Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway

Introduction

This railway is largely closed. Portions of the line remain in use (as part of the West Coast Main Line) from Garnqueen South Junction to Gartsherrie East Junction, from near Sunnyside Junction to Greenside Junction (part of the Glasgow to Airdrie line),and from Sunnyside Junction to Whifflet (a diversionary route). Much of the rest of the route is now a footpath and cyclepath.

For much of its length, in the north particularly, it followed a similar course to a major canal feeder for the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Why built

This railway connected the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Monklands district and in particular its coal mines. Coal bound for Edinburgh via the Union Canal came to the canal at Kirkintilloch Basin.






Dates

  /  /1823Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Survey by Thomas Grainger.
17/05/1824Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Act receives Royal assent. Engineer : Thomas Grainger and John Miller Contractors : Thomas Grainger, William Baird & Co & Charles McCaul.
  /  /1826Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Gartsherrie station opened.
  /  /1826Calder Waggonway
Replaced by siding from Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, part retained until the 1860s.
  /10/1826[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Line opened under horse traction as a single track line.
08/07/1828[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Coach service between Kirkintilloch Basin and Leaend commenced.
  /  /1830[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
[Ballochney Railway]
Garden Square, Village built at Leaend for Railway workers.
  /  /1831[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Locomotives provided by Murdoch, Aitken and Co.
  /  /1831Murdoch, Aitken & Co
Build locomotives for the [Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway].
  /  /1831John Watson (Senior)
Sells Coal in Kirkintilloch carried there by the [Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway].
01/06/1831[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Coach service between Kirkintilloch Basin and Leaend ceased before this date.
  /  /1835Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Basin and further sidings opened at Kirkintilloch.
  /  /1837Rosehall Railway ([Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway])
Branch opened to Rosehall colliery.
  /  /1837[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
A locomotive erecting works in a workshop by the [Ballochney Railway] is abandoned, and Kipps is opened, on the other side of the railway from the old shed.
  /  /1838[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Workshops established at Kipps.
  /  /1838Rosehall Railway ([Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway])
Leased by Robert Addie and Robert Miller from Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway for 30 years.
  /  /1839[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Carriage service from Kirkintilloch Basin to Gargill to connect with Glasgow to Leaend service commenced.
  /  /1839[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Work to double line commenced.
  /  /1840[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Work to double line completed.
  /  /1841[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Second basin and further sidings opened at Kirkintilloch.
  /03/1842Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway
Line extended to Coatbridge station. This line later extended through to Whifflet and was used by the Wishaw and Coltness Railway and the Caledonian Railway to avoid the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway route through Coatbridge.
26/12/1844[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Carriage service from Kirkintilloch Basin to Gargill to connect with Glasgow to Leaend service ceases.
26/12/1844[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
New Kirkintilloch station opened to exchange with [Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway] station of same name by the Bothlin viaduct.
26/12/1844Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Service between new Kirkintilloch station and Hallcraig commences.
26/12/1844Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's Horse-drawn service between Kirkintilloch Basin station and new Kirkintilloch station commences.
  /  /1846Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Sunnyside Junction re-modeled to allow expansion of William Baird & Cos Gartsherrie Ironworks. Contractor for work: William Baird &Co.
23/03/1846[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Service between Kirkintilloch Basin and new Kirkintilloch station withdrawn.
  /  /1847[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
New bridge opened which takes line over Monkland canal and road in central Coatbridge.
27/07/1847[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Converted to standard gauge.
14/08/1848[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
[Ballochney Railway]
[Slamannan Railway]
[Monkland Railways]
Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway merges with Ballochney Railway and Slamannan Railway to become Monkland Railways.
  /  /1868Rosehall Railway ([Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway])
Expiry of lease by Addie and Miller.
01/02/1871Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Coatbridge Sunnyside opened.
26/10/1871[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Coatbridge station opened.
26/10/1871[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Whifflet station opened.
26/10/1871[Coatbridge Branch] ([North British Railway])
[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Whifflet to College passenger service starts.
  /  /1872Whitelaw Fountain
In memory of Alexander Whitelaw, partner in Baird & Company, who organised the raising of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway onto a bridge, rather than crossing the road over the Monkland Canal in Coatbridge with a level crossing.
  /  /1888[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Coatbridge Sunnyside opened.
  /  /1890[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
537 men employed at Kipps works.
  /  /1905[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Branch to Bedlay Colliery opened - although a tramway occupied most of the route previously.
01/05/1930[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
[Ballochney Railway]
Passenger trains cease on Ballochney Railway, last regular passenger train runs between Greenside Junction and Kipps Junction.
10/09/1930[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Coatbridge station closed.
22/09/1930[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Whifflet station closed.
28/10/1940[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Gartsherrie station closed.
10/09/1951[Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway]
Passenger trains running from Sunnyside Junction to Whifflet South Junction through Coatbridge for the Bothwell service cease to run - last regular passenger service over this section of line.
  /  /1954Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Rosehall Branch from Whifflet South Junction (excluded) closed.
  /  /1955Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Line from Whifflet South Junction (excluded) to Palacecraig Colliery closed.
08/01/1956Glasgow City and District RailwayCoatbridge Branch (North British Railway)Monkland and Kirkintilloch RailwayBathgate and Coatbridge Railway (Monkland Railways)Edinburgh and Bathgate RailwayEdinburgh and Glasgow Railway
Last regular Glasgow Queen Street Low Level to Edinburgh Waverley via Shettleston, Coatbridge Sunnyside and Bathgate Upper service runs.
  /  /1971Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Gartsherrie East Junction closed, line between here and the north end of Gunnie Yard lifted.
18/08/1971Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Last freight runs between Greenside Junction and Kipps Junction, line closed.
18/08/1971Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway Ballochney Railway
Greenside Junction (excluded) to Kipps Junction closed.
11/12/1981Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway
Bedlay Colliery closed and line from there to Garnqueen South Junction closed.
  /  /1984Monkland and Kirkintilloch RailwayBallochney Railway
Area around Kipps Junction landscaped and remains of railway and steel works removed.
09/12/1994Glasgow Central Railway
The River Kelvin bursts its banks and floods the disused tunnels from Kelvinbridge to Stobcross, where it floods the open Argyle Line railway. The route through Low Level Glasgow Central is closed between Partick and Rutherglen and trains are diverted onto the Sunnyside Junction to Whifflet section of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway for access to Motherwell. This remains in operation for around nine months.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Kirkintilloch to Cairnhill

Goods and (briefly) passenger line from Kirkintilloch Basin to Cairnhill Bridge.

This was the northern terminus of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway at 90 degrees to the Forth and Clyde Canal. It was a goods depot and briefly a passenger station. It was located in the west of Kirkintilloch. Also known as Middlemuir Basin.
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The site of Kirkintilloch Basin in 2001 looking north from very roughly the location where the sidings fanned out. The canal runs left to right in the ...
Ewan Crawford //2001

This foundry was established on the south bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal in 1861/2 by Alexander Smith, formerly of the Sun Foundry [Glasgow]. It was separated from the Canal Bank by Southbank Road.
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Also known as Woodleys Junction. This was the junction between the 1826 Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and a 1848 spur from Middlemuir Junction on the [[Campsie Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway). The lines meeting here were single track. Originally the line from Middlemuir Junction was double, dropping to single immediately before the junction.
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Woodley Junction looking north. Left; line to Kirkintilloch Basin. Right; line to Middlemuir Junction on the Campsie Branch. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987



This was the junction between the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the curve up to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's at Garngaber High Junction. The line dropped quite steeply from the high junction down to the older line and had a fairly tight curve to negotiate before running parallel for a little way to reach the junction.
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This siding was at Muckcroft Level Crossing, east of the crossing and on the south side, approached from the east. ...

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The line from Garnqueen divided into three here. Going to the north west, the original M&K route, two single track lines ran in parallel, giving the appearance of a double track line. The western track ran to Garngaber High Junction, the eastern to Woodley Junction. A newer route to Waterside Junction ran to the north. This later route was a conventional double track.
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Looking north at the junction between the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and a short spur which connected it to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway ...
Ewan Crawford //
View south at Bridgend Junction in 1997 seen from the site of the signalbox. Here the M&K (right) met the North British's 1895 connection to the E&G ...
Ewan Crawford //1997


This station was located at Bridgend in the north west of present day Moodiesburn, which did not exist when the station was open. It was north of Chryston, by which name the goods station was known some time after 1900.
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This signal box opened in 1895. It was located at the level crossing south of Avenuehead. The box was on the east side of the crossing, south of the line. The line here was double track. It was reduced to a gate box in 1909. This section of line, Garngaber Low Junction to Bedlay Junction, closed in 1965.
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This was the junction for 1905 Bedlay Colliery opened on the 1826 Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway. The colliery line was single track and approached from the west. The M&K was double track by the opening of the colliery. A signal box opened in 1909 in the 'V' of the junction. A little to the east on the colliery branch was an exchange yard. There was a quarry siding ([[Drumcavel Rock ...

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This short lived station was opened by the Monkland Railways company on the former Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, a line which was chiefly concerned with mineral traffic, not passengers.
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Line seen at Glenboig running north to Bedlay from a Cumbernauld-Glasgow DMU passing on the Hayhill Branch of the Caledonian. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Looking north west along the trackbed of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch railway at Glenboig on 9 March 2010. [See image 3013 in Notes & Queries] ...
John Robin 09/03/2010
An EE Type 1 with a Bedlay Colliery - Ravenscraig coal train, thought to have been photographed in the late 1970s. The train is running south from ...
Alastair McLellan //

The 1826 Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway was met here by the 1848 Caledonian Railway. The Caledonian used the M&K route to reach Garnqueen East Junction to the south, so a short portion of the main line was one of the earliest railways belonged to the North British. There were restrictions on the NB for their use of this section of their line to avoid the blocking of expresses by ...

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A 20 with a loaded coal train heads south at Garnqueen South Junction in the 1980s. The works in the background is the Gartliston Fire Clay Works, a ...
Alastair McLellan //
Garnqueen South Junction looking south towards Coatbridge. This view was taken over a fence looking to the former junction site in 1987. The signalbox ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
A 1980s view of Garnqueen South signal box in its original location before re-erection at Bo'ness. A train is making an exit from the Bedlay branch, ...
Alastair McLellan //

This brick works was opened by P&M Hurll, who also owned the nearby Garnqueen Brick Works. They also came to own the Birkhill Fireclay Mine and brick works in Drumchapel.
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The mostly demolished site of the Gartliston Fire Clay Brick Works in a view looking south west in 2001. The short portion of the Monkland and ...
Ewan Crawford //2001

This level crossing is north of Coatbridge. Gartgill Road crosses the double track railway here on a section of line which is now a double track main line but started life as a portion of the Monkland and Kirktintilloch Railway, largely a coal railway, of 1826.
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A short section of the West Coast Mainline belonged to the North British. Looking north from Heatherbell Level Crossing to Garnqueen South Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
68004 passing over Heatherbell level crossing with the Edinburgh Waverley to Motherwell empty coaching movement on the morning of 15/12/16. ...
Alastair McLellan 15/12/2016
A short section of the West Coast Mainline belonged to the North British. Looking south from Heatherbell Level Crossing to Gartsherrie East Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
View north at Heatherbell level crossing between Gartsherrie South and Garnqueen North Junctions on 25 September 2007. Warning klaxons are sounding ...
John Furnevel 25/09/2007

This former junction was formed between the 1826 Monkland and Kirktintilloch Railway and a short connection made by the 1848 Caledonian Railway which ran south crossing the 1831 Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway on the level en route and meeting its 1843 branch to Coatbridge Central at Garnqueen South Junction.
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This station opened on the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway just east of the junction formed with the opening of the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway in 1831.
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This box was at the north end of Gunnie Yard [1st] on the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway. It was on the east side of the line just north of where the Gartsherrie Ironworks and Railways crossed overhead. The yard started immediately to the south of the bridge.
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The yard consisted of sidings on either side of the former Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway between Gunnie North Signal Box and Gunnie South Signal Box. The yard was largely associated with the local iron works, particularly the Gartsherrie Iron Works.
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This signal box was at the south end of Gunnie Yard [1st] on the former Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway east of the Gartsherrie Iron Works.
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This junction is the successor to the original junction between the main line of the Monkland and Kirktintilloch Railway and the Kipps branch, and the line to Glasgow.
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37059 passing Summerlee with the Network Rail test train on 11th July 2019. A preserved West German tram is in the background, although the ...
Alastair McLellan 11/07/2019
37059 leads the Network Rail Test train out of Whifflet Loops at Sunnyside Junction on 11th July 2019. The train was heading for a tour of the West ...
Alastair McLellan 11/07/2019
Colas 37421 leading the Network Rail track testing train east through Sunnyside Junction with 37116 on the rear. 5th July 2018
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Alastair McLellan 05/07/2018
Colas 37219 on the Network Rail track recording train approaching Sunnyside Jct from the Whifflet loop. Large Logo 37025 is on the rear (06/07/17)
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Alastair McLellan 06/07/2017


This was a junction on the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway controlled by a signal box on the east side of the line.
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68007 on the Caledonian main line between Coatbridge Jct and Whifflet with the morning empty coaching movement from EdinburghWaverley to Motherwell on ...
Alastair McLellan 07/05/2019
With the remains of Dundyvan Basin and the still open Monkland and Kirkintilloch 'mainline' behind, this was the view looking west in 2001 where the ...
Ewan Crawford //2001

The 'leaf train' on the Whifflet Loop line, passing the site of the former NB station (closed 1930) [see image 10348]. ...
Alastair McLellan 10/10/2016
Whifflet (N.B.R.) N.B.R. 0.6.2T 69163. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 06/05/1961


This was the junction from which the 1828 Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway was extended south in 1834 by the Wishaw and Coltness Railway. From the same junction the Rosehall Railway ran south to the Rosehall Colliery.
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At Whifflet South Junction (in the background) the Gartsherrie North Junction - Coatbridge Central - Whifflet extension of the Garnkirk and Glasgow ...
Bill Roberton //2001
The signal box at Whifflet East Junction, as viewed from Whifflet Street bridge on 7 March 1971, with the RB Tennent works in the background. It ...
Bill Jamieson 07/03/1971

This was a roll foundry making rolls used in the steel industry and other products. It was founded by Robert Tennent in 1857 whose firm was R. B. Tennent & Sons Ltd.
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To the east was a large yard for the Calder Iron Works on the line to Faskine. The yard was on the original alignment of the Monkland and Kirktintilloch Railway, the railway being deviated to the north. The far end of the deviation was at Calder Iron Works Signal Box.
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Whifflet Central Junction (NB) looking south. The line to Palacecraig ran off to the left and to Hamilton to the right. The works is now disconnected ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
Looking south at Whifflet over the site of the former works lines. Tennents had a works here, latterly run by Sheffield Forgemasters. Sadly this has ...
Ewan Crawford 26/09/2009
Whifflet Central Junction (NB) looking north. Behind the camera the lines to Palacecraig and Hamilton parted. Tennents works on right. ...
Ewan Crawford //1987
The Meadow Works of Sheffield Forgemasters (formerly RB Tennents) seen from the north in 1998. By this date the works' railway was isolated from the ...
Ewan Crawford //1998


Short lived station to serve the Calder Iron Works. ...

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The original route of the railway passed right through the Calder Iron Works. The deviated line was north of the Calder Iron Works. This signal box was at the point where the deviation (over the Dixon Cut of the Monkland Canal) rejoined the original route at the east end of the deviation. The box was at the east end of double track and on the north side of line. The west end of the ...

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Kipps Branch

Passenger and goods line from Sunnyside Junction to Kippsbyre Colliery.

This junction is the successor to the original junction between the main line of the Monkland and Kirktintilloch Railway and the Kipps branch, and the line to Glasgow.
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37059 passing Summerlee with the Network Rail test train on 11th July 2019. A preserved West German tram is in the background, although the ...
Alastair McLellan 11/07/2019
37059 leads the Network Rail Test train out of Whifflet Loops at Sunnyside Junction on 11th July 2019. The train was heading for a tour of the West ...
Alastair McLellan 11/07/2019
Colas 37421 leading the Network Rail track testing train east through Sunnyside Junction with 37116 on the rear. 5th July 2018
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Alastair McLellan 05/07/2018
Colas 37219 on the Network Rail track recording train approaching Sunnyside Jct from the Whifflet loop. Large Logo 37025 is on the rear (06/07/17)
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Alastair McLellan 06/07/2017

This is a two platform station with the main building, on the Glasgow bound platform. The brick built building is a single storey. The Sunnyside Coffee Company is based in the station building.
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The Sunnyside Coffee Co is now open at Coatbridge Sunnyside station within the station building.
John Yellowlees 09/05/2017
The Sunnyside Coffee Company is based in the station building at Coatbridge Sunnyside. A small modification is needed to the station sign - it is of ...
John Yellowlees 27/04/2017
A 6-car Airdrie to Balloch service calls at Sunnyside on 14 November. ...
David Panton 14/11/2017
A sunny Sunnyside on 19 May with a Balloch to Airdrie service. Despite not being very central the station is well-served, with 6 trains a hour each ...
David Panton 19/05/2018

This was a double track junction east of Coatbridge Sunnyside. It was formed between the Kipps branch of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the later New Monkland Line (Monkland Railways).
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Airdrie and Balloch services pass at the site of Greenside Junction on 4th May 2019.
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Alastair McLellan 04/05/2019
This is the site of Greenside Junction, with the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway turning to the right while the line to the Kipps Shed and the ...
Alastair McLellan 04/05/2019

This works opened by the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway 'opposite' the Greenside Works of the Ballochney Railway between Greenside Junction (west) and Kipps Junction (east). The works was on the south side of the line and approached from the west. It was named for Mosside Farm, to the east. The works carried out maintenance of locomotives and wagons. Locomotives were built ...

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This shed was located to the north side of the Kipps branch of the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway just east of Greenside Junction. It was a double ended three road shed approach from both east and west. The site was bounded to the north by the gas works. There was a modern coal bunker at the east end of the site.
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This was a junction which grew to serve numerous lines and yards.
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Bedlay Colliery Branch

Mineral line from Bedlay Junction to Bedlay Colliery.

This was the junction for 1905 Bedlay Colliery opened on the 1826 Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway. The colliery line was single track and approached from the west. The M&K was double track by the opening of the colliery. A signal box opened in 1909 in the 'V' of the junction. A little to the east on the colliery branch was an exchange yard. There was a quarry siding ([[Drumcavel Rock ...

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Opened in 1905 by William Baird and Sons.
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No 17 awaits its next turn at Bedlay. The colliery s in the background right. ...
Andy Kirkham //
No 17 works hard taking a loaded coal train to the Bedlay exchange sidings. ...
Andy Kirkham //
A loaded coal train at Bedlay. ...
Andy Kirkham //
Steam at Bedlay Colliery around 1980. ...
Alistair MacKenzie 15/10/1980