Beattock: A view north of the fine station building and covered footbridge at Beattock in 1961. A similar building survives on Lockerbie's northbound platform, whereas this building was on the southbound.
David Murray-Smith 19/03/1961


Location type


Name and dates

Beattock (1847-1972)

Station code: National Rail
Opened on the Caledonian Railway.
Opened on the Moffat Railway.


Beattock is a village but it had a fine station with superior buildings. This was a three platform station on the Glasgow-Carlisle main line. There were two main line platforms and a bay at the north end, on the east side, for the Moffat Railway. Going north from Beattock is the climb to Beattock Summit.

The main station building was on the southbound platform. It was not dissimilar to that which survives at Lockerbie. There was a waiting room on the northbound platform.

Access to the northbound platform was by covered footbridge from the southbound as a goods bypass line ran down its west side, making it an island (although with only one face, on the main line).

The nearby 'B' listed stationmaster's house is of a similar design to the former main building.

The architect for the main building, stationmaster's house and a nearby gatehouse was probably William Tite.

There was a large water tank at the north end of the northbound platform.

The goods loop split and rejoined the main at the north end of the northbound platform and passed round the west side of a locomotive shed to rejoin even further north. The locomotive shed (Beattock Shed) was double ended and two road. The shed provided banking engines for the climb to Beattock Summit and a locomotive for the branch to Moffat.

The goods yard was on the east side of the line, north of the passenger platforms. It was approached by reversal from the station to reversing spurs at the north end of the site.

The Moffat branch (1883) started from the bay, joined the goods yard lines and passed round the west side of the reversing spurs before striking off north east to Moffat.

There were two signal boxes. Beattock South was at the south end of the station and on the west side, where the goods bypass took off from the main line. The north box was north of the station with the main line on its east side and loco shed and goods bypass line behind on its west side.

The Moffat branch closed to passengers in 1954 and completely in 1964 (or 66, sources vary).

The platforms were removed quickly after closure to passengers in 1972. The station buildings were demolished afterwards. However the stationmaster's house, of a similar design, remains albeit in poor condition.

The boxes closed in 1972, replaced with a temporary panel box which in turn was replaced by the Motherwell Signalling Centre in 1973.

The lines were remodelled for electrification. Sidings on the west side of the station, the former shed area, are used for goods traffic (occasionally timber). The goods bypass line, relaid, is now a down (northbound) goods loop. There is an equivalent up (southbound) goods loop on the east side, it extends further north than the original sidings.

It was described in the Ordnance Survey Name Book thus

A first class station on the Caledonian Railway with refreshment rooms attached.



External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

Nearby stations
Ruttonside [Private]
Victoria Lodge
Beattock Shed
Beattock Bank Ballast Quarry
Harthope Viaduct
Sidings Cottage
Corncockle Bridge
Beattock Summit
Corncockle Quarry
Start of River Clyde
Lockerbie Sawmills
Bodsberry Hill
Murthat Signal Box
Greskine Signal Box
Harthope Signal Box
Gray Mare^s Tail Waterfalls
Bodsberry Level Crossing
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

A welcome to Scotland

The dozing traveller on the journey north in a night train from Euston up the West Coast to Scotland felt almost remote from the country he travelled through. From time to time the accents of the various station announcers would break into his sleepy head. There were the Midland accents of Rugby, Stafford and Crewe, the Northern accent of Preston and Lancaster, and the refinement with which 'Carlisle Station, Carlisle' was always announced. Suddenly bursting through the window with the early light of a summer's dawn would come a broad Scots tongue as the platform staff at Beattock greeted each other. There now could be no doubt about it - like some promised Mecca the traveller had at last arrived in Scotland. A thrill of excitement would run down the spine of the returning exile; in double measure for the railway enthusiast as the banking engine nudged on to the rear of the train. The engine would hoot the starting code and, before the answering hoots from the banking engine had died from the surrounding hills, both engines would be roaring their way out of the Station on the five mile climb up Beattock Bank.

- W.J.V. Anderson, May 1968

The opening paragraph of the introduction to 'Steam in Scotland - 1' by W.J.V. and Derek Cross.

Chronology Dates

26/08/1847Caledonian Railway
Locomotive runs all the way from Carlisle to Beattock before opening.
04/09/1847Caledonian Railway
Captain Simmonds of the Board of Trade inspects the line from Carlisle to Beattock.
10/09/1847Caledonian Railway
Carlisle to Beattock opened.
15/02/1848Caledonian Railway
Beattock to Glasgow (Townhead) (via the Wishaw and Coltness Railway and the Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway) and Edinburgh (Lothian Road) branch opened. The stations at Abington and Elvanfoot, on its main line, are used by the lead mines and villages at Leadhills and Wanlockhead.
  /  /1882Moffat Railway
Line leased to the Caledonian Railway. Deviation at Beattock authorised.
  /  /1913Caledonian Railway
New wider bridge to be installed north of Beattock station crossing main line, Moffat Branch and siding.
08/06/1950Caledonian Railway
Train fire at Beattock results in 5 deaths.
06/12/1954Moffat Railway
Moffat to Beattock (excluded) closed to passengers.
07/10/1965Dumfries, Lochmaben and Lockerbie Railway
Highland 103 covers the line and then runs north via Beattock.
06/10/1971Caledonian Railway
Brake failure at Beattock leads to a collision resulting in a death.
03/01/1972Caledonian Railway
Beattock closed
21/12/1998Caledonian Railway
Derailment at Beattock.

News items

21/07/2023Councillors disappointed as train station campaign derailed [Daily Record]
21/04/2022Improvement programme planned for Early May Bank Holiday [Network Rail]
15/04/2022Passengers reminded to check before travelling this Easter [Network Rail]
26/03/2022Action plan for Moffat [DNG Online]
28/01/2022Fight is not over for stations [DNG Online]
24/03/2021Safety digest 02/2021: Beattock [RAIB]
23/03/2021Michael Fry: We must go full steam ahead in renationalising Scotland's railways [The National]
20/01/2021Glasgow-London express sped past 'failed embankment' at nine times emergency speed limit [The Scotsman]
20/01/2021Overspeed through emergency speed restriction near Beattock [RAIB]
29/01/2020Dumfries to Stranraer rail return stays on track [BBC News]


An Illustrated History of Carlisle's Railways

Bradshaw's Guides Scotlands Railways West Coast - Carlisle to Inverness: 5

Caledonian Dunalastairs and Associated Classes (Locomotive Monograph)

Caledonian in LMS Days (Railways in Retrospect)

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Carriages

Caledonian Railway Livery: The True Line Elegance and Style

Caledonian Railway Wagons & Non-Passenger Coaching Stock

Caledonian Routes 3: Stirling to Crianlarich - DVD - Oakwood Press

Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

Callander & Oban Railway Through Time

Callander and Oban Railway (Library of Railway History)

Carlisle To Beattock: including the Dumfries Branch (Scottish Main Lines)

Carlisle to Hawick: The Waverley Route (Scml)

Signalling the Caledonian Railway

The Caledonian Railway 'jumbos' the 18in. X 26in. 0-6-0s

The Caledonian, Scotland's Imperial Railway: A History

The Vanished Railways of Old Western Dunbartonshire (Britains Railways/Old Photos)

Through Scotland with the Caledonian Railway

Vanished Railways of West Lothian