John Speller's Web Pages Darvel Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - G&SWR

G&SWR Darvel Branch
The G&SWR branch serving the Scottish town of Darvel (pop. 3,600) was built piecemeal between the 1840s and 1890s. It opened to Galston on 9 August 1848, and to Newmilns on 20 May 1850, but did not finally reach Darvels until 1 June 1896. On 1 May, in conjunction with the G&SWR's rival the Caledonian, a through line to Strathaven was completed, and this was run under a most curious arrangement -- also adopted for the Glasgow to Renfrew line -- whereby the G&SWR and CR each ran the line for six months of every year. The CR had running rights to Ayr and might well have exercised them to run a profitable through service from Ayr through Kilmarnock to Motherwell or even beyond. But they never did, and no through trains were ever run even from Kilmarnock to Strathaven. Needless to say both lines atrophied. On the Kilmarnock to Darvel Branch there were intermediate stations at Hurlford, Galston, and Newmilns, and between Darvel and Strathaven at Drumclog and Ryeland. The line west of Darvel closed in 1939 and the remainder in 1964.
1907Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram of the County Boundary junction (Ayrshire/Lanarkshire) between the G&SWR and CR
A Darvel Branch passenger train behind an LMS 2-P 4-4-0 in around 1925
Newmilns Viaduct on the G&SWR Darvel Branch. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Another LMS 2-P 4-4-0 with a Kilmarnock train at Darvel Station shortly after the Grouping
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