Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway

Introduction

This line is closed. Until recently a small portion remained open at the Methil docks running through to the site of Methil station. The complex of lines at Methil docks were very substantial consisting of three large docks, a harbour, marshalling yards and coal loading facilities. There was a connection from Buckhaven to a branch of the Leven Railway.

The original line ran from Thornton Junction to Buckhaven. It was extended first to Methil and later to meet the Leven Dock Railway by Leven [1st]. These lines and docks were built at the instigation of the Wemyss family who owned a large number of local coal mines as well as the lands of Wemyss, Buckhaven, Methil and Leven. The line was sold the the North British Railway. Unhappy with the service provided the Wemyss family produced their own Wemyss Private Railway which ran from their pits to a washery by Methil.






Dates

  /  /1879[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Wemyss & Buckhaven Railway authorised
01/08/1881[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Line opened from Thornton to Buckhaven
05/05/1887[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Line opened from Buckhaven to Methil, new dock opened at Methil
05/05/1887[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Methil Dock No. 1 opened
26/07/1889[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
[North British Railway]
Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway merged into North British Railway.
  /07/1897[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway] ([North British Railway])
Methil Dock No. 2 partly opened.
  /01/1900[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway] ([North British Railway])
Methil Dock No. 2 opened completely.
22/01/1913[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway] ([North British Railway])
Methil Dock No. 3 opened, contractor Robert McAlpine.
18/08/1915[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway] ([North British Railway])
Methil Dock No. 3 closed for repairs.
  /  /1919[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway] ([North British Railway])
Methil Dock No. 3 re-opened.
07/11/1949[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
West Wemyss closed
10/01/1955[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Methil to Thornton Junction closed to passengers
10/01/1955[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Closed to passengers from Methil to Thornton
02/12/1963[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Thornton Junction to West Wemyss closed to freight
15/10/1966[Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway]
Lochhead Colliery to Methil West closed to freight

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Thornton to Buckhaven

Thornton North Junction to Buckhaven.

This is a four way junction. To the north the main line runs north to Ladybank and the mothballed branch to Cameron Bridge, (and formerly Leven [2nd] and the Fife Coast railway to St Andrews [2nd]), runs off to the north east. To the south the Dunfermline Branch heads west from the main line which runs south to Burntisland, (the Forth Bridge and [[Edinburgh ...

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GBRf 66733 at the head of the Royal Scotsman in Thornton Down Loop. ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
66733 and 66746 with the Royal Scotsman parked in Thornton Down Loop for afternoon tea. The crumbling bridge in the foreground carried the branch to ...
Bill Roberton 25/04/2016
Looking west at Thornton North Junction at the beginning of the branch to Leven - out of use since the 1990s, but now being mooted for re-commencement ...
David Spaven 01/09/2011

This island platform station was located directly east of the main Thornton Junction station and was directly connected to it by footbridge. It was an island platform with the line becoming single track as it curved off to the south east to Buckhaven. The east face of the platform was used for passenger trains.
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This junction opened in 1887. It allowed direct access for the Buckhaven line to the Dunfermline Branch via 'The Hole', as the line was known. Before this, the Buckhaven line only met the main line at Thornton North junction. Its opening coincided with the extension of the line east to Methil in 1887.
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This is a closed station, some way north of West Wemyss itself. Initially it had a single platform on the south side of the line and opposite a goods bank siding, approached from the west. The signal box was at the east end. The signal box was closed for the duration of the Great War.
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West Wemyss Station, looking towards Thornton Junction, with a goods loading bank on the right. Latterly worked from Methil from 1963. ...
Bill Roberton //1992
The trackbed at West Wemyss in 1996 looking towards Thornton Junction. The remains of the large signalbox can be seen on the left, with the station ...
Ewan Crawford //1996
South portal of the tunnel from the Victoria Pit, West Wemyss, Fife, to a trans-shipment point at the Hugo Depot, photographed in February 2012. ...
Bill Roberton 27/02/2012

This pit was served by a sidings from the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway just east of West Wemyss station. The sidings were on the south side of the line and the pit was reached by a reversal in the sidings. The pit was closed by 1893.
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This pit was served by a branch from the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway. There was a yard to the east of the pit and the pit was south of the line.
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This was a single platform station with the platform on the south side of the line serving the town of East Wemyss to the south. The station building survives in modified form.
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Wemyss Castle Station, in the village of East Wemyss, closed to passengers from 10 January 1955 and goods on 28 December 1964. Later used by a motor ...
Bill Roberton //1992
The former Wemyss Castle station is almost entirely hemmed in by
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David Panton 21/08/2010

This was a single platform station, originally a terminus approached from the west, from Thornton Junction. The platform was on the south side of the line, the town side. The line was extended east to Methil in 1887.
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Looking west from College Street, Buckhaven, over the course of the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway's Leven Extension. The route is clearly followed by ...
Bill Roberton 28/04/2018




Hugo Branch

This pit was served by a branch from the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway. There was a yard to the east of the pit and the pit was south of the line.
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This pit opened in 1872 and was connected, after 1875, by an inclined double hutchway through the Hugo Tunnel to reach the shore at West Wemyss where there was the Wellesley Colliery Victoria Pit and West Wemyss Dock.
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Thornton East to West

This provided a connection from the Buckhaven line to allow trains to run west onto the Dunfermline Branch.

This junction opened in 1887. It allowed direct access for the Buckhaven line to the Dunfermline Branch via 'The Hole', as the line was known. Before this, the Buckhaven line only met the main line at Thornton North junction. Its opening coincided with the extension of the line east to Methil in 1887.
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This was the western apex of the triangle of lines formed with Thornton North Junction and Thornton South Junction.
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