Methil East Junction

Location type

Junction

Name and dates

Methil East Junction (1914-1975)

Opened on the Leven Dock Railway.
Opened on the Leven Extension Railway (Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway).
Opened on the Kirkland Yard and Leven Dock to Methil Line Widening (North British Railway).

Description

This junction, actually at Levenmouth, was formed in 1914 during the works to open Methil Dock No 3. Kirkland Yard was laid out to the west, a great improvement on the single track line from the Kirkland Siding reversing spur in Leven. A quadruple track was laid from the yard to Methil East Junction where there were sidings on the site of the Leven Dock and a new quadruple track bridge over the River Leven. The fan out of lines to (from west to east) Leven Colliery Branch (Fife Coal Company), Methil West Junction, Methil Yard and Methil Dock No 3 (west side, piers and east side) began here.

The signal box was located on the east side of the quadruple line to the south with the Leven Dock sidings to the north east.

Methil Power Station was opened nearby in 1965. This was on the south bank of the River Leven in largely vacant land to the north of Methil Dock No 3. Approach was from Methil East Junction. The power station had a small yard of sidings on the south side. It was designed to burn coal slurry provided by the washery at Wellesley Colliery to the south (worked north from Methil Yard before running round at Kirkland Yard to reach the power station). Later the power station used slurry from Westfield Opencast.

With the closure of the Wellesley Colliery, Michael Pit and the Wemyss Private Railway in 1970 the Methil Docks and railways largely lost their purpose. Methil West Junction box closed in 1971.

Methil East Junction signal box closed in 1975.

The line to Methil West Junction was reduced to a single track serving a small set of dock sidings (north of Methil Dock No 2 and west of Methil Dock No 3) and continued to Methil for a coal merchant until 1985. The Methil portion was lifted in 1988 and the docks line saw little use afterwards. A loop (Kirkland Loop) was retained to the north west of Methil East Junction.

Methil Power Station closed in 1999. The yard track remained in place for several years.

The line is out of use and overgrown, not just at Methil East but much of the length from Thornton North Junction to Methil. Kirkland Yard has meanwhile become the base of the Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society.

Prior to 1914 there was a small junction here. The Leven Dock Railway (1879) was met by a single track extension (1887) of the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway from Buckhaven via Methil to alongside the dock. The extension had crossed the River Leven to the immediate south of the dock by a single track bridge, a little further downstream than the present railway bridge.

Tags

Junction