Portpatrick Railway

Introduction

A section of this line between Challoch Junction and Stranraer remains open and is used by ScotRail to provide services between Glasgow, Ayr and Stranraer as well as Kilmarnock and Carlisle. The bulk of this line is now closed. The line was known by the abbreviations PR and PP&W as well as The Port Road.






Dates

  /  /1865[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Act receives Royal assent.
03/10/1870[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Opened. (Date doubtful).
  /  /1872[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Construction begins.
05/10/1877[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Line opened from a junction at Girvan ([Maybole and Girvan Railway]) to Challoch Junction ([Portpatrick Railway]). (Alternative date: 3/10/1870).
07/02/1882[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
[Portpatrick Railway]
[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway] trains banned from Stranraer and Portpatrick by the [Portpatrick Railway]. Line closed temporarily from Girvan to Challoch Junction.
01/08/1883[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
[Portpatrick Railway]
Lifting of ban of trains from the [Portpatrick Railway].
12/04/1886[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Line closed for two months due to financial problems.
18/06/1886[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Line re-opened.
02/09/1886[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Girvan (New) closed.
  /  /1887[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Ayr and Wigtownshire Railway
Girvan and Portpatrick Railway absorbed by Ayr and Wigtownshire Railway, a company formed to re-finance the line.
14/07/1890[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Girvan (New) re-opened.
  /  /1892[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Ayr and Wigtownshire Railway bought by the [Glasgow and South Western Railway]. Girvan (Old) closed and reparations made to Girvan and Portpatrick line.
01/04/1894[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Girvan (New) renamed Girvan.
  /02/1895[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Northbound train is snowed in at Chirmorie, passengers forced to stay in local cottages, and is only freed after a week.
  /  /1907[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Pinwherry box opened.
28/12/1908[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Southbound train becomes snowed in a mile south of Barrhill. Passengers are trapped in carriages for two nights.
15/11/1922[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Southbound freight train parts near Pinmore, the second portion catches up with the first portion and crashes into it.
  /  /1927[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Sunday trains, excursions, start on line.
22/07/1928[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Northbound freight train de-rails just north of Pinwherry loop, after passing through the tightly curved station at speed.
  /  /1937[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Second platform is added at Glenwhilly and the loop is extended to 12 carriages.
  /  /1939[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Pinmore, Pinwherry, Barrhill and New Luce loops lengthened to 12 carriages. Bryson tablet exchange introduced.
  /  /1947[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Southbound train becomes trapped in snow south of Glenwhilly. After two nights passengers are taken to Glenwhilly. The train was stuck for a further 3 days.
  /  /1959[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
DMUs introduced on Glasgow to Stranraer workings.
  /  /1964[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Pinmore signalbox and loop closed.
06/06/1965[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Pinmore, Pinwherry, Glenwhilly and New Luce stations closed.
14/06/1965[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Number of trains on line increases after closure of the [Portpatrick Railway]. Trains are diverted to run via Mauchline to Girvan and the former Challoch Junction for Stranraer.
  /  /1970[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Glenwhilly station demolished.
  /  /1971[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
New Luce station demolished.
  /  /1984[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Glasgow to Stranraer DMUs withdrawn and replaced with locomotive hauled SEALINK slam-door stock.
  /  /1987[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
SEALINK stock withdrawn and broken up at the Springburn works, replaced with other stock.
03/10/1988[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Class 156 Sprinters introduced.
  /  /1990[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Stranraer to Euston sleeper withdrawn.
  /  /1992[Girvan and Portpatrick Railway]
Pinwherry signalbox and loop removed.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This was a two platform station in the north of Castle Douglas.
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Class 5 4-6-0 45169 approaching Castle Douglas westbound on 14 July 1956 at the head of a Dumfries - Stranraer train. [Ref query 1000] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
40170 comes off the Kirkcudbright branch under Ernespie Road bridge and into Castle Douglas station on a wet Monday in July 1956. The train is a ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
Compound 40920 stands at Castle Douglas on 16 July 1956 with a train for Dumfries. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
The road overbridge at the west end of the station - all that is visible is part of the main beam - [see image 32313] for 1973. All else is under a ...
Colin Miller 07/07/2016

Looking west at the former Crossmichael station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Platform view west at Crossmichael station in February 1970. ...
John Furnevel 08/02/1970

This was a single platform station with the platform on the north side of the line. There was a goods yard to the east on the north side, approached from the east. There was a water tank at the east end of the platform.
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The closed station at Parton (1861-1965) between Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart on the Port Road. Photographed from the A713 in November 2005. [Ref ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2005
The former Parton station, Dumfries & Galloway, looking east - November 2005. ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2005
Looking east at the closed Parton station from the roadside. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a two platform station with a passing loop on the single track Port Road. New Galloway itself is quite some distance away, just under 5 miles to the north. The former station was located in the small village of Mossdale, by which name it is sometimes known.
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Compound 4-4-0 41132 calls at New Galloway on 14 July 1956 with a Stranraer - Dumfries train. [Ref query 980] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
A Dumfries - Stranraer train photographed shortly after leaving New Galloway station on 14 July 1956 behind Fowler 2P 4-4-0 40623. [Ref query 46221] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
View east over the site of New Galloway station in 1997. ...
Ewan Crawford //1997
The former New Galloway station on 12 May 2010 looking west along the down platform towards Lochskerrow. In the background the trackbed passes below ...
John Furnevel 12/05/2010

This was a halt at a remote location alongside Loch Skerrow. There was a passing loop, two short platforms, a siding, water tank, signal box and railwaymen's cottages.
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Ex-Caledonian 'Jumbo' 0-6-0 57362 approaching Loch Skerrow on 14 July 1956 with a Newton Stewart - Castle Douglas goods. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
A westbound goods at Loch Skerrow on 14 July 1956 behind 'Crab' 2-6-0 42884. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
Horwich Mogul 42918 with a westbound goods at a wet and lonely Loch Skerrow station on 14 July 1956. The train is on the up line at this point to ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956
A trainload of bombs destined for Loch Ryan heading west on the Port Road near Loch Skerrow in the summer of 1956. Locomotive in charge is Stanier 8F ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 14/07/1956

Scottish Rambler no 2, westbound through remotest Kirkcudbrightshire on 15 April 1963 between Loch Skerrow and Gatehouse of Fleet. The special ...
John Robin 15/04/1963
Site of the Little Water of Fleet Viaduct looking east to Loch Skerrow. ...
Ewan Crawford 11/05/2003
Wee Fleet viaduct from the west after closure of the line. ...
John Robin 14/08/1980
Shortly after leaving Gatehouse of Fleet station, heading east on The Port Road, the railway crossed a brace of viaducts spanning the two main ...
Robin Barbour Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //

This is a large granite single track viaduct 900ft long with 20 arches.
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The impressive twenty arch Big Water of Fleet Viaduct looking south in May 2012. ...
John Gray /05/2012
Looking east over the valley of the Big Water of Fleet and the viaduct that once carried the Port Road between Dumfries and Stranraer, as well as ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2005
The Big Water of Fleet Viaduct in the evening sun on 9 April 2010. The original granite piers were reinforced with brick outer casings and the arches ...
John Gray 09/04/2010
The viaduct over the valley of the Big Water of Fleet seen 40 years after closure of the 'Port Road' between Dumfries and Stranraer. Photographed in ...
John Furnevel 12/11/2005

This was a two platform station with a loop on the single track Port Road line from Dumfries to Stranraer.
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The old station at Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire (closed 1965), on a spring afternoon in 2010. View is west towards Stranraer. [Ref query 17 ...
John Furnevel 12/05/2010
The former station at Gatehouse of Fleet, seen from the south on 11 November 2005. Opened in 1861 (originally as Dromore) and closed in June 1965, it ...
John Furnevel 11/11/2005
The overgrown platform at Gatehouse of Fleet on 12 May 2010. View is west towards Stanraer. ...
John Furnevel 12/05/2010
Scene at Gatehouse of Fleet looking west platform side in April 2008. ...
Colin Miller 13/04/2008

This was a two platform station with the main station building on the westbound platform. There was a goods yard on the south side, accessed by reversing from the westbound platform. The station had a loop on the single track line. The station was just under a mile north of Creetown itself.
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'Jumbo' 0-6-0 57362 tackles the 1 in 80 gradient out of Creetown on 16 July 1956 at the head of a Newton Stewart - Castle Douglas freight. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
Compound 40920 arrives at Creetown on 16 July 1956 with a Stranraer - Dumfries train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
Creetown goods shed looking east. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Standing alongside the former Creetown Station, the old goods shed also enjoys a new lease of life as a private dwelling. [See image 38849] ...
John Gray /05/2012

This was a two platform station with the main station building on the eastbound platform and a goods yard on the north side, approached from the west.
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Palnure from the roadside ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking south at the closed Palnure station from the roadside. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This short farm siding was just west of the Cree Viaduct. It was approached from the east and was on the south side of the line.
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This was an important junction station on the Portpatrick Railway, to the south west of the town of Newton Stewart itself.
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40623+45432 photographed shortly after leaving Newton Stewart on 16 July 1956 with a train for Dumfries. [Ref query 1660] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
The former locomotive shed at Newton Stewart, officially closed on the last day of 1959.The building looks to be in a better condition than it was 10 ...
Andy Furnevel 22/05/2017
2P 40623 with Black 5 45432 at Newton Stewart on 16 July 1956 with the 10.58 am ex-Stranraer. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
The locomotive shed at Newton Stewart, looking to the former junction ...
Ewan Crawford 17/10/2004

This was a two platform with a loop on a single track line. There was a goods yard at the west end, north side of the line. The main station building was on the eastbound platform.
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View north across the B733 road at the former Kirkcowan station, just west of Newton Stewart, on 31 May 2007. The road once crossed the station site ...
John Furnevel 31/05/2007
Kirkcowan. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The station remains at Kirkcowan in May 2007, looking south west between the platforms towards Stranraer. Over on the right cattle now graze where ...
John Furnevel 31/05/2007

This two platform station was in the north of Glenluce, about a mile east of the Luce Viaduct. There was a goods yard on the south side, approached from the west. The station was on a loop, the line being single track. The main station building was on the westbound platform. There was a tall timber signal box at the west end of the eastbound platform.
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Looking north at the Glenluce Viaduct. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The old station site at Glenluce, as seen from the overbridge, on a very wet morning in May 2011. This view looks west towards Challoch Junction where ...
Mark Bartlett 23/05/2011
Looking west over the former Glenluce station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Most of the Glenluce station site has been built over since the 1965 closure of the Port Road. However, at the east end is a small car park ...
Mark Bartlett 23/05/2011

View west at Challoch Junction in 1997. The line from Dumfries was to the left and the line from Ayr is in the foreground. The junction was in the ...
Ewan Crawford //1997
View from the rear of a Stranraer-bound Swindon-built DMU approaching Challoch Junction in 1962. The 'Port Road' to Dumfries (closed 1965) is on the ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //1962
Challoch Junction looking west. The line from Dumfries (closed) is on the left and the line from Girvan (open) is on the right. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Challoch Junction looking east. The line from Girvan is in the foreground and the closed line from Dumfries is further away running parallel. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a two platform station. a loop and signal box ('B' listed) remain here and the station building still stands, complete with short section of platform. This had a canopy on its extension to the west, now removed. The loop and eastbound platform opened with the opening of the line north to Girvan.
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A reminder of when the Stranraer line carried freight - not so long ago, 1989. Here a northbound train of steel sections passes Dunragit level ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
The Girvan Goods at Dunragit on 16 July 1956. Stranraer 2P 4-4-0 40616 pilots Corkerhill based Standard class 5 4-6-0 73100. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956
The signal box at Dunragit, seen from the south side of the crossing in May 2007, looking east towards the site of Challoch Junction.
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John Furnevel 31/05/2007
BR Standard light Pacific no 72009 Clan Stewart brings the 7.25am Stranraer - Glasgow train over Dunragit level crossing on 16 July 1956. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 16/07/1956

This was a two platform station with a loop on the single track line. The main station building was on the eastbound platform. There was a goods yard at the west end, north side of the line, approached by reversing from the eastbound platform.
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Castle Kennedy looking east. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Entrance to the former Castle Kennedy station - May 2007. ...
John Furnevel 31/05/2007
Looking east from the level crossing at Castle Kennedy on 31 May showing the platform remains and converted station building. ...
John Furnevel 31/05/2007
Class 107 at Castle Kennedy. ...
Ian Dinmore //

This junction is east of Stranraer Town station, it is where the Stranraer Harbour line leaves the former line to Portpatrick. ...

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The view east towards Castle Kennedy from the small overbridge near Stranraer Town as 156449 heads for the port. The building on the right was ...
Mark Bartlett 23/05/2011
156449 is on the last part of its journey to the Harbour station at Stanraer and just about to swing into the shallow cutting that leads down to the ...
Mark Bartlett 23/05/2011
Only a short distance for 156449 to go before reaching Stranraer Harbour as it passes over the disused connection to the Stranraer Town freight ...
Mark Bartlett 23/05/2011
Scene from the gantry crane at the former Stockton Haulage yard, Stranraer, in 2004 looking south west. The Stockton Haulage yard area has since been ...
David Reid (Courtesy David Spaven) //2004

This was a four platform station. Two of the platforms were the main through platforms on either side of a loop which ran from the west end of the station to Stranraer Harbour Junction. The other two platforms were single track bays at either end of the up platform, this was the northern of the through platforms on the town side.
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This was the main goods shed (and later tamper shed) at Stranraer Town, looking towards the station in 2006 [See image 59353]. ...
Colin Miller 27/03/2006
One of the goods sheds at Stranraer. Views look east from Town terminus. ...
Colin Miller 27/03/2006
The main goods shed at Stranraer. Views look east from Town terminus. For a while this was the tamper shed. ...
Colin Miller 27/03/2006
In 1989, the Stranraer based trolley goes to bed for the night in the former goods shed at Stranraer Town, then a PW depot. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989

The original station on the pier was minimal; two tracks were laid on the pier - with a very short platform on west side at end of tideline, the line continued down the pier with a steamer office, goods shed near end of pier. There were cattle docks at base of pier. The pier had a slip at its end.
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A memento of the former station name at Stranraer Harbour. ...
John Yellowlees 14/12/2016
Stranraer plaque - unveiled today in memory of the SAYLSA company secretary James McKenzie Wilson who died last month. ...
John Yellowlees 27/03/2017
Despite appearances, Stranraer pier is not equipped with bouncy castles. ...
John Yellowlees 27/03/2017
Flowers brightening Stranraer station on an otherwise drab day. ...
John Yellowlees 02/02/2017

This was a single platform station with the platform on the north side of the single track line, just east of a level crossing. A siding, approached from the west, was to the south. This goods yard siding had a loop and cattle pen at the east end. The station building was at the west end.
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Colfin looking roughly towards Portpatrick. ...
Ewan Crawford //
When Portpatrick station closed to passengers and goods in 1950 the branch was cut back to the intermediate station of Colfin where goods services ...
Mark Bartlett 22/05/2011

This station was the terminus of the line, although, by reversal at the north end of the station, a train could continue on to Portpatrick Harbour station.
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Portpatrick station building and platform in 1988. View looking south. The line from Stranraer approached from the left and the line down to ...
Bill Roberton //1988
Trackbed level view through the Portpatrick headland cutting looking, at this point, south south east. From the station the line climbed steeply and ...
Mark Bartlett 27/05/2011
The grey house in the foreground sat at the buffers end of Portpatrick station platform although the station buildings themselves, which were behind ...
Mark Bartlett 27/05/2011
Sadly Portpatrick station site was cleared and prepared for housing in the 1980s. ...
Ewan Crawford //

The harbour station was reached by reversal at Portpatrick - the line extended beyond the platform there to a reversing spur and the branch dropped down to the harbour.
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Although the short lived 1:35 branch from Portpatrick station to the Harbour was closed as early as 1868, a section of embankment and two bridge ...
Mark Bartlett 22/05/2011
Portpatrick Harbour was an early casualty being approached from a difficult incline reached by a reversal and being an inappropriate location for a ...
Ewan Crawford //