Railway.


(Compare right view with Uplawmoor view).


Uplawmoor was the terminus for services to Glasgow following closure of the route south west to Ardrossan. Trains had to run on to Lugton East Junction to run round. Upon electrification the passenger service was cut back to Neilston High with Lugton to Uplawmoor to Neilston High closing two years later.

Lugton East Junction 

From here a short spur ran to the Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway at Lugton. There was a large fan of sidings here. A very short portion of the spur remains here as a siding.

Lugton High 

To the west of the station the LMS may have laid in a short lived link to the GBK line.

Giffen Junction 

Here the line met the alignment of the earlier opened portion from Barrmill Junction, on the Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway's Beith branch, to Ardrossan.

Barrmill Junction 

Here the 1888 portion of the line from Ardrossan met the GBK's Beith Branch. The GBK was a joint line between the CR and the GSW. The CR looking for a higher portion of the revenue built their parallel route through to Cathcart with an eye to the Lanarkshire coal, iron and steel traffic leading to the connections at Clarkston and Newton.


This was a three platform station beside the large Royal Naval Ordnance Depot.

Kilbirnie Junction  

This was the start of the branch to Kilbirnie (South) from the Ardrossan Route. This was built to tap the Glengarnock Steelworks traffic as well as link to the substantial Barkip Railway Branch.

Giffen RNAD 

This depot was served until the 1980s by the line, trains running from Lugton (on the GBK) to Barrmill Junction before taking the reinstated line to Giffen Junction and then via Kilbirnie into the shorted branch within the depot where there were a number of sidings. There was an exchange yard at Kilbirnie Junction just south west of Giffen station with several looplines laid by the former branch line.

Barkip Junction 

This was the eastern end of the substantial Barkip Railway branch, a mineral railway. This railway went through several re-alignments and was assocaited with the nearby iron and steelworks.


Glengarnock Junction  

Here there was a connection to the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway to the east of its Glengarnock station.

Glengarnock (High) 

Little remains of this station. From the north end of the station a spur swung south and then east to serve the Glengarnock Iron and Steelworks, passing under the L and A's mainline. This branch was later connected to the nearby GSW's line and was used for access to the steelworks until their closure in the 1980s.

Kilbirnie (South) 

This was the terminus of the branch from Giffen. Before reaching the terminus the line passed under the Lochwinnoch Loop of the GSW.


On the approach to Kilbirnie the line passed over the GPK&AR's Dalry to Crosshouse alignment.

Kilwinning East  

This was a substantial station with three through lines. Immediately to the south of the station the Ardrossan and Irvine routes separated. The junction ceased when the Irvine line closed in 1939 and after the Ardrossan line was closed in 1947 this became a terminus served by freight. Note - after closure of the portion to Stevenston it is possible the line remained in place used by some boat trains.

Stevenston Moorpark 

To the east of this station the line ran ahead into the Ardeer Ironworks, with other sidings serving the Nobel explosives factory - especially via a connection to the GSW's Ardeer Branch which also carried a passenger service provided by both the GSW and CR. Going west the line swung over the GSW and on the approach to Stevenston (Moorpark) was met by an LMS connection from the GSW mainline at Ardeer put in in 1947. This allowed boat trains to leave Montgomerie Pier and take the GSW line after closure of the Ardeer to Kilwinning East portion of the L and A.

Saltcoats North 

This station was to the north of the GSW equivalent. The trackbed here is now a footpath.

Ardrossan North  

On the approach to the harbour the line swung under the GSW Largs branch and then turned south with a large goods yard before continuing on a short distance to Ardrossan North station.

This was a large station with glass canopies. There were sufficiently many canopies that there were later taken for the re-building of the large Buchanan Street terminus in Glasgow.

To the west side of the station were Bitumen works which were rail served.

From the station the line split with a portion running on to the pier and a branch to the Ardrossan Railway at Ardrossan Town.

Ardrossan Montgomerie Pier  

This was the terminus of the line from which the CSP operated ships.

Bogside Moor Halt

This station was to the east of the GSW equivalent. A number of freight branches ran from here to several mines. Nearby also was the Eglinton Ironworks was no doubt an important reason for building the Irvine line.

Irvine (Bank Street)

This was the terminus of the line. The CR was encouraged to extend the line south to Ayr, but this did not take place.
Page created on 19/01/1998
Page last edited on: 17/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford