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Slamannan and Borrowstounness Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Causewayend Incline Foot
Causewayend 
Manuel Low Level 
Bo'ness Low Junction
Birkhill Clay Mine
Kinneil
Bo'ness (Old)
Bo'ness

This site
Slamannan Railway
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Union Canal

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Slamannan and Borrowstounness Railway

This railway was closed but has largely been re-opened as the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society.

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Mostly reinstated

Clickable map of the Slamannan and Borrowstounness Railway.
Bo'ness
The new Bo'ness station

Local area

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This line runs through land which was formerly mined, but is currently farmed, to the port of Bo'ness. This was once a thriving port but has been eclipsed by the port of Grangemouth slightly further west.

Chronology

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Description of route

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This railway ran from Causewayend, the terminus of the Slamannan Railway, located by the Union Canal to Bo'ness on the Forth Estuary. 

Causewayend Incline Foot

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From a south facing junction with the Slamannan Railway controlled by a signalbox called "Causewayend Incline Foot" the line ran north to cross the Union Canal. There may have been a station called "Causewayend" located adjacent to the original terminus of the same name.

Manuel Low Level

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There were high and low level stations at Manuel. G.E. Langmuir said this was a very damp station in a cutting and he preferred to wait at the high level station on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. The station was controlled by a signalbox called "Manuel". The station had a single through platform and a bay platform for services which ran from here to Bo'ness. Much of the platform remains to the north of the embankment of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway although the station platform and bridge by which the Slamannan Railway passed under the main line have been removed and landscaped by the embankment.

Just to the north of the station a spur from a west facing junction with the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway joined the line at a north facing junction. There were also sidings here for a brickworks, in fact a brickworks remains open to the west of the area. This spur has been re-opened, although today it has a different arrangement; it is the link between the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway and the main line, trains from Bo'ness ran to a reversing spur and loop by the main line, and then change direction to join the main line at an east facing junction.

Bo'ness Low Junction

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The original junction here faced Bo'ness and the other end of the spur joining the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway faced Glasgow. 

The junction between the Slamannan Railway's extension to Bo'ness and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway has been reinstalled. At present trains from Bo'ness cannot run directly onto the main line but gain access by mains of a reversing spur (see above).
 
Birkhill Clay Mine

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This Clay Mine has been preserved, although out of use as a commercial mine, as a visitor attraction. There was a signalbox here called "Birkhill" which controlled the original siding here, which closed before closure of the line.

Since the line was re-opened as a preserved railway a station, called "Birkhill" has been opened here. It has a single platform and run-around loop. The station building here was originally at Wormit, before being used at the Glasgow Garden Festival as part of a railway exhibit and then being installed here.
 
Kinneil

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This was the site of a very large coalmine. The mine here was called "Furnaceyard" before being extended considerably by the NCB. The mine was connected by underground tunnels to mines in Fife by a tunnel under the River Forth before the Forth Bridge was opened - a source of pride for the miners. Coal dug in Fife and Kinneil was wound up here afterwards. The line from Manuel was retained to serve this mine after closure to Bo'ness. A bridge over the former route of the line remains here, although the current route of the preserved line is further north. There was a signalbox here called "Kinneil".

There is a station here today on the re-opened line. It has a single platform and passing loop. The site of the mine has been cleared and landscaped.
 
Bo'ness

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The original station here was in the west of the town and continued eastwards to very many sidings for a large wet dock (the sidings ran from an east facing junction with the line) and further to the east to a coalmine. The original station, which featured a very long single platform and signalbox called "Bo'ness", has been landscaped (part of the site is now a carpark). Latterly passenger trains ran from here to either Manuel Low Level or via a spur to Polmont on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.

A new station has been built in Bo'ness, by the wet dock, as the terminus of the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway. The line has been extended from here to Manuel, re-laying track where British Rail previously removed it from between Bo'ness and Manuel. The station has a museum and large car-parks for visitors. The present signalbox here was brought from Gartqueen South Junction.

Bo'ness was served by both the North British Railway and Caledonian Railway as the Caledonian was able to apply for running powers.


Page created on 14/11/1997
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Union Canal Slamannan Railway