Methil Yard

Location type


Name and dates

Methil Yard (1887-1980)

Opened on the Leven Extension Railway (Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway).


This yard, associated with the Methil Docks, was laid out to the south of Methil passenger station. There were three main layouts, each associated with the opening of a dock.

1887 layout - opening of railway and Methil Dock No 1 (then simply Methil Dock)

The yard, consisting of nine sidings, was bounded to the north by the goods and mineral line from Methil West Junction to Leven Dock, and bounded to the south by the line approaching Methil Dock No 1 and a branch to Denbeath Colliery from Wemyss Junction. The sidings were dead end sidings, approached from the east where there were connections between all of these lines.

1900 layout - opening of Methil Dock No 2
Two additional yards were laid out to the south. The northern of these was eight pairs of sidings (full and empty) leading to the west side of Methil Dock No 2 and the southernmost coal hoist at Methil Dock No 1.

To the south of this were the lines to the import quayside and goods shed at the south end of Methil Dock No 2.

To the south again was the Bass Rock Sidings yard of the Wemyss Colliery, a set of dead end sidings approached from Bell's Box.

1912 layout - opening of Methil Dock No 3
For this the original yard was looped at its west end and could be approached from Methil West Junction. Methil Central Hut, used to control local pointwork with a dozen or so levers (thanks to PW and BR for details), was added at the east end of the yard. Access from the former Denbeath Colliery now Wellesley Pit line to meet the Leven Dock route at the east end of the yard was maintained. The yard of about seventeen sidings was for full wagons and could store 516 wagons such wagons.

The sets of sidings to the south for full and empty wagons to and from the coal hoists was altered. From north to south these were fulls to and empties from:
coal hoists 8, 8A (dock no 3)
coal hoists 7 (dock no 3) and 3 [(dock no 1)
coal hoist 2 (dock no 2)
coal hoist 1 (dock no 1)
and the import quayside at the south end of dock no 2.

On their was north to reach hoists 7, 8 and 8A the lines cut across the north west corner of dock no 2 and, just to the north, crossed over the top of the lines serving the east side of dock no 2 from the north.

At the southern end were three entry points into the yards. From west to east these were the
- Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway - Wemyss Private Railway from the Baum washer
- Wemyss Private Railway and NCB from Wellesley Pit and Marine Garden sidings
Thus locomotives from all three companies could be found here.

By the late 1960s the original yard was smaller, although eleven sidings remained, and the lines leading to no 1 and 2 docks had been lifted leaving only those to no 3 dock and coal hoist 7. (8A was also still in operation but only served from the north).

With the closure of mines in the area and the Wemyss Private Railway in 1970 the yard and coal hoists all became redundant. By 1980 only a coal merchant's yard remained at the Methil terminus to the north of the yards, served by a single track line from Methil East Junction. This closed in 1985 and was lifted in 1988.


Yard marshalling yard sidings