A History of Britain’s Railways

New Cumnock Waggonway

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Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway

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New Cumnock Waggonway
Bank Branch

This line is partly open. A section between Creoch Junction and Greenburn is due for re-instatement.

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Opened -
Closed Largely

Clickable map of the New Cumnock Waggonway
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area


This line runs from west of the town of New Cumnock to Knockshinnoch in an area which has seen extensive mining. The line extended west from farmland into high moor. The road from New Cumnock to Dalmellington formerly was bordered by a series of mining towns as far west as Burnfoot. These have mostly disappeared.

To the south of Bank was the New Cumnock Ironworks which was established at the beginning of the industrial revolution. The area, and much of the land to the west of New Cumnock, has been opencast mined for coal. The land remaining intact is farmland.



Description of route


The waggonway was built from the New Cumnock Ironworks, to the south of Bank, westwards to a number of coal and ironstone mines.

A branch was built from the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway which replaced the waggonway. The branch was to the extended west as far as the Beoch mines above Dalmellington. This line had two inclines planes on its route. Two shorter branches were to run from Creoch Junction westwards to Greenburn. By the 1950s the line between Burnfoot and Beoch had been long closed (probably when the ironstone was worked out). A cable hauled line had been opened from Pennyvenie Colliery to Beoch.

Today the line remains open between Bank Junction and Knockshinnoch Washery (formerly Knoockshinnoch Castle Colliery). A line is being re-opened between Creoch Junction and Greenburn to serve and opencast mine.

It is interesting to note that were all lines still open to their maximum extent it would be possible to travel by freight railways from New Cumnock to Waterside via Beoch (there would be a short walk here) rather than the better known route via Rankinston.

Page created on 16/04/2003
Page last edited on: 01/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford
Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway Cable hauled line to Pennyvenie.