A History of Britain’s Railways

Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway

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Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway

This line is closed. Until recently a small portion remained open at the Methil docks running through to the site of Methil station. The complex of lines at Methil docks were very substancial consisting of three large docks, a harbour, marshalling yards and coal loading facilities. There was a connection from Buckhaven to a branch of the Leven Railway.

The original line ran from Thornton to Buckhaven. It was extended first to Methil and later to meet the Leven Dock Railway by Leven. These lines and docks were built at the instigation of the Wemyss family who owned a large number of local coal mines as well as the lands of Wemyss, Buckhaven, Methil and Leven. The line was sold the the North British Railway. Unhappy with the service provided the Wemyss family produced their own Wemyss Coal Company railway which ran from their pits to a washery by Methil.

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Clickable map of the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway.
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area 


This line ran along the north bank of the Firth of Forth in Fife. The line served a number of coalmines, washeries and extensive docks at Methil.



Description of route


From Thornton to Methil with a branch running north to meet a branch of the Leven Railway running south from Cameron Bridge. At Thornton there was a connection which passed under the East Coast Main Line which connected to the Dunfermline Branch running westwards to Thornton Yard, Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline.



26040 preserved in Methil.
26040 preserved in Methil.

In Methil there was the passenger terminus of the line, a single platform terminus. The line continued to connect to the former Leven Dock Railway and served the extensive sidings of the Methil Docks which were extensively used for the export of coal.

Although the station is closed the former station building remains standing. The building and former Methil West Yard are the private premises of a road haulage company. A portion of the yard is in use for preservation of buses, cranes, locomotive 26040 and other railway equipment. Please see Jeffray Wotherspoon's website for complete details.

Page created on 19/01/1998
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford