Scottish Battlefield Stations - Reopening?

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reb0118

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What is the forums view on the proposal to reopen railway stations near the sight of some famous Scottish battles viz. Culloden Moor, Killicrankie, & Bannockburn.

These would have pleasant waiting facilities for visitors and may possibly be staffed with volunteers from the NTS (National Trust for Scotland). There would be shuttle links to the visitor centres also.

Just a thought - but fire away :grin:
 
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MidnightFlyer

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I don't care what it's for, most station reopenings are good, certainly all in this case; I look forward to the developments here.
 

reb0118

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Reading back my post it may seem that I was referring to an official proposal - just to make it clear it is my own personal proposal - but I think there is some merit in it. Build stations where people want to visit or indeed where you want them to visit.

Feel free to suggest any other tourist site on or near the railway that might justify a new or reopened station?
 

jopsuk

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The railway is about a mile from the Bannockburn visitor centre- further by road, through housing estates. It's hardly convenient.

For Culloden, whilst the railway is fairly close, surely a station between Westhill and Culloden village would be better- with a shuttle bus.

Killiecrankie is close to Blair Atholl.
 

Oswyntail

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...Build stations where people want to visit or indeed where you want them to visit.....
As a principle, that is fine, and what you suggest would be attractive. It is immensely difficult to get to some of these - very interesting - sites without a car, even the short distance from Pitlochry to Killikrankie. However, you would also need an appropriate level of service, not just relying on current provision. Would it be feasible (dream on!) to have a shuttle just plugging back and forth between a "parent" station and the heritage site in the season - a 153 or (dare I mention it) a Pacer?
 

reb0118

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OK. Let's take Bannockburn & Culloden both of these are near expanding areas of their respective cities (Stirling & Inverness) and it would make sense to situate any new stations nearer to catchment areas for commuters however a compromise could be found by still marketing the new station as "for the visitor attraction" as long as adequate measures were put in place to facilitate access from the station to the attraction be it on foot, cycle, or shuttle bus.

The fact that there is a visitor attraction in the vicinity could be the icing on the cake for a possible reopening as it will help generate additional off-peak revenue.
 

bluenoxid

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As long as we can reintroduce passport controls at the border, you lot can do whatever you want with your transport policy
 

DaveNewcastle

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I strongly believe that there would be real economic benefits of a station at Culloden (to serve this existent and growing residential community commuting into the City Centre) just as I see the same benefits acruing from a station at Inverness Airport (and both of these have been the subject of studies of potential useage).

But I cannot see any realistic benefit from creating stations (and all the operations overheads they incur) at battlesites for their own sakes. surely there's more need for a commuter station at East Linton or Glasgow's crossrail (or similar)?

But I'd resist any construction work at Killiecrankie, on environmental and aesthetic grounds.
 

flymo

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Interesting thoughts above....

As a slight aside, a couple of years ago I visited Stirling Castle and I must say the enthusiasm of the many foreign visitors (European an American - and yes those pesky English too) was very encouraging. Obviously Stirling Castle and those locations mentioned in the posts above are very different but I'm just illustrating the interest in Scotland's past.

I think if any of these battlesite stations were ever to come to fruition, I believe that if it were marketed correctly it could be a signficant tourist attraction. Trouble is it may well be very weather dependant.
 

Liam

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This reminds of the tale of the American who came to Edinburgh and noted how great it was that they built the castle so close to the railway station...
 

DaveNewcastle

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There's also the site of Cromwell's significant battle at Broxburn, only a mile from Dunbar Station.
I don't see much tourist interest there, and the few remains have been neglected or destroyed.
Could there be any potential clash of political interests over both the Scottish government's transport and heritage protection departments, if this particular project ever reached the stage of a formal Committee of Enquiry.
A "potential clash"? Indeed, though its more certain than mere potential!

We'd also have to deal with the complex question of all the lines through which the English Scottish Border have been drawn over the Centuries, and the only-partly resolved matter of Berwick still being in a state of War with Russia (the treaty ending the Crimean war omitting to mention Berwick, one of the states which had entered the war). The Scots have a lot of very significant history to commemorate in England's Berwick-on-Tweed, and the question of returning the town to Scottish governance seems to be as lively as ever.
 

DownSouth

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... and the only-partly resolved matter of Berwick still being in a state of War with Russia (the treaty ending the Crimean war omitting to mention Berwick, one of the states which had entered the war).
Urban myth AFAIK
Even if that was a real issue, the replacement of Russia by the Soviet Union and the more recent dissolution of the Soviet Union would probably have been enough to deal with that issue from the other end.
 

blanco

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As long as we can reintroduce passport controls at the border, you lot can do whatever you want with your transport policy
any measures that would make it more of an inconveiniance for the likes of your good self to stray accross the border can only be a good thing IMO.
 

Butts

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Battle of Falkirk 1298 (we lost) Two Railway Stations :p

Edward "Longshanks" Hammer of the Scots led his army personally.

It was notable for the introduction of the longbow and the clashes between The Welsh (Conquered 1284) and English constituents of his force.

The prime of Scottish Nobility ( legged it or rather four legged it) off the battlefield leaving William Wallace (aka Mel Gibson) to his fate.

Incidentally Longshanks warmed up for the main event by putting to death 8,000 inhabitants of Berwick Upon Tweed on his way up :p
 

reb0118

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I think you'll find that we won the second leg (also a home tie at Falkirk for some reason - possible floodlight issues across the border maybe) in 1746 - this battle site is quite close to Falkirk High station.

Although the problem after 1707 is to define them & us? The various Jacobite rebellions are in fact British civil wars where English, Scots, & Irish fought on both sides.

Back on topic (to veer off slightly) - don't just think of "battlefields" or indeed "Scottish" any tourist attraction situated near a railwayline is fair game!

eg East Fortune - National Museum of Flight or Gilsland/Greenhead in Northumberland for Hadrians Wall?
 

jopsuk

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Building a station primarily for a minor tourist attraction such as a battlefield is not going to be economically viable. Especially when almost none of your ideas are actually close enough to the railway that they wouldn't really need a connecting bus of some variety.
 

Butts

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I think you'll find that we won the second leg (also a home tie at Falkirk for some reason - possible floodlight issues across the border maybe) in 1746 - this battle site is quite close to Falkirk High station.

Although the problem after 1707 is to define them & us? The various Jacobite rebellions are in fact British civil wars where English, Scots, & Irish fought on both sides.

Back on topic (to veer off slightly) - don't just think of "battlefields" or indeed "Scottish" any tourist attraction situated near a railwayline is fair game!

eg East Fortune - National Museum of Flight or Gilsland/Greenhead in Northumberland for Hadrians Wall?
Falkirk is a cultural town full of reasoned intelligent ******s like my goodself, indeed in many respects it surpasses Edinburgh and certainly BoNess when it comes to artistic matters (particularly those of the P**S variety :p)
 

jopsuk

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Incidentally Longshanks warmed up for the main event by putting to death 8,000 inhabitants of Berwick Upon Tweed on his way up :p
I think most armies, be they invading English or marauding Scottish (or even retreating ones of either), that passed through Berwick tended to do unspeakable things to it. Surprised the beleaguered residents didn't build a wall and declare their own independence, but they were probably too busy rebuilding much of the time...
 

Butts

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I think most armies, be they invading English or marauding Scottish (or even retreating ones of either), that passed through Berwick tended to do unspeakable things to it. Surprised the beleaguered residents didn't build a wall and declare their own independence, but they were probably too busy rebuilding much of the time...
It is my contention that Longshanks was one of your greatest ever Kings, not only did he conquer the Welsh and Scots but he also went on the 9th crusade to the Holy Land and survived an attack with a poisoned knife while there.

Had he not died and been succeeded by his effette son Edward II Bannockburn may only have been a pipedream for us. Mind you Edward JR was bumped off later by yourselves allegedly by ramming a red hot poker up his jacksy in acknowledgement of his sexual proclivities.:p
 

PFX

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Falkirk is a cultural town full of reasoned intelligent ******s like my goodself, indeed in many respects it surpasses Edinburgh and certainly BoNess when it comes to artistic matters (particularly those of the P**S variety :p)
Falkirk shines almost as brightly as the cultural ghetto of Camelon. As an ex inmate of the former home of iron works, I should mention it has a station to allow access to its many delights of socio-economic deprivation and varied items of culturural interest (The Antonine Wall, Big Wheel, spurious claim that Camelon is derived from Camelot and hence the location of the fictional King Arfur's court?).

It was all too much for me so I moved to Belfast instead...
 

Butts

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Falkirk shines almost as brightly as the cultural ghetto of Camelon. As an ex inmate of the former home of iron works, I should mention it has a station to allow access to its many delights of socio-economic deprivation and varied items of culturural interest (The Antonine Wall, Big Wheel, spurious claim that Camelon is derived from Camelot and hence the location of the fictional King Arfur's court?).

It was all too much for me so I moved to Belfast instead...
You may be suprised to learn it now has a giant new tesco Superstore (Camelon) to cement its place in the local cultural ambience :p
 

PFX

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You may be suprised to learn it now has a giant new tesco Superstore (Camelon) to cement its place in the local cultural ambience :p
If it sells cut price alcohol, then it can only add to the rich tapestry that is Camelon's cultural scene!

Getting back on topic, I think the OP's suggestion is far-fetched at best. Given the distance of the line from Bannockburn and the relatively low number of visitors (working out at less than 200 each day) there isn't justification for the additional costs involved (signalling, bus hire, etc) surely?

On the other hand, you could take it to extremes. The Wallace Ornament is practically on top of the line. Could that warrant a funicular railway from a new station there to the foot of the ornament and a bus to Cambus Kenneth Abbey? Clackmannan station for Clackmannan tower? I'm being a bit flippant but that's only 2 counties.
 

reb0118

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The Wallace Ornament (sic) is practically on top of the line. Could that warrant a funicular railway from a new station there to the foot of the ornament(sic).
Why did I not think of that? El Presidente Salmondo will s(h)urely award you with a medal. :p

(How about Causewayhead Station for Wallace Monument [also Stirling Uni])

Re Bannockburn you are right it is not that close for the Visitor Centre but Bannockburn itself is a sizeable community in its own right (would there be space for a P&R?) the station may indeed be viable without reference to any local attractions? Now any nearby sites would be icing on the cake and would attract additional off peak travel. I think the name itself would be enough to attract visitors to use the station - even more so if it was a) marketed correctly and b) suitable infrastructure was put in place to facilitate interchange.

You mentioned only 200 visitors a day to the battle-site but this equates to over 60'000 per annum and I would assume that most arrive by private car - now to effect a modal shift we have to put public transport infrastructure in place to try to entice people to leave the car at home. I'm sure that a station at Bannockburn would do this. 2x tph to/from Edinburgh & Glasgow & 4tph to/from Stirling would attract a lot of folk (trains to/from Stirling already carry significant numbers of passengers off peak for leisure/touristic purposes)

Please note once again the fact that a reopened Bannockburn station would not be solely for visitors to & from the battle-site but would also function as a commuter station for Edinburgh & Glasgow, a potential P&R for Stirling, and a station for local people who wish to travel outwith the area for short or indeed long distance leisure/business needs. The link with the visitor centre would be to generate additional off peak leisure travel in the opposite direction from the main destinations of Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Now I was going to limit this to potential stations on existing passenger lines but if the Alloa - Dunfermline line ever gets re-opened how about a station at Culross for the NTS properties in the town?

(Or to cross the border re-open the line from Nuneaton to Bosworth Field to connect with the battlefield of 1485 and also the "Battlefield Line" heritage railway)
 

jopsuk

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A Bannockburn station certainly would have potential as a P&R, as it would be right by the A91, but it would be very poorly placed for the town, as the site would have to be across the aforementioned road and at the bottom of the hill.
Causewayhead would have potential (though I'd be doubtful as to it really serving the uni)- might need to be a passing loop if it slowed down the services much (because of the coal trains).
Culross? Maybe, but only obviouly if passenger services do get routed via the existing line through Rosyth- the old Alloa-Dunfermline line didn't go that way
 

reb0118

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Culross? Maybe, but only obviouly if passenger services do get routed via the existing line through Rosyth- the old Alloa-Dunfermline line didn't go that way
True, the old S&D (Stirling & Dunfermline section) did run the "top road" via Oakley to the other Dunfermline station (High?) then to the Townhill Junctions allowing services to head towards Edinburgh via Dunfermline Lower (current Town station) or towards Cowdenbeath. (In fact the Cowdenbeath [CWL] line is still miled from Stirling between Lumphinnans Central Jn. and Thornton South Jn.).

In an ideal fantasy world both routes would be re-opened to passengers as this would permit another Fife loop - this time from Stirling and Alloa via Oakley, Dunfermline High, Dunfermline Lower, & Culross back to Stirling. We can but dream...........
 

matchmaker

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If it sells cut price alcohol, then it can only add to the rich tapestry that is Camelon's cultural scene!

Getting back on topic, I think the OP's suggestion is far-fetched at best. Given the distance of the line from Bannockburn and the relatively low number of visitors (working out at less than 200 each day) there isn't justification for the additional costs involved (signalling, bus hire, etc) surely?

On the other hand, you could take it to extremes. The Wallace Ornament is practically on top of the line. Could that warrant a funicular railway from a new station there to the foot of the ornament and a bus to Cambus Kenneth Abbey? Clackmannan station for Clackmannan tower? I'm being a bit flippant but that's only 2 counties.
Not too far fetched. There used to be a station at Causewayhead and there was talk of opening it again at some point. It has also been suggested that passenger services be extended past Alloa and a station reopened at Clackmannan!
 
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