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Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

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Morningside
Castlehill Junction
Carluke
Kingshill Collieries
Blackhall
Headlesscross
Fauldhouse
Longridge
Bents
Foulshiels
Whitburn
Addiewell
Polkemmet Junction
Bathgate Upper

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Caledonian Railway
Coltness Iron Company
Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway
Monkland Railways
New Monkland Line
North British Railway
Slamannan Railway
Wishaw and Coltness Railway

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Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway

This line is completely closed. The line ran from Morningside to Bathgate with branches to Carluke, Addiewell and Shotts.

 

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
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Contractors To be entered
Opened 5 June 1845
Closed

Yes

Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway Caledonian Railway Wishaw and Cotness Railway Bathgate Branch (Monkland Railways) Cleland and Midcalder Line (Caledonian Railway) Addiewell Loop (Caledonian Railway) Clickable map of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.

0 Bathgate Chemical Works
1 Riddochhill Mine
2 Foulshields Mine
3 Polkemmet Colliery
6 East Benhar Colliery
9 Levenseat lime quarry
10 Kingshill No 1 Mine
11 Kingsjill No 3 Mine
12 Coltness Ironworks
13 Chapel Colliery
15 Castlehill Ironworks and Mines

Local area

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This line runs through an area of former coal and iron ore mines and low population. At Shotts and Coltness there were ironworks, both now closed. Today in the Blackhall and Headlesscross area there is an opencast coal mine.

Chronology

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Description of route

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From Morningside to Bathgate with branches to Addiewell, Carluke and Westcraigs via Shotts. 

Morningside

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End on junction with the Wishaw and Coltness Railway). There were two stations here on either side of a roadbridge. The one to the west became part of the Caledonian Railway and the one to the east become part of the North British Railway system.

Both stations here have been demolished. The west station has been removed completely (the line to the immediate west and the junction between the Airdrie and Motherwell routes have disappeared due to mining works). The east station site is now very overgrown. The platform mound does not remain intact. The route is walkable east to a mile east of the former Kingshill Collieries.

Castlehill Junction

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This was the junction of the lines from Morningside and Carluke. The junction faced east to Bathgate. 

Carluke

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There was a terminus in Carluke Castlehill. This had a further line which ran on to Carluke (Caledonian Railway). This line required a reverse shunt at the Castlehill terminus. The junction with the Caledonian Railway faced south. There had been an ironworks at Castlehill with its own associated lines to nearby coalmines. There were frequently remodeled to suit.

Kingshill Collieries

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There were three Kingshill Collieries; Kingshill No1 to the north and Kingshill No3 to the south of the railway. The collieries were rail-served by a branch which ran from the line (a junction facing west) and ran to the northerly colliery. The southerly colliery was reached by a cable-operated line which ran south on a bridge over the main railway. Kingshill No2 was served by the Wilsontown Branch of the Caledonian Railway. The mines were developed by the Coltness Iron Company of Newmains.

Blackhall

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This station was located at the west facing junction between the main line and the branch to Shotts and the Shotts Ironworks.

The site of the station has been opencast.

Headlesscross

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This station was located at a moorland site and served a nearby mine to the west.

The site of the station can be found, although the railway embankment remains little can be found of the station itself.

Crofthead and Fauldhouse

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This was a single-platform station (platform on north side of track). Parts of the platform remain. To the west lines ran from an east factin junction north into to serve the Behar Colliery and Polkemmet Colliery. To the east lines ran from a west facing junction south to serve the Levenseat limestone quarries operated by the Coltness Iron Company. All round the station were coal and iron ore mines.

Longridge

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This was the original eastern terminus of the line. From here stagecoaches ran east to Edinburgh. After extension of the line to Bathgate the station was closed but retained, at it's western end, as a goods station.

The formation of the line is still traceable here, although heavily overgrown.

Bents

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This station was located by a level crossing.

A station house still stands.

Foulshiels

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The short lived station was located immediately to the north of the north facing junction for Addiewell, separated from the junction by a road crossing.

Nothing remains of the station today. According to some maps the line crossed over the roadway here, according to others this was a level crossing. It looks as though it would have been a level crossing.

Whitburn

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The site of this station is landscaped although a roadbridge over the former line still stands.

Addiewell

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This goods terminus was on a branch from a north facing junction just to the south of Whitburn. The line was built to serve the large Addiewell Oilworks.

The site of the yard here has been landscaped. This is also true of the former Oilworks the site of which is covered in a car scrapyard or clearance yard.

Polkemmet Junction

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At this north east facing junction the line was joined by the the Crofthead Branch of the Slamannan Railway which ran west from here to mines. This branch was extended west to Airdrie to form the Monkland Railways' New Monkland Line. To the north was a second junction where the Slamannan Railway ran north to Blackstone.

Bathgate Upper

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This station replaced the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway's station immediately to its northeast. To the west of the station a spur ran from an east facing junction northwest to meet the Slamannan Railway's Blackstone to Bathgate to Crofthead Branch. To the east of the station the line joined the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway at an east facing junction which left the original Bathgate terminus of that line on a short branch. This has re-opened today as the present Bathgate station.

In the late 1980s a platform of the station still existed but the track had been lifted.

Also a branch via Shotts to Westcraigs on the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway.

Shotts East

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The site of the line and station have been landscaped. The line to Shotts East was an early freight opening to serve the Shotts Ironworks. This ironworks is now closed and landscaped but some hefty retaining walls remain on the site.

Acknowledgments

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I'd like to thank Gordon Hewit for help with the chronology.


Page created on 20/01/1998
Page last edited on: 02/04/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford