Bankend was the terminus of the Lesmahagow Branch. The line terminated in an area of coal mines. Mines were redeveloped several times with the line and associated tramways being altered as required. At its height there was a considerable number of sidings here.
The initial layout was a loop at the end of the single track line. From this a tramway (Bankend Tramway) ran south to Bankend itself, serving several small coal pits and lime works close to South Bankend.
By the 1890s the line had been extended and the number of sidings had been increased. There was a long loop on the principal line, starting from east of the original terminus and ending to the west on the extension. A halt opened here in 1891 along with a signal box. The box was on the south side of the line and east end of the complex of sidings.
The former terminal sidings were expanded for the Westown Colliery Pits Nos 1 and 2 washery which was connected to various pits by the Bankend Tramway. New sidings were laid to the south serving the washery with exchange sidings at the east end.
The extension, opened in 1888, ran west past and served Dalquhandy Colliery Pits Nos 1 and 2 and on about 4 miles to Spireslack Colliery No 1 Pit and Galawhistle Pit. This is the extension which was famously extended yet again around 1900 to Auldhouseburn Junction but that portion, although fully signalled and prepared, never opened.
Some time after the line opened to passengers in 1891 as far as Coalburn an unadvertised halt existed here, dates of which are uncertain. Passenger trains terminated at Coalburn, to the north east, and ran on to Bankend to run round.
By 1910 the Westown Washery was moved slightly to the west and the layout of the Bankend Tramway changed again.
By the 1940s the west end of the Bankend loop was the end of the line (the line to Galawhistle closed 1942 and the box closed) and the layout of the Bankend Tramway had been altered yet again. The layout in the 1950s was similar but with further alterations to the tramway.
By 1960 all the collieries at Bankend and Dalquhandy had closed. The sidings were cut back to the long loop and one siding (the stub of the Westown Pits Nos 1 and 2 washery sidings).
With the introduction of DMUs the line was cut back to Coalburn in 1963.
Subsequent opencast operations, such as the Dalquhandy Opencast, have obliterated everything west of Coalburn to Stockhill. The mining village of Bankend has been obliterated too.
| Westown Colliery Nos 1 and 2 Pits|
Dalquhandy Colliery Pits Nos 1 and 2 and 3
Bankend Colliery Pit No 9
Bankend Colliery Pit No 1
Bankend Colliery Pit No 13
Dalquhandy Colliery Pit No 4
Bankend Colliery Pits Nos 15 and 16
Auchlochan No 1 Colliery
Bankend Colliery Pits Nos 9 and 11
|Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.|
|/ /1847||Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway)|
Act passed for a line from Motherwell to Bankend (beyond Coalburn). The Caledonian Railway fail to build the line.
|24/07/1851||Coalburn Branch (Caledonian Railway)|
Line re-authorised (this time independently but backed by the Caledonian Railway); route Motherwell to Ferniegair to Coalburn to Bankend, branch to Northfield (probably the Southfield Old Pit).