The Airdrie - Bathgate Line (pre-2010)

Status
Not open for further replies.

ginge8991

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2014
Messages
55
Very curious about the Airdrie Bathgate Line before it’s closure and dismantling, I know that it was closed to passenger services but retained as a goods/diversionary route for a good few years before it was physically removed.

Any information and or photos would be greatly appreciated.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

delt1c

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
1,821
Probably a bit of luck that it remained clear for reinstatement.

https://www.scottish-places.info/features/featurefirst90065.html and https://www.scottish-places.info/features/featurefirst90063.html explains a bit. The key point being that the route of the line through Bathgate had to change as part of reinstatement.

Copyright requirements state that I can't copy the text.
The line uses the original route through Bathgate,as far as i could see the only thing that changed was that a new station was built on the site of the former depot
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
4,334
Wasn't the Airdrie-Bathgate line still open for passenger trains beyond Airdrie pre 2010 for the short (single line) section to a station at Drumgelloch? (Opened 1989, closed 2010 and at a different location to the replacement station built when through services re-commenced).
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,525
Location
Nottingham
Wasn't the Airdrie-Bathgate line still open for passenger trains beyond Airdrie pre 2010 for the short (single line) section to a station at Drumgelloch? (Opened 1989, closed 2010 and at a different location to the replacement station built when through services re-commenced).
Yes. The section east of Bathgate was also freight only for a time before that had its service restored and later extended to Airdrie and beyond.
 

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
644
Location
Troon
Photographs of the line are few and far between, I lived beside the electrified part of the line between Coatdyke and Airdrie Station and there was quite a variety of freight, there were also passenger diversions on Sundays when the main line was closed for engineering work, I travelled over it in a Swindon Intercity DMU and also on a 2 x class 27 push-pull.
The line relied on freight, mainly coal, to sustain its existence, and as the coalfield was worked out and the mines closed, so the line became a likely candidate for closure. Towards the end of its life, the company car trains to and from the British Leyland light truck factory were the only regular users of the route (as my avitar shows), although there was an Indian Summer between 1973 and 1974 when large quantities of shale were removed from the famous bings of West Lothian by rail to Glasgow to be used in the construction of the M8 motorway. This caused the transfer of several class 25's from English depots, which became the last locomotives to be regularly stabled at Bathgate. After that the route was reduced to single track from the 16th of December 1979, then the central part between Bathgate and the sidings for the Inverhouse distillery were the first to be closed and lifted on the 15th of February 1982. Finally when the distillery ceased rail borne freight in December 1985 the track lay disused beyond Airdrie, only to be brought back to operational standard as far as Drumgelloch three and a half years later then fully reopened as part of the A2B project. That section between Airdrie and Drumgelloch must surely be the only section of line that was opened as single track, doubled, reduced to single track, closed completely, reopened as single track then doubled again! Other freight flows were Bananas to the Geest Distribution depot at Plains, I am sure there was a quarry for railway ballast somewhere and there was a regular flow of Scrap metal from Campbells yard at Clarkston to Clydesdale Steelworks, much of which was scrap BR steam and Diesel locomotives
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
4,334
Between which dates would the track have been no longer in place / lifted between Airdrie/Drumgelloch and Bathgate?
 

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
644
Location
Troon
Between which dates would the track have been no longer in place / lifted between Airdrie/Drumgelloch and Bathgate?
The official closure dates from Inverhouse distillery to Bathgate was 15/02/1982 and Airdrie to Inverhouse distillery 11/01/1986, track lifting in each case followed shortly afterwards, difficult to give an exact date for each
Edit - on RailScot there is some detail on the Airdrie to Inverhouse distillery section, stating that the track remained in place from Airdrie to Moffat Mills Junction, which was the old junction for the distillery branch, and there is a photograph on the site dated 1987 showing a Buffer Stop at the Platform end at Airdrie Station but with track still in place beyond that https://www.railscot.co.uk/img/7/762/ and https://www.railscot.co.uk/img/8/53/
 
Last edited:

matchmaker

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2009
Messages
1,204
Location
Central Scotland
In the early 1970s when the line via Falkirk High was closed on Sundays for engineering work in connection with the introduction of the original push-pull sets, diversions were via Bathgate. Interesting trip on a Swindon Inter-City set.
 

delt1c

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
1,821
Born and raised in the Bathgate area , many fond memories of Bathgate from the 60's and 70's. Did the line several times in mid 70's when the 27 push pulls were on Sunday diversions. Also was fortunate as knew many of the footplate crews and guards so had quite a few trips on the shale workings from Deans throughout both on footplate and in guards vanon the overnight workings. Initially these were 2x25/0's but then 25/1's and also 26's made an appearance. The most difficult part of the line was from Bathgate to Armadale.

Slightly of topic, apart from diversions of the Swindon INTER CITY Units did any other 1st gen units traverse the line
 
Last edited:

Scotrail84

Established Member
Joined
5 Jul 2010
Messages
2,254
This picture taken from an S K Baker UK rail atlas from 1984/85 show the gap between airdrie and Bathgate.

A66B8202-A844-428B-81DE-7A34B3DCE106.jpeg
 

hexagon789

Veteran Member
Joined
2 Sep 2016
Messages
11,813
Location
Glasgow
Slightly of topic, apart from diversions of the Swindon INTER CITY Units did any other 1st gen units traverse the line
Some 100s in the '60s I believe, I think I've seen a photo somewhere and I've seen a photo of a 101 set in the early 1970s "refurbished" blue/white livery at Bathgate (Upper). Not sure about other ScR classes.
 

cadder toad

Member
Joined
2 May 2015
Messages
34
There was an NCB washer at Woodend - near the current Blackridge station - a very bleak location. I'm fairly certain I've seen a pic of a Polkemmet-Woodend coal train in the 1970's. Which way would these trains go though? West to Mossend then running round near Sunnyside or east to Midcalder Junction and running round there? At one time the Polkemmet branch continued north to Bathgate
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top