Methil West Junction

Location type


Name and dates

Methil West Junction (1887-1985)

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).


This junction was to the south west of Methil station. The layout was altered on several occasions and the track layout was complex.

On opening this is where the line to the Methil terminus parted from the goods and minerals line which ran on to Leven Dock. In addition to this a line ran along the east side of the Leven Dock line to serve a hydraulic hoists on the west side of Methil Dock No 1. (Further hoists on the same dock were served from the north.) A yard was laid out south of Methil station between the Leven Dock line and the Methil Dock No 1 line. This had a series of dead end marshalling sidings and was served from the north. Links between the sidings and the Leven Dock and Methil Dock No 1 lines were at the yard's north end.

A minerals line ran south from the Methil Dock No 1 line along the coast to Methil Creosote Works (1888), Wemyss Brick Works (1885) and Denbeath Colliery.

The signal box was on the north side of the junction and controlled a loop on the approach to the Methil terminus. The line to the Methil goods yard and Leven Dock started from the east end of this loop and that to Methil Dock No 1 began at the west end of the loop.

In 1900 Methil Dock No 2 opened. For this dock additional lines were laid which fanned out from a point close to Methil West Junction on the Methil Dock No 1 line. (This dock was also served with other lines from the north.)

In 1901 a Wemyss Private Railway line was opened from Plunks, near Muiredge, to a reversing spur at Denbeath. From this spur a line ran parallel and to the south of the public railway to by Methil West Junction where the WPR line crossed the Denbeath Colliery, Methil Dock No 1 and Methil Dock No 2 lines on the level to reach the public railway at the north end of the dead end sidings yard. (Bell's Box was to be opened on the WPR to control the crossing.) The WPR's Bass Rock Sidings were laid out to the south.

In 1914 the junction was relaid. The line to Leven Dock was now a double track line. The yard of dead end sidings was looped at the west end (ie could now be approached from the west), the western side of the fan of sidings for the Methil Dock No 2 were turned into a new yard for a line which ran north to serve the new Methil Dock No 3. The new Methil West signal box was erected on the south side of the original junction with lines approaching the new yard running round its south side. To the immediate south was the WPR's Bell's Box, connected to the new box by telephone.

Methil closed to passengers in 1955 and Methil West signal box was reduced to a ground frame in 1964. In 1966 the route west to Buckhaven closed. The box closed in 1971. A reversing spur survived here for the Methil goods yard (a coal yard only from 1980) until closure in 1985. Track was lifted in 1988.

The site of the junction is now a roundabout (Energy Park Roundabout - the box was roughly in the centre).

In 1869 a Bowman and Co railway had existed here to link Plunks to Methil Harbour. This was long gone when the Leven Extension Railway (Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway) opened in 1887.