John Speller's Web Pages Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Caledonian
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The Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway was built by the Caledonian Railway as a means of competing with its rival the Glasgow & South Western Railway for the traffic to the port of Ardrossan. The Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway Act received the Royal Assent on 20 August 1883. Sir Robert McAlpine & Company were the contractors and the first passenger train ran from Glasgow via Lugton Junction on the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Line on 4 September 1888. The line was extended from Ardrossan North to Ardrossan Montgomerie Pier on 30 May 1890. The Kilbirnie Branch opened on 2 December 1889, and the Irvine Branch on 2 June 1890. On 1 May 1903 the line was extended through Muirend to Neilston, Uplawmoor and Whitecraigs, which also allowed running trains from Muirend to Glasgow via Cathcart. A further extension to Kirkhill was opened on 1 August 1904, and the line reached its greatest extent with the extension to Newton, opened on 1 September 1906. Following the Grouping of 1923 the LMS found that most of the Lanarkshire & Ayrshire duplicated Glasgow & South Western lines, as indeed the Caledonian had intended. The Irvine Branch was the first to go, closed to passengers in 1930, followed a few weeks later by the Kilbirnie Branch, and from 4 July 1932 all stations between Neilston and Ardrossan Montgomerie Pier were closed to passengers, although through boat trains continued to run from Glasgow to the Pier. In 1968 all freight and passenger services west of Neilston were withdrawn and the lines were lifted. Only the Newton to Neilston section, which was electrified in the 1960s as part of British Railways' Glasgow Suburban Electrification Scheme, remains in use today.
Map of the Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway at its greatest extent in 1906
Saltcoats station in a postcard view of around 1905
The Lanarkshire & Ayrshire Railway under construction in 1885. The gentleman in the center of the picture is Sir Robert McAlpine
Stevenston railway station in about 1905
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