Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway

Introduction

This line was completely closed in the 1970s with a short section of its E&G built extension remaining in use between Bathgate and Polkemmet Junction. After closure of the Airdrie-Bathgate line all sections fell out of use.

With the re-opening of the Airdrie-Bathgate line a short portion between Bathgate Upper and Polkemmet Junction has been re-opened.

The line ran from Morningside to Bathgate with branches to Carluke, Addiewell and Shotts.

Plans to extend to Wilsontown, of the title, were dropped, perhaps due to the failure of the iron works there in 1842, while the line was being built. It terminated at Longridge, being extended to Bathgate by the Longridge to Bathgate (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) in 1850.

Why built

There were two main purposes of this line
- to deliver coal to the Coltness Ironworks
- to connect to the railway network to deliver coal to other locations






Dates

  /  /1849[Wilsontown Morningside and Coltness Railway]
[Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway]
Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway absorbed by Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
  /02/1851Bathgate Chemical Works
Opened. There was access from the nearby [Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway] Bathgate branch.
  /  /1919Kingshill No 1
Opened by the [Coltness Ironworks]. Connected to the [Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway]. The town of Allantown is developed by the company and local council for miners.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Morningside to Longridge

The main portion of this line ran from Morningside [NB] to Longridge [1st].

The Wishaw and Coltness Railway reached Morningside around 1844 from Carluke [1st] (reached 1842) - a short distance of around 2/3 of a mile. The extension was probably driven to reach the under construction Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway rather than a desire to reach Morningside itself. It did service the Chapel Colliery in passing.
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This station was on the east side of Morningside Road, just south of the village of Morningside. It opened at the possible site of Morningside [1st]. A goods station existed here, approached from the east, before opening. The Ordnance Survey Name Book described it thus

This name applies to a small office adjoining the Wilsontown and Morningside Railway wholly for mineral ...

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On the right is the low mound of the platform at the NB's Morningside station as seen in 1997. Across a (now removed) distant bridge was the Caley's ...
Ewan Crawford 03/05/1997
This view is from trackbed of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway immediately east of Morningside (NB) station, itself immediately east ...
Ewan Crawford /12/1987

This was the junction between the North British Railway's branch to the Coltness Iron Works and the course of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
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This was the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway and the later Castlehill Branch (North British Railway). There was a loop on the original line and a single line led off to the south west for the branch.
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This station was at Blackhall Junction, the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway of 1845 and the 1859 branch to the north of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the Shotts Loops, serving the Shotts Iron Works. Named for Blackhall Farm to the west. Access to the branch was from west.
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This was the junction between the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway of 1845 and the 1859 branch to the north of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway to the Shotts Loops, serving the Shotts Iron Works. Access to the branch was from west. Named for Blackhall Farm to the west.
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This signal box controlled access to Knowton Colliery. The colliery was on the north side of the line, connected to the west end of a looped siding on the main line. The signal box was on the south side.
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This halt was north of Headlesscross Farm. The Railway Clearing House Maps shows 'Headlesscross (Gray and Paul's)'. Gray and Paul owned mines at Climpy and Wilsontown and Climpy Road ran south east to Climpy and Wilsontown, which suggests this was a loading location for coal worked to the south.
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This was a single platform station with the platform on the north side of a single track line and goods yard to the north, approached from the west. There was a stone building, extended in timber to have a canopy and waiting room, on the brick built platform and a water tank at the west end.
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View east along the trackbed towards Bridge Street over the site of the former Fauldhouse & Crofthead station in September 2009. Originally opened by ...
John Furnevel 15/09/2009
Remains of the platform at Fauldhouse and Crofthead in 1997 looking west. Unfortunately the platform was cleared away on conversion into a footpath. ...
Ewan Crawford 03/05/1997
View north east along the trackbed near the former Fauldhouse and Crofthead station, taken in September 2009. The location is east of the site of the ...
John Furnevel 09/09/2009
Just to the west of Fauldhouse and Crofthead station the main WM&C line continued west, passing below the Caledonian route, while a branch turned ...
John Furnevel 15/09/2009

This was the original eastern terminus of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
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Overgrown site of the Longridge (eastern) terminus of the Wilsontown Morningside and Coltness Railway. View looks west. ...
Ewan Crawford //




Coltness Iron Works Branch

This branch ran from just east of Morningside [NB] station to the iron works. This branch was one of the principal reasons why the line was built. Built by the NBR in 1890.

This was the junction between the North British Railway's branch to the Coltness Iron Works and the course of the Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness Railway.
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This junction was to the north of the Coltness Iron Works. Both the Caledonian Railway and the North British Railway had a connection to the Coltness Iron Works Railway here and this box controlled the junction between the two railway companies. The signal box was provided by the NB.
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Established by Henry Houldsworth (1770-1853) in 1839.
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Kingshill Colliery Branch

This coal mine was opened just south east of Allanton by the Coltness Iron Company in 1919, producing coking and other coals. The surface buildings included a washery.
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Standard class 3 mogul 77005 of Motherwell shed stands at Kingshill Colliery with Scottish Rambler No 5 railtour on 8 April 1966. ...
G W Robin 08/04/1966
Scottish Rambler No 5 poses at Kingshill Colliery on 8 April 1966 with BR standard class 3 no 77005 in charge of 12 brake vans. ...
G W Robin 08/04/1966




Crofthead Colliery Branch