Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway

Introduction

This line is partly open. The line was originally a waggonway known as the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway built in 1831. It was later re-gauged as a railway and re-aligned when it became the Ardrossan Railway Company in 1839. The line was planned to connect the Ardrossan Canal (Glasgow Eglinton Basin to Johnstone only built) to the port at Ardrossan with a railway from Johnstone to Ardrossan.



The section of line from Ardrossan to Kilwinning and pits at Doura was opened. The line was not extended to Johnstone. There was a passenger service between Ardrossan and Kilwinning.

Why built

This line was built to connect Glasgow to the extensive new harbour at Ardrossan. It ran alongside the Ardrossan Waggonway and an earlier short canal at Stevenston.

Architecture

No original buildings survive.

Service

The line carries passenger and trains from Ardrossan and Largs to Glasgow. Coal trains run from Hunterston to various power stations.






Route described

The line runs east from Ardrossan Harbour to Kilwinning and from Dubbs to Eglinton Ironworks, Doura and on to Fergushill. Note - Doura originally referred to large area bordering Kilwinning, but today refers to the are to south.



North of Kilwinning the line was to run west of Dalgarren, crossing the River Garnock at Blair (south of Dalry). However the present route crosses the River Garnock just north of Kilwinning. This implies very little of the route north from Kilwinning was built. From this we might also assume that the line was not curtailed due to the cost of crossing the River Garnock by Kilwinning.


Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Ardrossan to Kilwinning

This ran from the west breakwater of Ardrossan Harbour to Kilwinning, roughly the site of the present station. The line carried passengers between these points. It remains open, with a few minor alterations and the removal of industrial sidings.

The western breakwater of Ardrossan Harbour was served by the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway from an early date. This predates the opening of Ardrossan Winton Pier and Ardrossan Town was a terminus for passenger trains.
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This is a single platform station, re-opened in 1987. In the past, this was the Glasgow and South Western Railway's main station serving Ardrossan.
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The reverse (non station) side of the former goods shed at Ardrossan Town, now given over to other uses. In the background on Castlehill is the ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
380111 crosses Princes Street on its way to Ardrossan Harbour. The crossing is protected with half barriers. On the left is a new building built on ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
380111 leaving Ardrossan Town, passing the platform extension at the north end. The South Beach (the actual beach, not the station) is seen in the ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
Level crossing sign on removed line at Ardrossan from the days of steam. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 17/10/2008
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The original shed at Ardrossan was to the west side of Ardrossan Town, approached from the Kilwinning direction. This was replaced with the newer shed within the triangle of lines at Castlehill. ...

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At Castlehill Junction, immediately east of Ardrossan Town, the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway was met by the west fork of the Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway). The box was located to the north of the junction and opened with the Largs branch in 1878.
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Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Castlehill Junction with the route left to Largs now somewhat overgrown. Also ahead was the second G&SW Ardrossan shed, somewhere in those trees. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
40644 passing Castlehill Junction, Ardrossan, on 6 July 1959 with a train for Kilmarnock. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/07/1959
A J36 0-6-0, heads north past Castlehill Junction Ardrossan in November 1962. The locomotive is thought to be no 65273, allocated to 67D from March ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /11/1962
3 of 3 images.


This junction is immediately west of Ardrossan South Beach station. The lines from Glasgow to Ardrossan Harbour and Largs divide here.
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Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
A Kilmarnock - Winton Pier train takes the left fork at Holm Junction after leaving Ardrossan South Beach station on 4 July 1959. The locomotive is ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/07/1959
An Ardrossan Harbour to Glasgow service comes of its short branch (or sub-branch) at Holm Junction on 22 May 2019. The rusty rails nearest to it are a ...
David Panton 22/05/2019
380108 takes the Ardrossan Harbour line at Holm Junction. Ahead is the turnback siding and to the right the Largs branch. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
Fairburn 2-6-4T 42191 runs through Holm Junction on 24 May 1960 with a Largs - St Enoch train. At that time the locomotive was allocated to Ardrossan ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
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This is a one platform station, although there are two lines.
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380108 leaves Ardrossan South Beach. The lesser used line to the left is dedicated to freight from Hunterston. Perhaps one day to become passenger ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
The 1218 Glasgow Central - Ardrossan Harbour formed by Scotrail EMU 380108 calls at Ardrossan South Beach on 13 August 2014. ...
Ken Browne 13/08/2014
A Ardrossan Harbour bound 380108 approaches Ardrossan South Beach viewed through electrical clutter. The tower of St Cuthbert's Church looks on. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
A Glasgow service calls at South Beach on 17 October 2018. The Hunterston line (right) has little to do these days; a little work through here and ...
David Panton 17/10/2018
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This is a two platform station with original station buildings on both the up and down platforms. The main building, a long single storey building in red sandstone on the Glasgow bound platform, dates from 1894. It is fitted with a full length glazed canopy.
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A Glasgow service arrives at the one-time Saltcoats Central station on 17 October 2018. The station retains original buildings on both sides, though ...
David Panton 17/10/2018
EWS 66165 brings an eastbound coal train from Hunterston Import Terminal through platform 1 at Saltcoats station on 17 May 2007 on its way to ...
John Furnevel 17/05/2007
The Cafe at The Station in Saltcoats is in the building on the right of the old photograph on its wall. ...
John Yellowlees 08/07/2016
380016 about to leave Saltcoats on 20 June with a Glasgow Central - Largs train. ...
Veronica Clibbery 20/06/2011
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This station was on a cramped site just east of the B780. It was replaced by Saltcoats [2nd] which was further west. ...

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This was the second station in Saltcoats which replaced Saltcoats [1st] and was in turn replaced by Saltcoats which is just to the east of its site. ...

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This junction is marked on the RCH map of 1875. It was the junction for the Ardeer Iron Works, Lucknow Pit and British Dynamite Co Works and Sidings.
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This is a two platform station. The original station buildings have not survived. The building on the up platform, dating from 1900, was of a style still represented by West Kilbride, although slightly different.
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Glasgow bound, a train comes out of the sun at Stevenston. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
View from a train passing Stevenston No.2 signal box on 31 August 1985. [Ref query 5252] ...
Bill Roberton 31/08/1985
The rather featureless station at Stevenston welcomes 334 027 with a service from Glasgow Central bound for Largs on 12 November 2008. ...
David Panton 12/11/2008
40667 pulls away from Stevenston on 4 April 1959 with a Glasgow St Enoch - Largs train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
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This box controlled access to the Ardeer (Misk) Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway) and Ardeer Foundry. The box was on the north side of the line immediately to the east of where it was crossed by the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway.
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This box was east of Stevenston station at the point where the 'new' 1947 spur from the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway met the Ardrossan Railway (allowing closure of the route via Kilwinning East in coming years). The box also controlled the exchange sidings for the Nobel Explosives Works.
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See also
Ardeer (Misk) Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Class 56110 passing Stevenston with a loaded coal train from Hunterston in 1999. Behind the 3rd and 4th wagons (from the left) is the abutment of the ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
Ardrossan shed's 'Crab' 2-6-0 no 42806 with a brake van at Ardeer on 4 April 1959, at the point where the spur was put in to the L&A. See image ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
View south east in 1963, showing a Caley 0-6-0 with a train of gunpowder vans in the Ardeer ICI sidings by Stevenston No 1 signalbox. To the immediate ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 25/05/1963
View north west at Stevenston no 1 signal box in 1985. The trackbed of the LMS connection to the Caledonian line to Montgomerie Pier is on the right ...
Colin Miller //1985
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There were two sets of exchange sidings near Ardeer alongside the mainline. Those more distant to the mainline were fenced and associated with the Nylon plant. Access to the sidings was by reversal via a loop on the down line, terminating at the west end close to Stevenston station.
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See also
Ardeer (Misk) Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)


This is a junction between lines from Kilwinning and Irvine for trains to Ardrossan. The Kilwinning route carries a regular passenger service and the Irvine line, single track, is largely used for freight and stock movements.
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LMS 2P 4-4-0 40644 with a Kilmarnock to Ardrossan train approaching Dubbs Junction on 4 April 1959. [Ref query 8500] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
Ardrossan shed's Fairburn tank 42209 pilots Corkerhill Black 5 44791 through Dubbs Junction on 4 April 1959 with a boat express heading for Fairlie ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
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The first station in Kilwinning was a terminus at the Byres. This is west of Kilwinning on the road west via Byres to Stevenston. The site was probably subsumed into the Ardrossan platforms at today's Kilwinning station.
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Doura Branch

This was a substantial branch, with many small branches of its own, serving a myriad of coal mines. At the west end of the branch was the Dirrans (or Dirrens) passenger station to the south of Kilwinning. East from there it served coal workings on the Eglinton Estate and beyond. It was extended and cut back as required to serve these workings.

This is a junction between lines from Kilwinning and Irvine for trains to Ardrossan. The Kilwinning route carries a regular passenger service and the Irvine line, single track, is largely used for freight and stock movements.
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LMS 2P 4-4-0 40644 with a Kilmarnock to Ardrossan train approaching Dubbs Junction on 4 April 1959. [Ref query 8500] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
Ardrossan shed's Fairburn tank 42209 pilots Corkerhill Black 5 44791 through Dubbs Junction on 4 April 1959 with a boat express heading for Fairlie ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/04/1959
2 of 2 images.


This was the junction between the Doura Branch of the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway and the curve onto the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.
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See also
Ardrossan Railway
Standing on a bridge over Blacklands Junction looking north. In the middle distance is a bridge over the former Kilwinning East - Ardrossan line, with ...
Ewan Crawford 14/09/2017
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This junction was between the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway and the Misk Colliery Branch and was located west of the Eglinton Iron Works and just west of an overbridge of the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.
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This was one of the lines serving the Nobel Explosives site at Ardeer. It was concreted over to provide road (and retain rail) access to the site from ...
Ewan Crawford 07/09/2017
This was one of the lines serving the Nobel Explosives site at Ardeer. It was concreted over to provide road (and retain rail) access to the site from ...
Ewan Crawford 07/09/2017
A real tangle or railways. On the right, just out of frame, is Byrehill Junction. The photograph is taken from Blacklands Junction looking east. The ...
Ewan Crawford 14/09/2017
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This was a short lived passenger station on the Doura Branch of the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway. The station was on the east bank of the River Garnock, which was crossed by a bridge. This station was near a house called Dirrans where the line crossed the Kilwinning-Irvine road. It probably served the Eglinton Colliery and Ladyha Pit which was close by. Also close to the station were a ...

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This bridge crosses the Garnock and carried the substantial Doura branch of the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway. The view looks south. Eglinton Iron ...
Ewan Crawford 14/09/2017
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Looking south west across the capped shaft of Sourlie Pit towards the trackbed of the Doura branch. There was a junction here with a spur going off ...
Douglas Blades 23/04/2018
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Looking south west along the course of one of the many spurs off the Doura branch at the site of Fergushill Colliery, pit number 29. The remains of ...
Douglas Blades 09/04/2018
Looking north east along the course of one of the spurs off the Doura branch at the site of Fergushill Colliery, Pit number 29. The line ran up the ...
Douglas Blades 09/04/2018
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