Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway)

Introduction

This important branch ran from Thornton Junction to Dunfermline Upper. Today it forms the northern part of the Fife Circle and carries a regular service.

The original line is open except through Cowdenbeath and the western end at Dunfermline Upper.






Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Thornton to Dunfermline

Opened in 1848.

This is a four way junction. To the north the main line runs north to Ladybank and the mothballed branch to Cameron Bridge, (and formerly Leven [2nd] and the Fife Coast railway to St Andrews [2nd]), runs off to the north east. To the south the Dunfermline Branch heads west from the main line which runs south to Burntisland, (the Forth Bridge and [[Edinburgh ...

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GBRf 66733 at the head of the Royal Scotsman in Thornton Down Loop. ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
66733 and 66746 with the Royal Scotsman parked in Thornton Down Loop for afternoon tea. The crumbling bridge in the foreground carried the branch to ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
Looking west at Thornton North Junction at the beginning of the branch to Leven - out of use since the 1990s, but now being mooted for re-commencement ...
David Spaven 01/09/2011

This is the junction between the single track lines from Thornton North Junction and Thornton South Junction. It is west of Glenrothes with Thornton station and replaced Thornton West Junction [1st].
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A Kings Cross - Aberdeen service passing Thornton West Junction in July 1998.  The train has been diverted because of a derailment at Burntisland and ...
Bill Roberton /07/1998
61994 The Great Marquess passes Thornton West Junction on 17 April with support coach in tow, on its way To Inverness. Note the antlers! ...
Bill Roberton 17/04/2011
WCRC 47804 draws The Royal Scotsman 'Classic' Tour past Thornton West on 29 April, bound for Keith. ...
Bill Roberton 29/04/2013
The bald-looking 159 782, long painted out of SWT livery but still unbranded, passes Thornton West Junction approaching Glenrothes with Thornton ...
David Panton 14/04/2009

This is a modern two platform station. On the north side is the station car park, once the site of sidings approached by reversal from Thornton West Junction [1st].
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DRS 47853 passes Glenrothes with Thornton on 7 June with the late-running Compass Tours Highland Clansman from Middlesbrough to Aviemore, which ...
Bill Roberton 07/06/2014
Exorcist style lighting at Glenrothes with Thornton. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Super Sprinter 158732, waiting to leave Glenrothes with Thornton on the 09.22 to Edinburgh Waverley on 12th October 2017. ...
Gordon Steel 12/10/2017
View east over a deserted Glenrothes with Thornton station on a quiet Wednesday in May 2005. ...
John Furnevel 04/05/2005


This was the western apex of the triangle of lines formed with Thornton North Junction and Thornton South Junction.
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Thornton Junction Shed relocated from within the triangular junction to west of Thornton West Junction. The new shed was a larger site, located to the south of the line and approached from the east.
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Steam in the shadows, on shed at Thornton Junction in the summer of 1966. Class J38 0-6-0 no 65931 is standing on the left. The locomotive was ...
K A Gray //1966
J37 0-6-0 64569 stabled in the shed yard at Thornton Junction in the summer of 1966. ...
K A Gray //1966
A pair of B1s in the shed yard at Thornton in the summer of 1966, with 61148 nearest the camera. ...
K A Gray //1966
J38 0-6-0 no 65922 in the shed yard at Thornton Junction in the summer of 1966. ...
K A Gray //1966

Redford Siding existed prior to 1913. In 1913 the Lochore and Redford Extension (North British Railway) extended the Kinglassie Colliery line to Redford (to create a loop from Kelty). This crossed the Redford Siding which was connected to the new line instead of continuing to make its own collection. Redford Junction was to the east of the original connection.
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On the approach to Redford Junction from the east. Heading for Westfield. View from the embankment of the old lines serving the closed Thornton ...
Ewan Crawford //
A 66 waiting by the marsh and amongst the tall telegraph poles at Redford Junction. View looks west and the former Thornton Colliery lines are to the ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking south from the Strathore Road bridge towards Thornton Depot on 21 October 2014, with the disused Westfield branch barely visible through the ...
Bill Roberton 21/10/2014


This signal box was located between the later Clunybridge Junction to the west and Redford Siding to the east. The box was on the south side of the line and there was a trailing cross over. It opened in 1899. It was later known as Dogton Colliery. The colliery did not develop (unlike the earlier Brandies Pit near the Clunie Coal Siding and later largely unsuccessful [[Rothes ...

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This junction is the western approach to Thornton Yard. It was a double track junction leading to the down arrival sidings and up departure sidings. The signal box was on the north side of the junction (it closed in 1981 as part of the Edinburgh Signalling Centre. The junction was rationalised and is now a single lead junction.
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This siding was west of Clunybridge Junction and east of Clunie Coal Siding. The siding was on the south side of the line. There was a signal box, closed in 1928. ...

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This siding was east of Cardenden. It was on the south side side of the line and a tramway ran south to Carden Colliery Brandies Pit. There was a signal box, closed in 1910.
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This is a two platform station with slightly staggered platforms. A lattice footbridge survived and there are modern glazed shelters, the larger on the up (Edinburgh) bound platform.
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View north east over Cardenden on 21 July 2014 as 170427 arrives with a Fife Inner Circle service to Edinburgh. ...
Bill Roberton 21/07/2014
Cardenden Station taken from Fife Circle dmu ...
Gordon Steel 12/10/2017
West Coast 37516+37685 pass through Cardenden on 21 July with the Royal Scotsman from Edinburgh to Keith.
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Bill Roberton 21/07/2014
As with Ladybank, the name devised by the Edinburgh &
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David Panton 04/09/2010

This junction was west of Cardenden. To the north were Glencraig Colliery, Bowhill Colliery and Minto Colliery and to the south was Lady Helen Colliery. The northern mines were approached from the east and the Lady Helen Colliery from the west.
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Looking south east along the Bowhill branch towards Glencraig Junction on 17 May 1991. A class 150 unit is passing on a Fife Circle service between ...
Bill Roberton 17/05/1991

This junction was where the line from Lochgelly Iron Works and colliery met the Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway) at a reversing spur on the south side of the line. Just to the west the private Lochgelly Iron and Coal Company line passed under the railway before running north to the Lochgelly Iron Works and Lochgelly Colliery Nellie Pit.
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This is a two platform station to the north of the town of Lochgelly. The platform are slightly staggered, the eastbound one being slightly to the west of the westbound.
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A particularly fine barrel-train on the platform at Lochgelly in October 2014. This example is looked after by the Benarty Regeneration Action Group ...
John Yellowlees 07/10/2014
Lochgelly station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
A train for Haymarket leaves Lochgelly on 7 September. ...
Bill Roberton 97/09/2007
117 308 for Edinburgh seen at Lochgelly in May 1999. ...
David Panton /05/1999

The 'Mary' Pit opened in 1904, so the box here must have served a siding associated with construction of the pit before it opened. In 1900 the box was renamed and in 1901 the box was replaced in connection with the opening of the 1902 double track curve to Lumphinnans North Junction. This provided an eastern exit for trains from Kelty.
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This was originally the junction for the Kinross-shire Railway, opened 1860, with the Dunfermline Branch of the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.
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60103 passes the site of Lumphinnans Central Junction with the first 'The Cathedrals Express' trip from Edinburgh to Fife. ...
Bill Roberton 20/05/2018
GBRf 66728 Institution of Railway Operators brings up the rear of a North East Railtours excursion from Newcastle to Inverness as it passes the ...
Bill Roberton 07/05/2018
47760 brings up the rear of 'The Cathedrals Express' circuit of Fife, as 60103 heads for Cowdenbeath from Lumphinnans. ...
Bill Roberton 20/05/2018
37685+37516 near the former Lumphinnans Central Junction on 28 April with the Royal Scotsman from Edinburgh to Keith. ...
Bill Roberton 28/04/2014

This junction was to the south of Lumphinnans Central Junction. Here a line ran south west to Lumphinnans No 1 Colliery and Lumphinnans Iron Works.
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This junction opened in 1894 with the opened of the Kirkcaldy District Railway (North British Railway). It met the existing former Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway). Access to the new line was from the south.
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This was a two platform station with a goods yard on the west (down) side of the line accessed from the north. Cowdenbeath Pit No 3 was located just to the north of the goods yard. The goods yard is now a car park.
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A 3-car class 101 DMU stands near the site of the 1848 Cowdenbeath (Old) station, closed to passengers in March 1919. View is south towards the bridge ...
Bill Roberton 28/08/1976
View north at Cowdenbeath (Old) during the BLS railtour of 28 August 1976. Photograph showing the Dora opencast loading pad and the now-buried tunnel ...
Bill Roberton 28/08/1976

These sidings were south of Cowdenbeath [1st] station and north of Cowdenbeath South Junction. There were colliery exchange sidings and junctions for mineral lines.
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This junction was south of Cowdenbeath station. It opened in 1890 with Kelty to Cowdenbeath (North British Railway), one of the improvements of the Edinburgh to Perth route built for the opening of the Forth Bridge.
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Cowdenbeath South was where the deviation to Cowdenbeath New (the
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David Panton 14/04/2010

This two platform station was to the east of a cutting. The main station building was on the westbound platform and there waiting rooms at the west end of both platforms. A small goods yard was on the north side, approached from the east which served the small Mossend Iron Foundry. The signal box was on the westbound platform and closed in 1927.
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This was a two platform station bounded by a level crossing to the east and Townhill Yard to the west. The station building on the former eastbound platform remains, despite closure of the station in 1930.
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Britannia Steam Pacific no 70013 Oliver Cromwell about to run over Halbeath level crossing on 18 April 2010 with the SRPS Forth Circle ...
Brian Forbes 18/04/2010
DRS 47813 Solent draws away from Halbeath level crossing on 3 August with the Kings Cross - Leuchars Northern Belle. 47832 Galloway ...
Bill Roberton 03/08/2013
47832 Galloway Princess brings up the rear of the London Kings Cross - Leuchars Northern Belle, as it draws away from Halbeath level ...
Bill Roberton 03/08/2013
Freightliner Heavy Haul have a short term contract to move imported coal from Leith Docks to Longannet Power Station thrice-daily, via Dunfermline and ...
Bill Roberton 28/06/2011

Townhill loops looking west from Halbeath level crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Leaving the loops and heading west at Dunfermline Townhill. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking west from Halbeath level crossing in June 2006 towards Queen Margaret station, the platforms of which can just be seen beyond the bridge in ...
John Furnevel 02/06/2006
170456 about to pass the Townhill Loops east of Queen Margaret.
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Brian Forbes 17/11/2007

The north east corner of Townhill Wagon Shops after closure. The steelwork may have been used for transhipment of materials by means of lifting ...
Bill Roberton //1986
The north east corner of Townhill Wagon Shops after closure. Unsure of the purpose of the gantry and rails. 1986. ...
Bill Roberton //1986
Dunfermline Townhill Wagon Shops. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. The upper sign survives at Bo'ness. (Thanks to Dougie McPherson of THE SRPS Diesel Group) ...
Bill Roberton //1986
After Dunfermline Townhill closed, it was used for a time for storage of locomotives awaiting the call to works. Classes 08, 20 and 26 under cover ...
Douglas McPherson 02/05/1984

The 1866 West of Fife Railway and Harbour, for Charlestown, met the 1849 Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway) at this junction. The location was just west of the Townhill Tramway route and Halbeath. Approach to the Charlestown line was from the east, the line running south west. The Dunfermline and Queensferry to the line to North Queensferry [1st] ...

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66021 takes a train of empties out of Halbeath sidings and heads south for the Forth Bridge in June 2006. ...
John Furnevel /06/2006
150258 passes the future site of Dunfermline Queen Margaret Station in April 1992. On the right is the stump of the Dunfermline Upper/Kincardine ...
Bill Roberton 15/04/1992

This was the northern end of a curve opened 1890 with the Forth Bridge to allow a Edinburgh Waverley - Stirling service via Oakley in addition to other services.
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This shed replaced a smaller one which was beside Dunfermline Upper station, immediately to the south of the east end of the station, the site subsequently used for sidings.
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This was a station with two main through platforms, the north of which was an island with a second face. At the west end was a bay on the south side.
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Stirling and Dunfermline line now a walkway east of Dunfermline Upper. This view looks east to Touch North Junction. ...
John Yellowlees 10/03/2017
Looking east over Dunfermline Upper Station in December 1973, looking largely intact. ...
Bill Roberton /12/1973
107 444 pauses at Dunfermline Upper with the Tayforth Venturer on 16th June 1984. This was a comprehensive tour starting from, and returning to, ...
Douglas McPherson 16/06/1984
Looking east from Inglis Street over the site of Dunfermline Upper station, now a retail park. Only the concrete retaining wall remains. 27 March. ...
Bill Roberton 27/03/2016




Thornton West to South Curve

Opened in 1878 by the North British Railway, the curve providing a route for the collieries served by the branch to the docks at Burntisland.

This was the western apex of the triangle of lines formed with Thornton North Junction and Thornton South Junction.
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This junction was created in 1878 when the North British Railway opened a curve between Thornton West Junction [1st] on the Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway) and the main line of the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.
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