Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)

Introduction

This line is closed. The line was to be re-opened from Auchinleck to Cronberry and then a section of the Gaswater branch for coal traffic from an opencast site.






Dates

09/08/1848Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Auchinleck to Muirkirk [1st] opened. The line served the Lugar Iron Works, the Muirkirk Iron Works and various coalmines (actually opened by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway rather than the G&SWR).
  /  /1873Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Caledonian Railway line via Douglas reaches Muirkirk, anew Muirkirk [2nd] station was opened further east, on other side of road bridge from original. Caledonian Railway use the Glasgow and South Western Railway Muirkirk Shed. (Later a second Caledonian Railway line was built from Coalburn to Muirkirk [2nd] but was not used as the Glasgow and South Western Railway threatened to apply for running powers through to Lanark).
03/07/1950Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Cronberry to Auchinleck closed to passengers.
10/02/1969Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Muirkirk [2nd] to Cronberry (excluded) closed to freight.
06/12/1976Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway)
Cronberry to Auchinleck closed to freight.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This junction was immediately east of Auchinleck station between the lines to [[Muirkirk] and the main line from Glasgow St Enoch to Carlisle. Muirkirk Junction Shed was located in the 'v' of the junction. The Muirkirk branch singled shortly after the junction, with initially only the westbound line laid. ...

More details


This junction was directly east of Muirkirk Junction, Auchinleck. It was the start of two mineral lines which left the north side of the Muirkirk branch heading west before turning north - both lines running parallel for about a third of a mile before the western of the two lines continued north to Gilmilnscroft Colliery and the eastern ran north east to Common, Ballochmyle and Darnconner ...

More details

This was the junction for coal pits to the west of Birnieknowe Farm on a short branch going north from the Muirkirk line, approached from the east. To the south was a line to Blackston Colliery, also approached from the east.
...

More details


This was a two platform station in a shallow cutting which did not open with the line. The timber ticket was elevated at street level, on the north side above the eastbound platform and there were waiting rooms on each platform. There was no goods yard.
...

More details
View looking west over the former Commondyke station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Memorial by Commondyke station for a nun who was run over by a train. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking east towards Cronberry the closed at Commondyke station. The line through here, from Auchinleck to Powharnal, is due for re-opening. ...
Ewan Crawford 20/02/2005

This was the junction for the Common Branch, between Commondyke (to the west) and Lugar (to the east). The branch was approached from the west. It ran north to the Common pits. The branch dated from the 1850s, or earlier.
...

More details

This was a two platform station built principally to serve the Lugar Iron Works, Lugar village, and other nearby works. There was a small private goods yard on the south side, served from the west. The main building was on the westbound platform (iron works and village side of the station).
...

More details
This view looks west over the former Lugar station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
View looking west to Lugar station. This line was to be re-opened to Powharnal (Gaswater). To the left are bings from the Lugar Ironworks. ...
Ewan Crawford 20/02/2004

This junction was east of Lugar station. The Lugar Ironworks was reached by reversal from sidings just to the east, on the south side of the line. The branch ran south west and then south to the works via Rose Junction. The reversal sidings, Cronberry Sidings Nos 1,2,3, may have originally been looped with their east end at Cronberry Pits No 1,2,3 Signal Box.
...

More details

Cronberry Pit No 1 was an ironstone mine located to the north of the Muirkirk line near Lugar station.
...

More details

This signal box was a little west of Cronberry Junction, just west of the Mosshouse Viaduct. It controlled access to a short curving branch which ran north to Cronberry Tileworks and Cronberry Pit No 4. The pit was relatively short lived but the tile works outlived the pit and continued to be served by a siding.
...

More details
West of Cronberry Junction on the line to Auchinleck was a further west facing junction for mines to the north. This view looks west at this junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Remains of the Cronberry No 4 signalbox at Cronberry, looking west on the Muirkirk branch in July 1998. [Railscot note: the signalbox is named for Pit ...
Bill Roberton 16/07/1998


This was a three arch double track viaduct over the Bellow Water. The viaduct was rebuilt to take a double track and fell out of use in 1976.
...

More details
Looking east towards Cronberry Junction. Note the small viaduct to the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Viaduct over the Bellow Water on the closed line between Cronberry and Auchinleck, on 16 July 1998. Since demolished. This was just west of the ...
Bill Roberton 16/07/1998


This junction was directly west of Cronberry station. The Auchinleck to Muirkirk [1st] line of 1848 was met by the line from Ayr via Belston Junction in 1872.
...

More details
Cronberry Junction and station site seen from the bings of Mosshouse Pit in 1996. Cronberry was an largely an interchange station opened some years ...
Ewan Crawford //1996
View looking west over the site of Cronberry station and junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //
View looking east at Cronberry Junction. To the left is the mainline to Auchinleck and to the right the Ayr and Cumnock line. [See image 39529] ...
Ewan Crawford 20/02/2005

Cronberry was a two platform station to the immediate east of Cronberry Junction, a junction formed between the line from Auchinleck and the line from Belston Junction to Muirkirk [2nd]. The platforms were stone with a timber station building on the westbound platform and a signal box at the west end.
...

More details
RCTS/SLS RAIL TOUR OF SCOTLAND 20th June 1962

...
Jim Currie (Courtesy Stephenson Locomotive Society) 20/06/1962
RCTS/SLS RAIL TOUR OF SCOTLAND 20th June 1962

...
Jim Currie (Courtesy Stephenson Locomotive Society) 20/06/1962
RCTS/SLS RAIL TOUR OF SCOTLAND 20th June 1962

...
Jim Currie (Courtesy Stephenson Locomotive Society) 20/06/1962
Cronberry. C.R. 0.4.4T 15203 on Auchinleck train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 24/09/1949


This was the junction between the Muirkirk branch and the Gass Water branch, named for the water course running south west off the high ground to the east of the railway. The branch saw a variety of uses over its lifetime; limestone, coal and baryte being extracted. The location was at Carbellow Farm. The spelling of the name 'Gass Water' has varied. The water course is the Gass Water but the ...

More details
NCB No. 1 (Andrew Barclay 2368 of 1955) propelling uphill to Cairnhill Colliery approaching the A70 road bridge. The bridge has been obliterated ...
Bill Roberton //1974
View east at Gass Water Branch Junction in 2005. The Muirkirk line runs straight ahead and the branch was to the right of the remaining structures. ...
Ewan Crawford 20/02/2005
NCB No. 1 (Andrew Barclay 2368 of 1955) builds up a head of steam at Cronberry exchange sidings on the old Gasswater branch with empty coal wagons for ...
Bill Roberton //1974

A loading pad, and preparation plant, for the Gasswater Baryite Mine which was to east and connected by an aerial ropeway. The mine had its own narrow gauge railway system. The ropeway replaced the western part of this railway.
...

More details


Opened by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. This halt was located between Gasswater Branch Junction and Carbello Pit No 3. ...

More details


This signal box, opened 1881 (the line was doubled in 1883), was north east of Cronberry Crossing and controlled the siding for Carbellow Ironstone Pit No 3, to the south west.
...

More details

This was the junction for the short branch south east to Welltrees Mine No 3 and Welltrees Mine No 4. Access was from the west. Both main line and branch crossed the Welltrees Burn at this point by separate, but very close together, parallel bridges.
...

More details


Welltrees was on the east side of the Welltrees Burn. It was served by a short branch from Welltrees Siding on the Muirkirk line which ran south beside the east bank of the Welltrees burn.
...

More details



This was a 1950s set of sidings with an entry control cabin, shed/workshop, exchange sidings and main sidings. The site was on an east-west orientation with a connection to the GSW Muirkirk which faced west, the sidings being on the south side and parallel to that line. A building straddled at least one line in the sidings at the east end of the site.
...

More details

Welltrees was on the east side of the Welltrees Burn. It was served by a short branch from Welltrees Siding on the Muirkirk line which ran south beside the east bank of the Welltrees burn.
...

More details

This signal box controlled a siding on the south side of the line, served from the west. The siding formerly served Wellwood Pit by reversal. This pit was to the south and on higher ground.
...

More details

This pit was to the south of the Muirkirk Branch (Glasgow and South Western Railway). Access to the pit was by reversal from a siding controlled by Wellwood Siding Signal Box.
...

More details

This signal box was west of Muirkirk [1st] and controlled access to the short branch to Wellwood No 1 Pit, a coal pit.
...

More details



This signal box was west of Muirkirk [1st] station. It controlled the western approach to the station, goods yard and Muirkirk Shed. It also controlled access to the private line running from the station round the north side of the box to Kames Colliery and on to pits at Wellwood. The box was west of the station and on the north side of the main line.
...

More details


This was a two platform station, dating from 1848, opened by the Glasgow and South Western Railway. It was originally a terminus, although the line continued east through the station to the Muirkirk Ironworks, just to the north. The line to the works was initially double, later reduced to single. Another branch continued east, through what would later be the second station, and then south ...

More details
View east from the site of the original Muirkirk terminus. The later station was in the distance. To the right was a goods shed and engine shed and a ...
Ewan Crawford //1996
Drummond 2F 0-6-0 no 57383 at Muirkirk on 20 April 1962 on the curve from the old ironworks. View west with the original 1848 station building on the ...
David Stewart 20/04/1962
Just west of Muirkirk station the Muirkirk Branch crossed over the Garpel Water. View looks north west from the former Muirkirk Waggonway bridge. ...
Ewan Crawford 25/05/2003
Looking east at Muirkirk. The line straight ahead goes to Lanark and the pugs are on the curve from the old ironworks at Muirkirk. Off to the right is ...
Models of Hull Collection / John Turner //

The Muirkirk Ironworks were located south of present day Muirkirk. They were established in what was a remote area by John Robertson, John Gillies, and Thomas Edington.
...

More details

This was a two platform station dating from 1896. This is the better known station at Muirkirk which was in use as the lines closed.
...

More details
View from the second Muirkirk station, which survived into the 1960s, westwards towards the first station. The junction between the CR and G&SW, a ...
Ewan Crawford //1999
Photostop at Muirkirk on 30 June 1963 for the RCTS (West Riding Branch) 'Three Summit Tour'. HR 103 + 57581 had taken over the special (which ...
K A Gray 30/06/1963
HR 103 + 57581 stand at Muirkirk during a photostop on 30 June 1963 with the RCTS (West Riding Branch) 'Three Summit Tour', which ran from ...
K A Gray 30/06/1963
Train for Lanark (destination Carstairs) about to leave Muirkirk in October 1964, just before closure. ...
Colin Miller /10/1964


Muirkirk East signal box was to the east of Muirkirk [1st] station and on the south side of the line opposite the junction for the Muirkirk Iron Works. It was on the eas side of Furnace Road.
...

More details