Ayr and Dalmellington Railway

Introduction

This line is open for freight between Dalrymple Junction and Chalmerston near Dalmellington. Currently there is no traffic (2018). A section was opened from Holehouse Junction to the Broomhill Opencast site, but was presently seeing little use and has been uplifted. The line also includes the section from Falkland Junction in the north of Ayr through the new Ayr station to Dalrymple Junction, still in use for passengers and freight for Stranraer.



A short portion of this line, the Ayrshire and Galloway Railway was built in isolation for the Dalmellington Iron Works before the rest of the line. This company was intended to build a line along a similar route to the Ayr and Dalmellington Railway but collapsed with only the middle portion built by the Houldsworths, owners of the ironworks.






Dates

  /  /1840Ayr and Dalmellington Railway
Originally promoted as the Ayrshire and Galloway Railway it was to run from Ayr to Dalmellington and on to Castle Douglas to join the British and Irish Grand Junction Railway, which later was opened as the Portpatrick Railway.
04/08/1853Ayr and Dalmellington Railway
Authorised from Ayr to Dalmellington. This incarnation of the line was closely associated with the Houldsworth family's Dalmellington Ironworks at Waterside and associated coal mines.
15/05/1856[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Opened for goods.
07/08/1856[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Opened for passengers also. Station at Ayr Townhead opened (temporary first version), Glasgow trains continue to use the old station.
01/07/1857[Glasgow Paisley Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway]
[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Ayr (Townhead) becomes the main station in Ayr, Ayr (Old) is closed except for goods traffic.
01/08/1858[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
[Glasgow and South Western Railway]
Ayr and Dalmellington Railway absorbed by Glasgow and South Western Railway.
06/04/1964[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Dalmellington to Ayr (Dalrymple Junction) closed to passengers.
06/07/1964[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Dalmellington to Cutler Sidings (excluded) closed to freight.
  /03/1980[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway][Bairds and Dalmellington Limited]
Last train, preserved locomotive and wagons, runs from Cutler Sidings to Minnivey. Cutler Sidings (excluded) to Minnivey (excluded) closed and lifted.
  /12/1986[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Loading of opencast coal at Dunaskin from Benbain ceases. Dalrymple Junction to Cutler Sidings closed. Track not lifted. Dunaskin Washery officially closes in 1988.
  /  /1988[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Line re-opened to freight from Dalrymple Junction to Dunaskin. Cutler Sidings lifted.
18/07/1998[Ayr and Dalmellington Railway]
Holehouse Junction to Broomhill Opencast (reinstated) re-opened.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Ayr to Waterside

This junction is to the north of Newton-on-Ayr station. Today it is where the lines of Falkland Yard fan out on either side of the line, particularly to the west on the approach to Ayr Harbour.
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A summer Saturday relief working to Ayr passing Falkland Junction on 4 July 1959. Locomotive in charge is Jubilee 4-6-0 no 45707 Valiant. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/07/1959
Black 5 45160 photographed just north of Falkland Junction on 6 August 1955 with an Ayr - Edinburgh Princes Street train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/08/1955
Horwich Mogul 42879 runs through Falkland Junction on 4 July 1959 with a Glasgow - Ayr train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/07/1959
D60 Lytham St Annes and D8549 leave Falkland yard with a train for Polmadie Mineral Sidings. ...
Bill Hamilton 03/10/2018

This yard is in the north of Ayr, directly north of Newton-on-Ayr station. The yard is largely associated with the operation of Ayr Harbour for coal export and the various Ayrshire coal loading points. With the demise of Scottish Coal (April 2013) and the reduced demand for coal for power stations the yard is now very under used.
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Brand new diesel locomotive D446 (Vulcan Foundry, November 1968) arriving in Falkland Yard, Ayr, on 2 December 1968 with a goods train from Polmadie ...
Bill Hamilton 02/12/1968
Massed ranks of redundant HAA coal hoppers at Falkland Yard, Ayr, on 19th March 2010. ...
David Spaven 19/03/2010
EWS 66034 stands in Falkland yard with a train of coal hoppers on 4 August 2008.
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Colin Miller 04/08/2008
EWS 66092 shunts coal empties in Falkland Yard on 2 September 2009 ...
David Panton 02/09/2009

This is a two platform in the Newton area of Ayr, to the north of the River Ayr. The station is to the south of Falkland Yard and just north of Newton Junction.
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A northbound 380 draws to a pause at Newton-on-Ayr, its first stop on the way to Glasgow. ...
Ewan Crawford 07/09/2017
Southbound train pausing at Newton-on-Ayr. The almost entirely bricked up building on up platform continues to stand. ...
Ewan Crawford 07/09/2017
View south at Newton-on-Ayr on 2 September as 318 255 arrives with an Ayr - Glasgow Central service. ...
David Panton 02/09/2009
One of the few services operating out of Ayr on 31 August 2018 due to the structural issues with the Station Hotel in Ayr, is seen approaching ...
John McIntyre 31/08/2018

45125 and 60088 Book Law pass under Tam's Brig with signal box in background heading for Ayr shed. ...
Bill Hamilton 03/10/2018

This shed was located with the triangle of lines south of Newton-on-Ayr and north of Ayr.
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Ayr MPD, closed, viewed from the south. ...
Ewan Crawford 07/09/2017
60072 passing Ayr shed with a Glasgow St Enoch to Ayr train in July 1960. Note semaphore on buffer beam. ...
Bill Hamilton /07/1960
Happy New Year, but not for 67C. Once the DMU south extension was removed, the demolishers have moved into the main sandstone-built shed. This view ...
Colin Miller 04/01/2019
A general view of the old 67C Ayr MPD, and the yard, as demolition of the shed continued on 4th January 2019.
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Colin Miller 04/01/2019


42879 with a Kilmarnock-Ayr local train passes Ayr shed at Hawkhill Junction. 1960. ...
Bill Hamilton //1960
73152 with the SO Newcastle to Stranraer train at Hawkhill Junction in the early 1960s. ...
Bill Hamilton //
72007 Clan MacKintosh proceeding from Ayr station to Ayr shed via Newton Junction with Hawkhill Signalbox in background. This view taken in ...
Bill Hamilton //1961
44798 with a Glasgow St Enoch to Ayr train approaches Hawkhill Junction while a Standard 5 with the SO train from Dumfries to Ayr waits on the curve ...
Bill Hamilton //

This is a double track four arch viaduct which crosses the River Ayr, also known as River Ayr Viaduct. ...

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318263 crosses the River Ayr on 3 July 2010 shortly after leaving Ayr station at the start of its journey to Glasgow Central. ...
John McIntyre 03/07/2010
Fairburn tank 42195 crossing the River Ayr on 28 March 1959 with a train from Glasgow. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
156 449 crossing the River Ayr on the approach to Ayr station with the 11.42 to Stranraer in July 2012. For the same scene in the 1970s [see image ...
Bill Roberton 19/07/2012
Southbound coal empties approaching Ayr station in 1977. ...
John Furnevel 14/06/1977

This station was immediately south of the Ayr Viaduct over the River Ayr and north of the Kyle Street bridge. This was a two platform station on the Ayr and Dalmellington Railway.
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This station has four platforms - two through platforms on the route to Stranraer and two bays for traffic to the north.
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156430, seen at Ayr station before leaving for Stranraer on 25th July 2017. ...
David Bosher 25/07/2017
A Class 156 about to head south for Girvan from Ayr on 10th October 2017.
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David Panton 10/10/2017
Spring at Ayr. ...
John Yellowlees 27/03/2017
The planters at Ayr take one's eye off the derelict Station Hotel - almost. 4th May 2018.
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John Yellowlees 04/05/2018

On the west side of the line and south of Ayr station is Townhead depot, where the electric trains operating to Glasgow Central are stabled.
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Ex-Caledonian 0-6-0 57633 near Belmont level crossing, Ayr, in the summer of 1960, climbing with an up Girvan goods. [Ref query 603]. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/08/1960
Fairburn tank 42196 about to pass over Belmont Road level crossing on the southern approach to Ayr station on 17 October 1959 with a Girvan - Glasgow ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 17/10/1959

Horwich Mogul 42809 passing Alloway Junction on 15 August 1959 with a Girvan goods. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 15/08/1959
Nibbling has now started on the old M&D embankment north of the Maybole Road in Ayr to allow a new roundabout on the A77. [See image 50406] ...
Colin Miller 29/03/2015
The MDLR trackbed between the hedges looking west from Dunure Road on the south side of Ayr on a murky 26 December 2014. Sustrans is said to be ...
Colin Miller 26/12/2014
View towards Alloway Junction over the Maybole Road on 21 February 2015. The vegetation is cleared - and next probably the bulldozers will be in to ...
Colin Miller 21/02/2015




The railway is double track from Dalrymple Junction north to Ayr. Both the lines to Girvan and Waterside are single track. The single track lines meet and the line doubles to the north of the junction.
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Class 2P 4-4-0 40595 photographed at Dalrymple Junction on 6 August 1960 with a Dalmellington - Ayr train. [Ref query 2625] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/08/1960
Glasgow - Stranraer express approaching Dalrymple Junction. 5X 4.6.0 5636 Uganda. Raeburn and Webb on Footplate. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow /09/1940
While his colleagues work to the north of Dalrymple Junction on the double track section this gentleman looks after their safety from a farm access ...
Ewan Crawford /12/1993
A Park Royal Railbus passing south through Dalrymple Junction on 6 August 1960 on its way from Kilmarnock to Dalmellington. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/08/1960

This was a short lived four platform interchange station just south of Dalrymple Junction. The platforms were short.
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Scene at Dalrymple Junction on 5 August 1960. The line from Dalmellington is on the left, with the Stranraer line to the right, from which Black 5 ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 05/08/1960

Fairburn tank 42131 brings a train for Dalmellington over Burnton Viaduct on 28 March 1959. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
BR Standard class 3MT 2-6-0 77017 crossing Burnton Viaduct on 28 March 1959 with a Dalmellington - Ayr train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
Built as part of the Ayr and Dalmellington Railway, this viaduct now only carries the railway from Dalrymple Junction to Chalmerston Opencast Mine for ...
John Gray 29/04/2014
A lengthy coal train from Waterside crossing Burnton Viaduct en route to Ayr Harbour following a snowfall in the winter of 1971. ...
John Furnevel 01/12/1971


This single platform station opened to passengers and goods in 1856. The platform was on the north side of the single track. There was a goods yard at the east end of the station, on the north and south sides of the line, approached from the east.
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2P 4-4-0 40574 takes a train through the cutting near Hollybush on 28 March 1959 on its way from Dalmellington to Ayr. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
A train for Dalmellington passing Hollybush on 28 March 1959 behind 2P 4-4-0 40574. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
BR standard Mogul 77017 arriving at Hollybush station on 28 March 1959 with a train from Dalmellington heading for Ayr. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
Near Hollybush. ...
G W Robin //

This was an interchange platform with two faces in the 'V' of Holehouse Junction. The 1856 line from Ayr to Dalmellington was met by a 1872 branch from Belston Junction via Rankinston giving it access towards Dalmellington and particularly the Dalmellington Iron Works at Waterside. Both lines were single track.
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Fairburn tank 42131 about to run south through Holehouse Junction on 28 March 1959 on its way to Dalmellington. The train is passing the site of the ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
Looking north at Holehouse Junction, Ayrshire, on 16 July 1998 with the Broomhill siding diverging to the right. The former station (closed 1950) ...
Bill Roberton 16/07/1998



Junction for the Downieston No 1 pit and ng to Carnochan No 1 - reached by timber bridge. ...

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The original Patna station was directly south of the Downieston bridge. There was a short platform on the west side of the line with a building. There was a signal box at the north end of the platform.
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Fairburn 2-6-4T 42131 photographed approaching Patna, Ayrshire, in 1959 with a train for Dalmellington. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
A Waterside - Ayr harbour coal train in Ayrshire snow near Patna in December 1971. ...
John Furnevel 01/12/1971
A coal train just north of Patna, East Ayrshire, in the winter of 1971 on its way from Waterside to Ayr Harbour. The village of Polnessan stands in ...
John Furnevel 01/12/1971

This replaced the original Patna [1st] station, with the platform moving from directly south of the Downieston bridge to south of the goods shed. There was a single platform on the west side of the line. What had been a siding on the west side of the line was looped at the south end and the platform opened alongside. This gave the station a goods bypass.
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View south over the site of Patna station in 1996 showing the former goods shed. ...
Ewan Crawford //1996
A class 25 with coal train from Waterside passing Patna in 1973 on its way to Ayr Harbour. [Ref query 24994] ...
Bill Roberton //1973

Coal mine, 70 fathoms deep. Retained for pumping after closure - date of closure unknown and date of pumping ceasing assumed. ...

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Waterside to Sillyhole

This portion was the only portion of the failed Ayrshire and Galloway Railway to open, it served the Dalmellington Iron Works. It opened in isolation and was later reached and extended by the Ayr and Dalmellington Railway.




Sillyhole to Dalmellington


This was the terminus of the line from Ayr. The station was laid out with a goods yard on the west side, passenger station in the middle and locomotive shed to the east. The locomotive shed was probably originally the goods shed.
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2P 4-4-0 40574 awaiting departure time from Dalmellington on 28 March 1959. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
Fairburn tank 42131 preparing to take a train away from Dalmellington in March 1959. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
2P 4-4-0 40574 arriving at Dalmellington on 28 March 1959 with a train from Ayr. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959
A Fairburn 2-6-4T running tender first approaching Dalmellington station on 28 March 1959 with a train from Ayr. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/03/1959