St Boswells to Kelso Branch John Speller's Web Pages Selkirk Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - North British Railway
Selkirk Branch
The Selkirk & Galashiels Railway was incorporated by an Act of 31 July 1854 to build a six-and-a-quarter mile railway from a junction with the Waverley line at Selkirk Junction, otherwise known as Galafoot Junction, to the town of Selkirk. The Engineer was Henry Johnston Wylie (1822-1871) of Edinburgh. The company had an authorized capital of 24,000 in 10 shares with the option to borrow an additional 8,000. Ground was broken at Boldside in 1855 by the Chairman, George Roberts (1798-1877), who was also the proprietor of George Roberts & Co., Tweed Manufacturers of Forest Mills, Selkirk; and another Director, Sir John Nesbit Murray, Bart. (1817-1882), of Philiphaugh, who was the Provost of Selkirk. The line opened for traffic on 5 April 1856. There were intermediate stations between Galashiels and Selkirk at Abbotsford Ferry and Lindean. Abbotsford Ferry, originally known as "Boldside & Abbotsford Ferry" was across the River Tweed from Sir Walter Scott's house, Abbotsford. There was a small cable-worked ferry, accommodating around 10 people, just down the river from the station. Visiting tourists proved to be an inconvenience to the Scott family, a problem which the railway solved by providing a separate waiting room for the family. The Selkirk & Galashiels Railway was worked by the North British Railway, which absorbed the line in 1859.

William Hurst, the Locomotive Superintendent of the North British Railway in 1855-56, designed two 2-2-2 well tank locomotives, Nos. 31 and 32, built at St. Margaret's Works in 1856, to operate the Selkirk and Judburgh branches. They had 12 x 18 inch cylinders and 5 ft driving wheels. In 1875 the two 2-2-2WT locomotives were sold to Thomas Wheatley at the time when he became General Manager of the Wigtownshire Railway, and they were rebuilt as 2-4-0 well tanks by Wheatley and his son for use on that line.

Sometime in the nineteenth century, at a time and for reasons that are not precisely known, Abbotsford Ferry station was repositioned a few chains to the north east. Abbotsford Ferry station closed on 5 January 1931 except for the occasional special. The rest of the line closed to passenger traffic on 10 September 1951 and to goods traffic on 2 November 1964.
Map of the Selkirk & Galashiels Railway
One of the two Hurst 2-2-2 well tanks built in 1856 for the Selkirk and Judburgh branches. It is shown here as Wigtownshire Railway No. 1 "Albert" after being purchased by Thomas Wheatley in 1875 and converted to a 2-4-0 well tank.
A postcard view of Abbotsford Ferry in around 1920. The railway station is at the right hand side on the other side of the River Tweed
Selkirk branch train in around 1880 behind 0-4-2T No. 97
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