Alton Heights Junction

Location type

Junction


Name and dates

Alton Heights Junction (1883-1954)

Opened on the Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway).

Opened on the Mid Lanark Lines (Caledonian Railway).

Opened on the Muirkirk and Lesmahagow Junction Railway.


Description

This was a four way junction. The location was originally called Auldton Heights.

The original line here ran north through Brocketsbrae and Netherburn to Lesmahagow Junction. To the south it ran to Coalburn and Bankend.

There were collieries here, Auldton Heights Pit and, further west on a shot tramway, Auldton Pit. Auldtonheights Sawmill was to the east of the junction alongside the line.

In 1883 a connecting line was opened south to Poneil Junction giving access to Muirkirk [2nd]. To the south of the junction, on the west side of this new line, were sidings Alton Heights Junction Sidings. A box opened to control the junction and was modified in 1891.

Around 1891/93 a workman's halt opened here. Alton Heights.

In 1905 the Mid Lanark Lines opened, giving a new access to the north via Lesmahagow, Stonehouse and Larkhall Central to Ferniegair Junction. In preparation, the box was replaced in 1904. The sidings to the south were expanded on the west side of the line. All approach lines remained single track, however the junction itself was doubled, the approaches from Lesmahagow and Coalburn doubling - this provided a loop on the route.

The halt closed in 1952. The route north to Netherburn closed in 1953 and the route south to Poneil Junction closed in 1954/5.

The box remained open as there was a passing loop here on the line south to Coalburn which still carried a passenger service and served the large Auchlochan Colliery. There was also the occasional Pigeon Special.

Coalburn closed to passengers in 1965 and the box closed. The line south was cut back to the colliery. It closed completely in 1968 with closure of the colliery.

The formation of the closed lines remains clear, although increasing overgrown. To the north is a substantial bridge over the original route north. This was built when the road was turned into a dual carriage way. It reverted to two lanes with the opening of the M74.


Tags

Junction