Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway

Introduction

This railway is still open. This railway runs between Balloch and Bowling via Dumbarton Central. A long section of the line from Dumbarton East Junction to Bowling is closed.

The company is known by a number of different names and the name and spellings used in the 1846 Act are used here. Not all the authorised lines were built, the line failed to reach Helensburgh and Glasgow.

This confusion is due to the modern standardised spellings; Dumbarton (the town) and Dunbartonshire (the district). Further the word Junction is sometimes omitted. This is compounded by the leading railway author and historian John Thomas varying the name of the line between his various books. As a result the company known by many names including: the Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Railway, the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway, the West Dunbartonshire Railway and the Dunbartonshire Railway.



Dates

  /  /1846[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Act receives Royal assent
  /  /1850[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Turntable installed at Balloch, to the north west of Balloch Central.
15/07/1850[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Opened from Balloch via Dumbarton to Bowling on the River Clyde, and beside the Forth and Clyde Canal. Steamers ran in connection with the line on Loch Lomond and the River Clyde.
  /  /1858[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Balloch turntable replaced.
14/08/1862[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway absorbed by [North British Railway]?
  /  /1895[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Balloch turntable replaced for impending joint ownership of line for larger [Caledonian Railway] locomotives.
01/10/1896[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Dumbarton and Balloch Joint Line
The [North British Railway] is forced to put its Dumbarton Central to Balloch Pier line into joint ownership with the [Caledonian Railway] to stop the [Caledonian Railway] from building a second railway (the proposed Dumbarton, Jamestown and Loch Lomond Railway) from Dumbarton to Balloch.
  /  /1938[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Balloch turntable replaced with a 60ft.
25/04/1960[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Dumbarton (East Junction) to Bowling (Dunglass Junction) closed to all traffic
28/09/1986[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Balloch Pier closed to passengers. The electric catenary was used to electrify the Coatbridge Sunnyside to Whifflet line.
24/04/1988[Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway]
Balloch (New) opened. Balloch signal box, level crossing and the remaining single track to Balloch Central taken out of use.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Bowling to Balloch

This timber steamer pier is now completely derelict. It was to the west of the Bowling Harbour wall outside the harbour itself. It was both a passenger and goods pier.
...

More details
Kilgarth, an Admiralty salvage vessel (pennant no A232), seen at Frisky Wharf in 1987. The vessel was broken up here in 1993. This steamer pier was ...
Ewan Crawford //1987

This is a two platform station in the south of Bowling at at the north west end of Bowling Harbour.
...

More details
320305 and 320417 arrive at Bowling with the 1525 hrs service to Motherwell on 02 June 2019. ...
John McIntyre 02/06/2019
The combined 1010 hrs from Mallaig and the 1211 hrs from Oban pass Bowling on 02 June 2019 heading to Glasgow Queen Street. 156457 was the leading ...
John McIntyre 02/06/2019
334034 passes Bowling at speed on its way east with a service from Helensburgh on 27 April 2013. ...
John McIntyre 27/04/2013
156 449 passes Bowling station with a West Highlands-Glasgow train. Arnott Youngs works to left. ...
Ewan Crawford //1990


This oil terminal was west of Bowling, just west of Dunglass Castle. The site had several jetties, oil storage tanks stretching east from the jetties east to Bowling Shipyard along the shoreline (south of the Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Railway, further tanks between the C&DR and the Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway, tanks on the hillside above, over the A82, to the ...

More details
View from the embankment of the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway looking east over the now lifted tracks of the Bowling Oil Terminal. ...
Ewan Crawford //


This goods yard was at the end of a long siding from Dumbuck Signal Box, which predated it. The line was on the north side of the line and approached via a reversing spur from the eastbound line. The yard was just south of Milton and finished with a loading bank and sidings.
...

More details
Caledonian Railway Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire line, Dumbuck siding. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 13/04/2007
Caledonian Railway Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire line, with Dumbuck siding going off to the left. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 13/04/2007

This signal box was on the south side of the line just east of the Glasgow Road overbridge and west of the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway overbridge.
...

More details
V3 67632 passing Dumbuck on 12 April 1958 with an up Helensburgh train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 12/04/1958

Closed NB line in Dumbarton; looking east by the bonded warehouse east of Dumbarton Central. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
V3 67625 photographed at Dumbarton East Junction on 12 April 1958 at the head of a Helensburgh - Bridgeton train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 12/04/1958
Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway. Bridge over Greenhead Road, Dumbarton. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 10/11/2009
Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway Line. Route now through bonded warehouses, Dumbarton, lookng east. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 10/11/2009

This is a three platform station on the Helensburgh, Balloch and West Highland Railway lines.
...

More details
334038 leaves Dumbarton Central heading (non stop) for Helensburgh Central on 17th July 2018.
...
Beth Crawford 17/07/2018
Up on the roof; in the background workmen are repairing the roof of the westbound platforms building. ...
Beth Crawford 11/04/2019
MSP Jackie Baillie and Provost William Hendrie prepare to cut a red tape to open the Armed Forces Veterans' Association Heritage Centre with an ...
Ewan Crawford 27/04/2018
Railway crest on a fireplace inside Dumbarton Central. I always find these quite difficult to interpret, I guess this is the initials of the Dumbarton ...
Ewan Crawford 27/04/2018

This ship engine works was located by the River Leven on either side of the Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway immediately east of Leven Viaduct [Dumbarton] and west of Dumbarton Central.
...

More details

This is a double track girder viaduct over the River Leven between Dalreoch, to the west, and Dumbarton Central, to the east. There are five girders.
...

More details
Eastbound 303 crossing the Leven Viaduct. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Westbound train crosses Leven Viaduct. Right hand side of photograph spoiled by double exposure ... very cheap camera. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
A 311 heads west over the River Leven. ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
A mixed livery train crossing the River Leven viewed from the Dumbarton bank. ...
Ewan Crawford 20/06/2016

This is a double track junction to the immediate west of Dalreoch station.
...

More details
334017 takes the Helensburgh line at Dalreoch Junction. ...
Beth Crawford 25/05/2017
A 6-car 320 combination approaching Dalreoch Junction off the Helensburgh line on 9 September 2007 with a morning service to Airdrie. View west from ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2007
Heading for Balloch at Dalreoch Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford 04/11/2006
A Balloch bound train leaves Dalreoch as seen from the Carman Hill Fort. At the bottom right is Dalmoak House. The view includes the flats at ...
Ewan Crawford 16/02/2018

Dalreoch is a two platform station with the junction between the Balloch branch and the Helensburgh line immediately to its west. The station has two car parks and a staffed station building. To the east is the Leven Viaduct and Dumbarton Central.
...

More details
General view along the platforms of Dalreoch station in the spring of 1957. Looking west towards the junction, with the signal box framed by the ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 20/04/1957
334 heads into the setting sun at Dalreoch. ...
Beth Crawford 18/05/2017
Eastbound 334 train pulls into Dalreoch. ...
Beth Crawford 18/05/2017
New high tech bike rack / sculpture at Dalreoch. ...
Beth Crawford 18/05/2017

This forge was located north of Dalreoch station and east of the Balloch branch. Opened 1855.
...

More details




This is a single platform station, the platform being the former southbound platform. The British Railways built station building still stands, no longer in railway use.
...

More details
Southbound train leaves Renton station. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The station building at Renton on 9 September 2007, looking west along Station Street. ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2007
Balloch bound at Renton. Disused platform to right. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Looking south along the single line towards Dalreoch Junction on Sunday 9 September 2007 from the platform at Renton. ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2007

This dye works was on the east bank of the River Leven by Bonhill.
...

More details


This is a single platform station. There is a building on the platform.
...

More details
A Balloch service calls at Alexandria on 01 September 2018 in this view northwards along the remaining platform. ...
John McIntyre 01/09/2018
Alexandria looking south. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Detail of pipe bridge across the Leven for dyeworks. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Rear view of 320 311 as it pulls out of Alexandria on 1 April 2009 with the last leg of a service to Balloch. ...
David Panton 01/04/2009



This factory was built for the Argyll Motor Company. A very fine set of offices formed a frontage onto North Main Street behind which was the factory itself. It is this frontage which remains today.
...

More details


This was a double track junction between the existing Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway and the later Forth and Clyde Junction Railway. The junction was just south of Balloch Central and today's Balloch station.
...

More details
334033 passes the site of Forth and Clyde Junction as it approaches the bridge carrying the A811 over the railway, a short distance from the present ...
John McIntyre 01/09/2018
Fairburn tank 42126 runs south past Forth and Clyde Junction shortly after setting out from Balloch on 9 July 1957 with a train for Rutherglen. [See ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 09/07/1957
Standard 2-6-4T 80006 passing Forth and Clyde Junction on 9 July 1957 with a Rutherglen - Balloch train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 09/07/1957
View south from Balloch in July 1957 over Forth and Clyde Junction. [Ref query 4349] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 09/07/1957

This is a single platform station - the platform occupying what was the down track before it was lifted. The station is south of Balloch Road which was formerly crossed by a level crossing to reach Balloch Central.
...

More details
Standing next to the buffers and looking south along the platform at Balloch as 334033 waits to set off back towards Glasgow on 01 September 2018. ...
John McIntyre 01/09/2018
The old SPT livery is still around, though it has an increasingly retro look. The driver of 318 261 climbs aboard to take a train back to Airdrie, ...
David Panton 08/10/2016
318 265 reaches journey's end at Balloch on 08/10/2016. The green notice attached to the fence is for the Samaritans. Comment is superfluous. ...
David Panton 08/10/2016
334033 gingerly enters Balloch station on 01 September 2018. Beyond the train is the original Balloch Central station building but for quite a few ...
John McIntyre 01/09/2018

This was a two platform station to the north of the level crossing over Balloch Road. The station building still stands. This was the main station in Balloch, Balloch Pier was to the north. Balloch, to the south of the level crossing, replaced this station.
...

More details

This was a minimal shed, with a single covered road and water tank. It was located to the immediate west of Balloch Central and was approached from the north. The turntable was further north, the pit of which survived into the 1980s.
...

More details


This was a two platform station, an island platform with a long face which ran onto the pier and a shorter bay platform on the west side. Passenger steamers called on the west side of the pier.
...

More details
The winch engine and cable drum at Balloch Pier, used for hauling lake steamers onto the slipway for maintenance. Seen during an Open Day in 2016 with ...
Colin Miller 11/06/2016
A postcard view of the Princess May alongside Balloch Pier. The pier was rebuilt several times, this incarnation being partly timber. Trains could ...
Ewan Crawford Collection //
Image taken inside the 1902 winch engine house at Balloch Pier during a 2016 Open Day when the slipway winch engine was in steam and operating. ...
Colin Miller 11/06/2016
PS Prince George at Balloch Pier (note the NB van and wagons on the pier). Prince George and sister ship Princess May were introduced in 1899. Both ...
Ewan Crawford Collection //




Dumbarton Goods Branch

Closed NB line in Dumbarton; looking east by the bonded warehouse east of Dumbarton Central. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
V3 67625 photographed at Dumbarton East Junction on 12 April 1958 at the head of a Helensburgh - Bridgeton train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 12/04/1958
Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway. Bridge over Greenhead Road, Dumbarton. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 10/11/2009
Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Junction Railway Line. Route now through bonded warehouses, Dumbarton, lookng east. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 10/11/2009



Two views on Castle Road in Dumbarton in August 2015. The first looks east into the old Allied Distillers yard, still awaiting redevelopment. Prior to ...
Mark Bartlett 16/08/2015




Cordale Branch


This bleachworks was located by Dalquhurn Point on the west bank of the River Leven where washed cloth could be laid out on the level ground to bleach in sunlight.
...

More details