Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway


This 2ft 3in gauge line is closed. It initially connected mines east of Machrihanish to Campbeltown but was later extended to Machrihanish proper and opened to passengers. There was no connection to the rest of the British railway system.

When open this was the only passenger carrying narrow gauge line in Scotland. Passengers were often on a day trip from the central belt arriving in Campbeltown by steamer.

The railway did not have conventional stations or platforms, but locations where the train stopped.


23/05/1887Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Opened as a coal line which would later become the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway.
  /  /1905Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway authorised
16/08/1906Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Upgraded and opened for passenger traffic
  /  /1926Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Mining more or less ceases.
  /  /1929Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Pits closed.
  /11/1931Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Campbeltown to Machrihanish closed to all traffic
  /01/1932Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Line re-opened.
  /05/1932Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Line re-closed.
  /  /1933Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway formally closed
  /  /1945Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway
Pit formerly served by railway re-opens. Served by road instead.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Campbeltown to Machrihanish

Single track passenger and goods line from Campbeltown to Machrihanish.

This footpath, running south west alongside the shore at Campbeltown, follows the line of the old light railway. At the sixth lamp post the path ...
Mark Bartlett 22/10/2017
The site of the C&MLR station on the quayside in Campbeltown in October 2017. The two lines of the run-round loop were approximately where the central ...
Mark Bartlett 22/10/2017
This footpath at Campbeltown follows the course of the narrow gauge railway and is seen here entering the small glen where there was a 1:35 gradient ...
Mark Bartlett 22/10/2017
Looking south east over the site of the C&MLR station on Campbeltown quayside in October 2017. From 1906 to 1934 there were two lines of a run round ...
Mark Bartlett 31/10/2017
4 of 15 images. more

Calmac^s ferry MV Isle of Arran in Campbeltown Loch after crossing from Ardrossan on 1st June 2018. Built in 1983, in summer it now mainly ...
Mark Bartlett Collection 01/06/2018
The Calmac terminal and link span in Campbeltown Loch in April 2018. The Calmac Summer 2018 timetable shows three sailings a week to and from ...
Mark Bartlett 05/04/2018
2 of 2 images.

Extract from an 1899 Ordnance Survey map showing Argyll Colliery before the line through to Machrihanish village was built. The light railway for ...
Mark Bartlett //1899
Extract from 1921 map showing the Argyll Colliery and the line of the Campbeltown & Machrihanish Railway that was built to serve it but later extended ...
Mark Bartlett //1921
2 of 2 images.

The original colliery, owned by J and TL Galloway, closed around 1929 but a new colliery was sunk by the Glasgow Iron and Steel Company alongside in 1946, opened by 1950. Pithead baths opened in 1953. The new colliery used road transport as the railway closed in 1931.

More details
The last surviving building (the old sub-station) at the Argyll Colliery sits alongside the Machrihanish caravan park that now occupies the remainder ...
Mark Bartlett 22/10/2017
1 of 1 images.

The old Machrihanish station site, behind the Ugadale Hotel, in April 2018. The far end of the site is now an access road for a small housing ...
Mark Bartlett 05/04/2018
Looking east along the old trackbed from Machrihanish towards Drumlemble and Campbeltown in April 2018. The cutting at Campbeltown and this stretch of ...
Mark Bartlett 05/04/2018
Looking east towards Campbeltown from Machrihanish station site along the old trackbed, which is still clearly visible behind the houses on the main ...
Mark Bartlett 26/03/2011
The site of Machrihanish station, terminus of the narrow gauge railway. The line closed in 1931 but there has been very little development on most of ...
Mark Bartlett 26/03/2011
4 of 5 images. more