Thornton North Junction

Location type


Names and dates

Thornton Junction [Junction] (1848-1878)
Thornton North Junction (1878-)

Note: text in square brackets is added for clarity and was not part of the location's name.

Station code: National Rail
Opened on the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.
Opened on the Dunfermline Branch (Edinburgh and Northern Railway).
Opened on the Leven Railway.
Opened on the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway.


This is a four way junction. To the north the main line runs north to Ladybank and the line branch to Cameron Bridge and Levenmouth, which is being re-doubled and electrified, runs off to the north east.. (This formerly ran to Leven [2nd] and the Fife Coast railway to St Andrews [2nd].) To the south the Dunfermline Branch heads west from the main line which runs south to Burntisland, (the Forth Bridge and Edinburgh Waverley).

Immediately to the south was Thornton Junction station.

Thornton North Junction was the original Thornton Junction until 1878 when it was renamed as various other lines and nearby Thornton junctions opened.

The original junction of 1848 was between the Edinburgh and Northern Railway and its Dunfermline Branch. In 1854 the branch north east to Leven [1st] opened. Further in 1881 the line south east to Buckhaven opened. A line to the north west served Balgonie Colliery Lochtyside Pit and swung under the main line north to serve Balgonie Colliery Julian Pit .

The signal box, opened around 1884, when many of the boxes around Thornton Junction were replaced or renamed, was on the west side of the junction.

The box was renamed 'Thornton Station' in 1902 when a new box opened further north, Thornton North Signal Box [2nd].

The Leven [2nd] line was doubled in 1910, and the box was replaced with a new larger example a little further to the north and also on the west side.

The connection to the Buckhaven line closed in 1959 (it was still served from Thornton West Junction [1st] until 1963).

Thornton Junction station closed in 1969. The lines to the south were rationalised in 1973, the passenger curve to Thornton West Junction [1st] was closed and the goods curve upgraded for passenger use. The Cameron Bridge line reverted to a single track - boxes to the east had closed in 1970 and it was a double track line east to Kirkland Yard. Passenger trains were withdrawn in 1969.

In 1980 the box closed, taken over by the Edinburgh Signalling Centre. The west to north curve is now single track, with a loop at the junction.



External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

News items

18/08/2022Milestone as first train in 5 years uses new rail link days after Levenmouth picnic protest [The Courier]
17/03/2022Early progress at Levenmouth is rail-y positive. [Network Rail]


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

Burntisland: Fife's Railway Port (Locomotion papers)

East of Thornton Junction: The Story of the Fife Coast Line

Fife's Last Days of Steam

Fife's Lost Railways

Fife's Lost Railways

Inverkeithing To Thornton Junction: Via Cowdenbeath (Scottish Mainlines)

Railways of Fife

Railways of Fife

Railways Of Scotland 1: The Kingdom of Fife DVD - Cinerail

Scotland’s Lost Branch Lines: Where Beeching Got It Wrong

Scottish Branch Line Steam

Scottish Branch Lines, 1955-65

The Railways of Fife

The Railways of Fife