Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)

Introduction

This line is open. The station at Largs, which was demolished by a run-away train, has been re-built.

Many services ran to Ardrossan Town station, but with the north to west link at Ardrossan no longer in existence these trains now run through to Glasgow.






Dates

  /  /1878Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
First portion of line opened to West Kilbride.
  /  /1880Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Line extended to Fairlie.
  /  /1881Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Fairlie to Largs authorised.
  /  /1882Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Line extended through Fairlie Tunnel to Fairlie Pier.
  /  /1885Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Line extended to Largs.
  /  /1895Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Shed [2nd] opened in the triangle of lines by Ardrossan Town.
  /  /1899Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Largs Pier (Largs Harbour) vested into the Glasgow and South Western Railway.
  /  /1948Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Shed [2nd] coded 67D.
  /  /1965Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Shed [2nd] closed.
  /  /1967Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Shed [2nd] (already closed) signing on point closed.
01/01/1968Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Castlehill Junction to Parkhouse Junction closed to passengers.
30/09/1969Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Ardrossan Castlehill Junction to Parkhouse Junction closed to freight.
01/10/1971Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Fairlie Pier to Fairlie Pier Junction closed to passengers.
31/07/1972Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Fairlie Pier to Fairlie Pier Junction officially closed to passengers.
  /01/1979Ravenscraig Steel WorksLargs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Hunterston Ore Terminal opened with a 3500 ton crane for ore and 2500 ton crane for coal. Hunterston Ore Terminal to Holm Junction re-opened to freight.
  /01/1987Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Line electrified. Passenger trains are confined to the northbound line (starting from just east of Ardrossan South Beach), freight to the Hunterston Ore Terminal can use both lines as far as Hunterston Junction. Beyond Hunterston Junction, going north, the southbound line is lifted.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Ardrossan to Largs

At Castlehill Junction, immediately east of Ardrossan Town, the Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway was met by the west fork of the Largs Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway). The box was located to the north of the junction and opened with the Largs branch in 1878.
...

More details

See also
Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway
Castlehill Junction with the route left to Largs now somewhat overgrown. Also ahead was the second G&SW Ardrossan shed, somewhere in those trees. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
40644 passing Castlehill Junction, Ardrossan, on 6 July 1959 with a train for Kilmarnock. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/07/1959
A J36 0-6-0, heads north past Castlehill Junction Ardrossan in November 1962. The locomotive is thought to be no 65273, allocated to 67D from March ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /11/1962
3 of 3 images.


This junction opened in 1878 when a triangular junction opened at the south end of the Largs branch.
...

More details
QTS getting near the end of embankment stabilisation work for Network Rail to the north of Ardrossan. Improved drainage and webbing have been ...
Douglas Blades 20/11/2017
A Glasgow St Enoch - Fairlie Pier boat train runs through Parkhouse Junction on 6 July 1959 with 2P 40688 piloting Standard class 4 76091. Ardrossan ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/07/1959
A Largs - Kilwinning train approaching Parkhouse Junction, Ardrossan, on 24 May 1960. The locomotive is Hurlford based Fowler 2P 4-4-0 no 40595. [Ref ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
3 of 3 images.


These sidings served a Second World War oil depot with partly buried oil storage tanks alongside the Largs branch in countryside not far to the north of Ardrossan. The oil was manufactured at the nearby Ardrossan Refinery and puimped to the site.
...

More details
A train on the Ayrshire coast line heading north away from Ardrossan in 1962. ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1962
Jubilee 45697 Achilles approaching Ardrossan on 24 May 1960 with a Largs to Penrith excursion train. [Ref query 10055] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
Ardrossan's Black 5 no 45479 approaching the town from the north in early July 1962. The train is passing the site of the former Montfode fuel depot, ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 03/07/1962
3 of 3 images.


This signal box was located between West Kilbride (to the north) and Ardrossan (Parkhouse Junction). The box was on the east side of the line a short way south of the Kirkland Glen Viaduct. The box opened in 1896, there may have been a temporary box just prior to this (although this is not shown on the 1896 OS map).
...

More details
A Largs - St Enoch express photographed near the site of Boydston signal box on 24 May 1960. The locomotive is Ardrossan based Fairburn 2-6-4T no ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
Black 5 45251 climbing near Boydston signal box between Parkhouse Junction and West Kilbride on 25 May 1960 with a Glasgow - Largs express. [Ref query ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/05/1960
2 of 2 images.


The Largs branch is a confusing line - a southbound train going away from the camera heads for the Kirkland Glen Viaduct. Ardrossan Harbour is seen in ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
1 of 1 images.


This is a single platform station. There are, however, two lines. The line nearest the platform is used in both directions by Glasgow Central - Largs trains. The same line was used by freight going north to the Hunterston Ore Terminal. The other line was used by southbound trains coming from Hunterston only.
...

More details
42190 seen shortly after passing through West Kilbride with a Largs - St Enoch train in May 1960. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
West Kilbride building under renovation to form some sort of food outlet in May 2019. ...
Colin Miller 17/05/2019
View along the platforms at West Kilbride on 24th January 2020. ...
Colin Miller 24/01/2020
It seems little progress has been made with the renovations at West Kilbride since my last visit on 17th May 2019. This view on 24th January 2020, ...
Colin Miller 24/01/2020
4 of 71 images. more


This is the junction for the Hunterston High Level Sidings and Hunterston Low Level Sidings. The high level sidings were laid out on the east side of the line and approached from the south. The low level sidings are on the west side and also approached from the south.
...

More details

See also
Hunterston Ore Terminal (British Railways)
334034 passes the Low Level line at Hunterston Junction with a service for Largs. Image taken with authorised access to this point in 2003. ...
Bill Roberton //2003
66097 passes the relay room at Hunterston Junction with a coal train from the High Level terminal in 2003. ...
Bill Roberton //2003
A pair of DRS 37s with flasks at Hunterston Junction heading south. ...
Rod Crawford 28/09/2016
3 of 3 images.


This is a single platform station with a car park in the south of the village of Fairlie. From 1880 to 1882 it was the terminus of the line before it was extended to Fairlie Pier.
...

More details
Glasgow bound train at Fairlie. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Under a threatening sky at Fairlie. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Fairlie, once Fairlie High, showing the building on the one time northbound platform. The goods yard to the right dealt with nuclear flask traffic ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The window sticker at Fairlie High in 1985. The glass was frosted unfortunately. ...
Colin Miller //1985
4 of 23 images. more


This was the junction between the 1882 line to Fairlie Pier and the 1885 extension to Largs. Fairlie Pier was a steamer pier and Largs was in the town of Largs.
...

More details
A Sunday St Enoch - Largs train emerges from Fairlie Tunnel and runs through the junction on 5 July 1959, hauled by Corkerhill Fairburn tank 42191. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 05/07/1959
A Sunday Largs - Glasgow service about to run through Fairlie Pier Junction on 5 July 1959. The train is hauled by Ardrossan shed's Fairburn 2-6-4T no ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 05/07/1959
Having turned at Largs 45366 returns to its train at Fairlie pier junction. ...
John Robin 15/08/1963
3 of 3 images.




This station, on a steamer pier, was the terminus of a short double track branch from Fairlie Pier Junction.
...

More details
Fairlie Pier (no pier). Looking to the Great Cumbrae. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The pier that eclipsed all the others ... for bulk mineral importing. Fairlie Pier looking to Hunterston Pier. Mountains of Arran beyond. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
This was Fairlie Pier. Looking from the end of the platform towards the pier. Note the Admiralty pier on the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
From the site of the buffers looking east at Fairlie Pier. The lines ran off to the right behind the row of houses to meet the Largs Branch. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
4 of 17 images. more




This is a two platform terminus station which, just to the south, continues as a single track to Fairlie. There is a small, modern, glazed station building on the east side. The station opened in 1885, with the extension of the line north from Fairlie Pier Junction.
...

More details
A Viking longboat at Largs Station. Design supplied by the Scottish Maritime Museum. ...
John Yellowlees 03/06/2018
A Glasgow service waits to depart Largs on 22 May 2019. The other Platform (1) is only needed once a day, Monday to Friday - the only time there are ...
David Panton 22/05/2019
380014 at Largs station on 25th July 2017. ...
David Bosher 25/07/2017
BR standard tank 80052 at the head of the Saturday 6.15pm Largs - St Enoch, seen shortly after commencing its journey on 1 July 1961. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 01/07/1961
4 of 101 images. more





Holm Junction to Parkhouse Junction

This junction is immediately west of Ardrossan South Beach station. The lines from Glasgow to Ardrossan Harbour and Largs divide here.
...

More details

See also
Ardrossan and Johnstone Railway
A Kilmarnock - Winton Pier train takes the left fork at Holm Junction after leaving Ardrossan South Beach station on 4 July 1959. The locomotive is ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 04/07/1959
An Ardrossan Harbour to Glasgow service comes of its short branch (or sub-branch) at Holm Junction on 22 May 2019. The rusty rails nearest to it are a ...
David Panton 22/05/2019
380108 takes the Ardrossan Harbour line at Holm Junction. Ahead is the turnback siding and to the right the Largs branch. ...
Ewan Crawford 10/08/2017
Fairburn 2-6-4T 42191 runs through Holm Junction on 24 May 1960 with a Largs - St Enoch train. At that time the locomotive was allocated to Ardrossan ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
4 of 10 images. more


This shed was within the triangle of lines at Castlehill, just east of Ardrossan Town station and north of Ardrossan South Beach. It replaced an older shed at Ardrossan Town.
...

More details
End of the line. Ex-Caledonian 0-6-0 no 57673 stands at the south east corner of Ardrossan shed yard in the early part of 1962, around the time of its ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1962
Out of use locomotives stored in the sidings alongside Ardrossan shed in November 1962 included (front to rear) 40668, 40625 and 42191. See image ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) /11/1962
Fowler 2P 4-4-0 no 40606 stored at 67D Ardrossan shed in March 1959. Officially withdrawn by BR two months later, the locomotive was cut up at ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 27/03/1959
Fowler 2P 4-4-0 no 40667 stands in the shed yard at 67D Ardrossan in March 1959. ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) 27/03/1959
4 of 7 images. more


This junction opened in 1878 when a triangular junction opened at the south end of the Largs branch.
...

More details
QTS getting near the end of embankment stabilisation work for Network Rail to the north of Ardrossan. Improved drainage and webbing have been ...
Douglas Blades 20/11/2017
A Glasgow St Enoch - Fairlie Pier boat train runs through Parkhouse Junction on 6 July 1959 with 2P 40688 piloting Standard class 4 76091. Ardrossan ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/07/1959
A Largs - Kilwinning train approaching Parkhouse Junction, Ardrossan, on 24 May 1960. The locomotive is Hurlford based Fowler 2P 4-4-0 no 40595. [Ref ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/05/1960
3 of 3 images.