Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This line is closed except for two short sections;

- part of the Hamilton Circle. This section runs between Motherwell (Lesmahagow Junction) and Ferniegair (Ross Junction).

- the Larkhall Branch. The section from Ross Junction to Merryton has re-opened as the Larkhall Branch.






Dates

01/12/1866Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Passenger services start; bus runs between Hamilton and Ferniegair [1st] for route to Glasgow's South Side; the main route through to Buchanan Street. Blackwood carriage dropped at Southfield Junction and taken on separately.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Motherwell to Bankend

This is a junction just north of Motherwell station.
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View across Lesmahagow Junction with a ballast train in the foreground reversing into the Findlays Sidings. In the background is 37140 with a ...
Ewan Crawford //1988
26 011 shunts ballast at Lesmahagow Junction, Motherwell. ...
Ewan Crawford //1988
A Black 5 leaves Motherwell on 5 July 1964 with a stopping train for Glasgow Central. ...
John Robin 05/07/1964
One of a pair of Claytons leaves a smokescreen over Motherwell shed as it passes by on a northbound freight in 1970. The train is passing the remains ...
John Furnevel 30/10/1970

Large Welcome sign on Motherwell's platform 3 on a dreary day. ...
Gordon Steel 31/10/2016
A service for Dalmuir via Hamilton pulls into Motherwell on 25 October 2018. To avoid confusion these services are publicised as terminating at ...
David Panton 25/10/2018
A Glasgow Central to Lanark service calls at Motherwell on 25 October 2018 ...
David Panton 25/10/2018
An Ayr to Edinburgh via Glasgow Central service calls at Motherwell on 2nd
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David Panton 02/09/2017

This station was located just to the south of the present Hamilton platforms of Motherwell station. ...

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This is a modern and minimal two platform station in the south of Motherwell. The station opened in a deep cutting to the south of Airbles Road.
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A Dalmuir service pulls into Airbles on 5 January 2019. ...
David Panton 05/01/2019
Looking north from Airbles Road to Motherwell. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The 11.42 Milngavie - Lanark service calls at Airbles (opened 1989) on an August afternoon in 2006. The station name sign here is claimed by some to ...
John Furnevel 14/08/2006
A train for Dalmuir via Motherwell formed by 334 013 stands at Airbles on 23 February. ...
David Panton 23/02/2008







This is a new (2005) single platform station on a single track line, located on the west side of the line. The station has a large car park. To the south is the Allanton Loop.
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The future site of Chatelherault station looking north. The platform is in preparation and cutting has been cut back. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/3/2005
1331 Dalmuir-Larkhall at Chatelherault ...
Andy Kirkham 12/12/2005
1331 Dalmuir-Larkhall at Chatelherault. ...
Andy Kirkham 12/12/2005
Southbound 334 020 arrives at Chatelherault on 8 March 2008 with a service for Larkhall. ...
David Panton 08/03/2008

Looking south at Ferniegair. The new passing loop will be just to the south of here in the distance. ...
Ewan Crawford 2/5/2004
View looking south at Ferniegair showing the new passing loop. The crane is loading sleepers for delivery to Merryton. ...
Ewan Crawford 20/03/2005
Looking South. Ferniegair Junction. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 12/07/1962


Passing south a train from Dalmuir heads for Larkhall. ...
Ewan Crawford 12/12/2005
A Larkhall service from Dalmuir enters the passing loop to the south of Ferniegair. ...
Ewan Crawford 12/12/2005





This junction was north of Merryton station, (a new station dating from 2005).
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Demolition of the old girder bridge and decking at Merryton Junction before replacing with new concrete structure in March 2005. This bridge carries ...
Gordon Steel /03/2005
Looking south towards the site of Merryton Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford 2/5/2004
Disused building at Merryton Junction - signalbox base? The view looking north. The building has now been demolished. ...
Ewan Crawford 2/5/2004
On the first day of public service a train passes Merryton Junction joining the former Mid Lanark lines route to Larkhall Central. ...
Ewan Crawford 12/12/2005




This was a two platform station with a goods yard to the north accessed from the east. The line was originally single track, later doubled, and from opening of the station there was a loop here.
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Larkhall East looking north. The station was beyond the goods shed. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/06/2005
The SLS Scottish Rambler No 3 railtour at Larkhall East on 29 March 1964. Locomotive in charge is Crab 2-6-0 42737. The special was on ...
John Robin 29/03/1964
Larkhall East looking south. Only the goods shed and a short section of platform remains here. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/06/2005
The SLS Scottish Rambler No 3 railtour stands at Larkhall East on 29 March 1964 behind Crab 2-6-0 no 42737. ...
Andy Carr Collection 29/03/1964


This was a two platform station. To the immediate south was Stonehouse Junction.
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Looking north at Dalserf station (formerly Ayr Road). ...
Ewan Crawford 10/06/2005
Looking south from Dalserf station. The original route to Coalburn via Tillietudlem (later replaced by a new alignment through Blackwood) was straight ...
Ewan Crawford 10/06/2005
Crab 2-6-0 42737 seen during a photostop at Dalserf, South Lanarkshire, on 29 March 1964 with Scottish Rambler No 3. ...
John Robin 29/03/1964
Crab 2-6-0 42737 with Scottish Rambler No 3 at Dalserf on 29 March 1964. The special would continue on this leg of its journey as far as Swinhill ...
John Robin 29/03/1964









This was a two platform station with small buildings and a footbridge at the south end. The station did not open with the line which was originally single track but progressively doubled.
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The site of Netherburn station, looking north over the housing now occupying the site from a road bridge over the former railway. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/3/2005

This location was, and is, an isolated spot. There were several sidings here serving the end of a long tramway running east to coal mines around Craignethan, north and east of Craignethan Castle itself.
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This was a two platform station opened just to the north of Southfield Junction. The station served a countryside location with some coal mine and Craignethan Castle. ...

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Platform remains at Tillietudlem, South Lanarkshire, on 8 March 2007, looking north towards Netherburn. The station closed to passengers in 1951 with ...
John Furnevel 08/03/2007
Inside the shelter at Tillietudlem station. View looks north. The two platforms can be seen to the left. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005
Looking south from the former building on the northbound platform of Tillietudlem station. The surviving building and platforms can be seen to the ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005
Tillietudlem station looking north. A building survives on the southbound platform. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005

Looking south at Southfield Junction. Coalburn route straight on and route to Blackwood to the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a 12 span single track girder viaduct over the River Nethan.
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Just north of the Nethan Viaduct is this huge retaining wall for a short branch to the long closed Fence colliery running west from a north facing ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005
Looking west at the piers of the former Nethan Viaduct looking very like John Thomas description of relics of an ancient civilisation. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005
Central ashlar pier of the Nethan Viaduct. This was one of the highest viaducts in Scotland. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/03/2005
Aerial view of the Nethan Viaduct and Southfield Junction. Viaduct bottom right and junction and Tillietudlem station top left. ...
Ewan Crawford //


This station did not open with the line, which opened in 1856. The site was just under a mile south of the Nethan Viaduct and close to Auchenheath House. The line was perched above the house.
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View north from the single platform of the former Auchenheath station in 1996. The Coalburn line was double track as far south as the Nethan Viaduct ...
Ewan Crawford //1996

A view north of the Auchenheath goods loading bank, south of the level crossing, in November 2004. This location has since been obliterated. The ...
Ewan Crawford 10/11/2004

This was a single platform station. To the south, on the west side, was a goods yard approached from the south, parallel with a passing loop south of the station. The station itself was south of a level crossing. There was an engine shed (Brocketsbrae Shed) on the east side, approached from the north.
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This unadvertised halt was located at Alton Heights Junction. ...

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45029 takes water at Alton Heights on 15 May 1964 after arriving with a pigeon special [see image 46637]. This had once been a 4-way junction with ...
John Robin 15/05/1964
Alton Heights. 42128 on Coalburn train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1953
Alton Heights. Looking north. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1953

This was a four way junction. The location was originally called Auldton Heights.
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View south at Alton Heights Junction in 1996. To the right was the original line running to Coalburn, to the left the line to Poneil Junction. Alton ...
Ewan Crawford //1996

(Alternative closure date of 1957.) This halt served the nearby Auchlochan mines. Auchlochan Signal Box opened in 1891. The nearby Auchlochan Nos 6 and 7 Collieries and Auchlochan Nos 9 and 10 Collieries opened in 1894. The box opened to allow passenger trains to reach Coalburn, prior to its opening this was a goods and minerals only line, passenger trains terminated at [[Lesmahagow ...

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This halt served Bellfield Colliery No 3 and Bellfield Colliery No 4. ...

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Coalburn station was opened on a line already open since 1856. Passenger trains had terminated further north at Lesmahgow [1st] until 1891 when the service extended south.
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A posed photograph of the staff at Coalburn station, Lanarkshire, around 1931. The Station Master is seated on the right with Tom Steele, then station ...
Ian Steele Collection //1931
The last train at Coalburn on 2 October 1965 [see image 47737]. By this time the line had been cut back from Bankend and the level crossing gates ...
John Robin 02/10/1965

Bankend was the terminus of the Lesmahagow Branch. The line terminated in an area of coal mines. Mines were redeveloped several times with the line and associated tramways being altered as required. At its height there was a considerable number of sidings here.
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Bankend, opencasted. The view looks east. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Just west of Bankend looking at the line to Muirkirk turning southwest. View looks north. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Bankend CR 0.4.4T 55182. Train on arrival at Bankend from Coalburn before running round. [Railscot note: Blemish on print.] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/06/1953
2.6.4T 42165 at Bankhead [sic] (Coalburn). Evening trip to Lanarkshire. [Railscot note: location is Bankend.] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 11/08/1949




Stonehouse Branch







Crab 42737 at Swinhill on 29 March 1964 with Scottish Rambler no 3. At this time Swinhill was the terminus of the former route south to ...
John Robin 29/03/1964




Served by private mineral line running from Canderside Exchange Sidings.
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This was a large station of four platforms where four lines met. It had begun as a much smaller station with one platform.
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Not much remains of Stonehouse station after the route of the line was obliterated in 1993 during construction of the town bypass. This platform on ...
Ewan Crawford 18/07/2015
Motherwell Black 5 no 45029 at Stonehouse station on 15 May 1964 on its way back from Alton Heights with a pigeon special [see image 46637]. ...
John Robin 15/05/1964
Empty stock at Stonehouse. 42165 driver Jock Lindsay (father). 55146 driver Ian Lindsay (son). Evening trip in Lanarkshire. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 11/08/1949
Ballast still at Stonehouse. Remarkable. Even more remarkable that this is the Strathaven-Blackwood alignment, never opened. ...
Ewan Crawford //


This goods station was the terminus of a branch from Stonehouse Junction. It was to the east of the ruins of Cot Castle [Castle]. The station was simple, terminating in a pair of long sidings (probably a loop), with a short siding on the south side by the access road.
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Blackwood Branch

Looking south at Southfield Junction. Coalburn route straight on and route to Blackwood to the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //

Blackwood Junction. [Railscot note: looking south. Blemish on print.] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 30/06/1953
Blackwood Junction. [Railscot note: looking north.] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 30/06/1953

This station was the terminus of a branch from Southfield Junction. Tram roads served the area, from 1856, before the branch fully opened from Southfield Mine to Blackwood in 1862.
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This was a set of sidings at Dunduff Quarry, a whinstone quarry. The layout changed as the quarry enlarged with new rock crushers and tramways being laid as required. The sidings were at the south end of the Dunduff Branch.
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Swinhill Branch

Crab 42737 at Swinhill on 29 March 1964 with Scottish Rambler no 3. At this time Swinhill was the terminus of the former route south to ...
John Robin 29/03/1964