Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This line is closed.

It was a goods only line intended to provide the Caledonian Railway with a large goods yard near the Hamiltonhill Basin of the Forth and Clyde Canal in the north of Glasgow, but this yard was almost certainly not built at all although it is shown in some Post Office maps of Glasgow.

There was a siding to the Saracen Foundry from 1895 but this had to be closed in 1896 as it was in breach of an agreement with the North British Railway.

The first section of the line was extended by the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway to Dumbarton Central and gave the Caledonian Railway access to Balloch.

Part of the route between Eastfield and Possil was built along the course of an old waggonway which had run from pits at Eastfield to the Forth and Clyde Canal at Ruchill.

The line was double track, right up to the location where it petered out near Ruchill Hospital.

Why built

This branch first received an act in 1876, but it remained unbuilt and the act lapsed. It is probable that the access to North British Railway lines in the west of Glasgow, such as the Stobcross Railway to Partickhill and Queens Dock was a cheaper solution to building the line. The connection to the NBR lines was made at Sighthill East Junction.

The branch was revived in the 1890s as part of a scheme stretching from Robroyston as far west as Clydebank, Dumbarton and Loch Lomond, the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway. The planned short section of branch from Possil Junction to Hamiltonhill Goods being a very minor part of the whole, but the Balornock Junction to Possil Junction portion was part of the through line.






Dates

  /  /1876Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Branch authorised.
  /  /1878Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Portion of line from Balornock Junction passing Balornock House authorised. (Close to the house the line passed through Balornock Tunnel.)
  /  /1878Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Authorised route of 1876 partly abandoned, new route authorised.
  /  /1886Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time to complete line.
  /  /1891Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Further extension of time to complete line.
26/11/1894Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway) Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway Glasgow Central Railway
Balornock Junction to Possil Junction, Maryhill [CR] and Stobcross (L&D railway no 4) opened to minerals and goods. This gave the Caledonian Railway an independent line to the Queens Dock lines.
26/11/1894Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Balornock Junction to Hamiltonhill opened.
  /12/1894Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Springburn Park Goods opened for goods.
01/04/1895Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Curve to the Saracen Foundry opened.
  /  /1896Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Curve to the Saracen Foundry has to be closed as it was in breach of the 1891 formal agreement with the North British Railway which owned the nearby former Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway already serving the works.
11/03/1896Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway) Robroyston Marshalling Yard and Colliery Branches (Caledonian Railway)
Balornock Junction to Robroyston Yard opened.

Route described

The line takes an apparently quite long arcing route between Balornock and Milton (Possil) passing through Springburn Park Goods. The reason for this long route is the high ground near Springburg Park itself.


Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Blackhill Junction to Hamiltonhill

This was the goods branch first promoted in 1876. Initially it connected with the The Switchback (Caledonian Railway) line until the fork to Milton Junction (Glasgow) opened around the time of the completion of the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway which extended the line west to Dumbarton Central.

This was a four way double track junction. From here a line ran west to Germiston Junction Low (1886), south to Blackhill Junction (same line, 1886), north west to Possil Junction (1894, box opened) and east to Robroyston West Junction (1896).
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See also
The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Robroyston Marshalling Yard and Colliery Branches (Caledonian Railway)
Pickersgill 0-6-0 57652 descends gently towards Balornock Junction from the Possil direction with a freight on 10 June 1961. [Ref query 6568] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 10/06/1961
1 of 1 images.


This junction was opened in 1926 to serve the Robroyston Colliery and brick works. A temporary signal box sufficed during construction and a permanent box opened in 1929. The branch and box closed in 1944.
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This was a double track tunnel on the Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway). It was a relatively short tunnel under Balornock Road. ...

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This is a hospital in the north east of Glasgow. The original hospital opened in 1904 and a new one on part of the site in 2009.
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This goods yard was on the Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway). It was east of Balgrayhill Road on the north side of the line and approached, by reversal, from the east. When opened it was very much in the countryside, except for quarrying activity.
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Looking south east at Springburn Goods. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.


This was a double track seven span girder viaduct which crossed both the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and the north end of Eastfield Shed.
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An unidentified ^Jumbo^ 0-6-0 crossing Eastfield Viaduct with a freight in September 1949. Eastfield shed is just off picture to the right. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 03/09/1949
Caledonian 3F 0-6-0 57613 takes an eastbound freight over Eastfield Viaduct across the E&G main line on 12 October 1951 and is about to skirt the ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 12/10/1951
2 of 2 images.


This was the junction between the Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway) and the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway. This was a double track junction.
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See also
Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway
One of Dawsholm shed^s WD Austerity 2-8-0s, no 90198, working hard on the approach to Possil Junction on 24 May 1958 with a down coal train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1958
Possil Junction looking east. Here the routes to Hamiltonhill and Dumbarton split before passing under a roadbridge. The alignment of the line here ...
Ewan Crawford 02/02/2008
Possil Junction looking west. To the left was the route to Hamiltonhill (cutting infilled) and to the right the route of the line to Dumbarton. ...
Ewan Crawford 02/02/2008
View east over Possil Junction in June 1958. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/06/1958
4 of 4 images.


The foundry was served by sidings from the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway, just the north, which approached from the west. These sidings met the line around the site of today^s Possilpark and Parkhouse station.
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In 1894 a goods only branch opened from Possil Junction and petered out in a field not far from Hamiltonhill Basin. This was the Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway) which had been intended to serve a goods depot.
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This was a planned goods yard to be near Firhill Basin and Hamiltonhill Basin of the Caledonian Railway owned Forth and Clyde Canal in north Glasgow. It was to be the terminus of the Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway).
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