Kilmarnock and Troon Railway

Introduction

This was the first railway in Scotland to run (albeit briefly) a locomotive. The line ran from Kilmarnock to Troon with branches to coal mines. Much of the route is still open (the branches, termini, and some portions have been closed and replaced). The line is open for both freight and passengers.

The Laigh Milton Viaduct, on one of the closed sections, remains standing.

Why built

This line was built to convey coal from mines around Kilmarnock to a new port at Troon.

Service

Today the line carries both passengers and freight.






Dates

  /  /    [Kilmarnock and Troon Railway]
Arnott Young open a shipbreaking yard in Troon harbour, which also scraps locomotives.
  /  /1807Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
William Jessop surveys route on the instructions of the Duke of Portland
27/05/1808Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Act receives Royal assent
  /  /1812Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Opened from Kilmarnock to Troon Harbour by the 4th Duke of Portland
06/07/1812Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Railway opened
  /  /1817Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Trials of a Stephensons locomotive (first railway engine in Scotland)
  /  /1818Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Branch from Drybridge to Peatland colliery opened
  /  /1846Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Transferred to [Glasgow Paisley Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway].
16/07/1846Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Line leased to the [Glasgow Paisley Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway] and re-gauged for locomotives.
  /  /1849Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Peatland colliery branch closed
  /  /1865Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
[Glasgow and South Western Railway]
Kilmarnock and Troon Railway merged with Glasgow and South Western Railway.
16/07/1899Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Line bought by [Glasgow and South Western Railway].
  /  /1969[Kilmarnock and Troon Railway]
Drybridge and Gateside stations closed
03/03/1969Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Barassie to Kilmarnock closed to passengers
03/05/1969Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Kilmarnock No 2 to Barassie Junction closed to Passengers
05/05/1975Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
Barassie to Kilmarnock re-opened to passengers (on closure of Annbank to Mauchline to passengers)
  /  /1980[Kilmarnock and Troon Railway]
Meadowhead Caledonian Paper Mill opened
  /  /1980[Kilmarnock and Troon Railway]
Kilmarnock to Barassie re-opened to Passengers

Route described

The line runs from Kilmarnock to Troon Harbour. The Kilmarnock terminus and approach are long closed, from near here the line is open until near Laigh Milton Viaduct wher e the original route is closed over the viaduct. Just to the west the line continues intact to near Barassie wher e the original alignment was changed by the opening of the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. From here the line ran parallel to the later Troon Loop to Troon Harbour.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This was a passenger terminus. It was the first station in Kilmarnock and opened in 1818.
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This junction was formed in 1847 when the original route of the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway (upgraded and converted to standard gauge) was linked by a new connection to Kilmarnock Junction, allowing Kilmarnock [1st] to replace Kilmarnock (St Marnocks) as the terminus of the line from Troon.
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Not the most exciting photo ever taken, but a photo couldn't capture the very impressive sound of GBRf Class 66 No 66701 hammering up the line from ...
Robert Blane 22/10/2016

This junction was located between Kilmarnock and the former station at Gatehead. A box opened here in 1900 and a line opened eastwards to Mayfield Junction in 1902. This was a double track junction. The box was on the south side of the line.
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156462 forming the 1A35 Kilmarnock to Stranraer train on 4 June 2011. Photographed near Dundonald Road from the A71 overbridge. ...
Ken Browne 04/06/2011
Fairlie Junction looking east, 17 November, 1985. The hut visible was in the vee of the junction and taller tree/bush on the right is on the Fairlie ...
Robert Blane 17/11/1985
Looking west from the Troon Road (A759) overbridge just east of the former Thirdpart Junction at Moorfield, Kilmarnock, 10 January, 2016. Trees on the ...
Robert Blane 10/01/2016
Jubilee 45657 Tyrwhitt photographed at Thirdpart Junction on 6 May 1954 with a Kilmarnock to Ayr train. [Ref query 2631] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/05/1964

This junction was east of Gatehead station. A branch from the Kilmarnock and Troon ran south east to cross the River Irvine to serve Fairlie Colliery, Caprington Colliery and other pits. The branch was single track, with a loop at the junction, and the main line double track. The signal box was in the 'V' of the junction.
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Looking west to the former Fairlie Junction on the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway, 10 January, 2016. The Troon line follows the hedge line on the right, ...
Robert Blane 10/01/2016
Bridge No 2 on the Fairlie Branch, just east of Arrothill Farm looking southeast to Caprington, 07 November, 2009. Bridge was built for the opening of ...
Robert Blane 07/11/2009
A short distance after curving away southward from the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway, the Fairlie Branch crossed the River Irvine by a 2-span plate ...
Robert Blane 10/01/2016

This was a two platform station to the west of a level crossing. The main station building was on the eastbound platform. The goods yard was on the south side of the line, approached from the west. There was a signal box at the level crossing, on the west side of the road and south side of the line.
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View west from the level crossing at Gatehead showing the disused westbound platform to the left. ...
Ewan Crawford //1997
An unidentified 2P 4-4-0 passing through Gatehead station on 29 July 1953 with a Kilmarnock - Ayr train. [Ref query 6590] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 29/07/1953
Gatehead from the west on a bitterly cold 28 December, 1985. Left to right: 'Up' (to Kilmarnock) platform, level crossing, 'Down' platform (just ...
Robert Blane 28/12/1985
Approaching Gatehead level crossing and signal box on 31 August 1985 on a westbound special. [See image 24153] ...
Bill Roberton 31/08/1985

This was a headshunt on the regauged Kilmarnock and Troon Railway located just east of the Laigh Milton Viaduct.
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The 1812 Laigh Milton Viaduct is thought to be the earliest surviving viaduct built on a public railway. The viaduct is 5 miles west of Kilmarnock. It is a four arch double track viaduct over the River Irvine. The engineer for the viaduct, as for the whole route, was William Jessop.
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Laigh Milton Viaduct from the 1106 Kilmarnock-Stranraer. This was the first of three viaducts at this location and, having been restored, is in a good ...
John Yellowlees 04/01/2017
Looking beyond the description board of Laigh Milton Viaduct on 23 July 2010 towards the historic structure spanning the River Irvine in East ...
Ken Browne 23/07/2010
Looking across the historic Laigh Milton Viaduct, spanning the River Irvine 5 miles west of Kilmarnock, in July 2014. Built by the Kilmarnock and ...
John Yellowlees 17/07/2014
The 1812 Laigh Milton Viaduct, earliest surviving viaduct built on a public railway. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This siding was around mid-way between the former Drybridge (to the west) and Gatehead stations on the Kilmarnock and Troon railway.
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This signal box controlled the short mineral line for Craig Colliery. The line ran north and was approached from the east. The junction was east of Drybridge station.
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This two platform station opened on the re-gauged and rerouted line. The main station building was on the eastbound platform. The original alignment was to the north, starting from west of the station and running east to Girtridge Mill. The west end of this original route was retained as a siding for the station - on the north side of the line and approached from the west. To the east was a ...

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View west over the closed Drybridge station in 1997. ...
Ewan Crawford //1997
Hurlford shed's Standard Mogul 77016 passing through Drybridge station on 3 August 1958 with a Sunday Ayr to Kilmarnock train. [Ref query 13886] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 03/08/1958


View from a passing train of Hillhouse Quarry and its branch line off the Kilmarnock and Troon, on 31 August 1985. [Ref query 5336] ...
Bill Roberton 31/08/1985


This signal box was on the portion of line between Barassie Junction and Templehill Junction on the route opened re-opened in 1846 as a standard gauge line replacing the old 1812 Kilmarnock and Troon Railway approach to Troon Harbour Goods.
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In the Branchline Industrial Estate is the 'Old Station Garage' business which relocated from Troon Old Station. This station was on the original ...
Colin Miller 31/10/2015
Troon's Branchline Industrial Estate is at the harbour end of the former south to west chord which opened with the 'New' Troon station and loop in ...
Colin Miller 30/10/2015


This was the passenger terminus of the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway. The station was located in the harbour.
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Troon Harbour looking to the land along the eastern breakwater. Ailsa Shipbuilders on right. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Troon Harbour and Ailsa shipbuilders viewed from the eastern breakwater. Both sides of the harbour were rail-served. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Many locomotives met their end here. By the brick structure was Troon shed where locomotives were scrapped. The eastern breakwater can also be seen. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The plaque at the terminus of the original Kilmarnock and Troon Railway near the harbour in Troon. ...
Colin Miller 18/01/2015

Locos awaiting cutting at the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company in Troon in December 1964. From the left are Jubilee 45613 'Kenya', Duchesses ...
Bill Hamilton /12/1964