John Speller's Web Pages Dalmellington Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - G&SWR
Dalmellington Railway
The Dalmellington Branch of the G&SWE began as a grand scheme to build a railway from Ayr through Dalmellington and Carsphairn, down the valley of the river Ken to Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright.

The first part of this line the only section ever built apart from the line between Castle Douglas and Kirkudbright was authorized by an Act of 8 June 1847 for the formation of a railway from Smithstown to Dalmellington in the County of Ayr. It was to be called "the Ayrshire and Galloway Railway," and was to be completed in five years. The Dalmellington area was rich in coal and the Dalmellington Iron Company was a major industrial center, so it was felt desirable to provide a connection between the Ayrshire & Galloway railway and the Glasgow & South Western Railway near Ayr. This, together with an extension of time, was accomplished by a further Act of 4 August 1853. In April 1856 2,000 navvies working on the Dalmellington line went on strike against the "truck" system under which they received some of their wages in commodities other than cash. Nevertheless, the line, running from Dalrymple Junction on the Ayr to Stranraer line to Dalmellington was opened on to goods traffic 15 May 1856 and to passenger traffic a few weeks later on 7 August. Intermediate stations between Dalrymple Junction and Dalmellington were at Hollybush, Holehouse Junction, Patna and Waterside. An Act of 27 July 1858 merged the Ayrshire & Galloway Railway into the Glasgow & South Western, and (the original intention of extending it to Kirkudbrightshire having been abandoned) renamed the Dalmellington Railway. The later Ayr to Murikirk line came of the Dalmellington Branch at Holehouse Junction.

As early as 1900 the G&SWR presented a Bill to Parliament asking for permission to abandon the Dalmellington, Muirkirk and Mauchline lines, but this was refused. The Dalmellington Branch closed to passengers on 6 April 1964. Perhaps surprisingly, about three-quarters of the Dalmellington Branch still exists, since line is still open for goods traffic between Dalrymple Junction and Chalmerston near Dalmellington. A short section of the Holehouse Junction to Muirkirk is also open as far as the Broomhill opencast mining site.

The line is sometimes called the Ayr & Dalmellington Railway, but this never seems to have been an official title.
Manson 4-4-0 No. 416 at Dalmellington Station on a Dalmellington to Ayr passenger train in around 1914
The staff of Patna Station, c. 1905
Burnton Viaduct on the Dalmellington Railway. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
The Dalmellington Iron Company maintained an extensive fleet of locomotives in its various coal mines and iron works. Grant, Ritchie 0-4-0ST No. 6, built in 1911, was one such
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