Historic photos of Coalburn Station and the railway

Coalburn Station

The Station opened in the 1850s and closed in 1965. Freight continued on the line as far as Auchlochan No 9 Colliery until 1968 when the branch was closed.

Rail map of Coalburn area

Map of the rail system in Coalburn and district, showing the dates of opening and closing of the lines

Entrance to Station

Entrance to Coalburn Station c. 1905.

Coalburn Station c 1910

Coalburn Station. c 1910. Copy of postcard showing station, station gates, Station Hotel, chimney of Poneil Pit and horse-drawn vehicles in front of post office.

Railway at Braehead

Beyond the station level crossing gates, the line continued to the colleries at Bankend. The Coalburn Inn can be seen and, above it, the Post Office.

4MT at Coalburn

At Coalburn Station on the 6th July 1955, BR 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80055 and crew pause prior to working the 19.18 to Hamilton. Photo: J.N.Faulkner.

1995 Coalburn Signal Box

Coalburn Signal Box, railway gates and entrance to station, 1955. Photo; the late Jim Hamilton.

Station pre closure

The station on 4 September 1965, one month before closure. By this time the level crossing gates had been removed. The diesel multiple units did not need access to the runround loop at Bankend and buffers were in place at the end of the station. Photo: F A Landery

Last Train at Coalburn

Last train at Coalburn

Last train at Coalburn Station, 2nd October 1965. Photo:Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell was on the last train and has kindly allowed us to use his report of this occasion:

The last train ever to, and from, Coalburn at Coalburn's single platform station, which had not been so busy for many a year. On 2 October 1965 it arrived as the 12 40p.m. ex-Glasgow Central & would usually have returned ECS to Hamilton. However, on this historic occasion it operated as a passenger service. A Gloucester R.C.& W. twin unit led on the outward journey, with a twin Metro Cammell unit at the rear.

On departure from Coalburn, detonators laid on the track much of the way to Alton Heights provided a memorable finale! The Coalburn timetable must have been designed to suit the requirements of the reviled Dr. Beeching! There was just ONE train from Coalburn to Glasgow Central, at 7.47a.m. and one return train, Saturdays only. There were three trains back, except Saturdays, one of which required a change at Hamilton Central; one a change at Stonehouse and just one through service, from Glasgow Central at 5.11p.m. Small wonder that the service succumbed, despite the recent introduction of the diesel 'Green Trains', as they were known!

Robert Campbell, Railway Photographer and Historian. In 1965, he was working for British Rail at the District Traffic Manager's Office, Glasgow South in the Train Running Section and attended many 'last trains' event. He posts frequently on the Facebook group BR: Disused Railways of Scotland.

Last train at Coalburn

Last passenger train at Coalburn Station on 2nd October 1965. This end shows the Metro-Cammell diesel multiple unit. Photo from the Jim Hamilton collection

Station Staff

Coalburn station staff

Coalburn station staff - Caledonian Railway (1920s-1930s). Top row (L to R): John Hamilton, Bob Anderson, Jimmy Fulton. Seated: Alex McInnes, Tommy Burnside, Peter Hunter, Willie Brown

Female staff at Coalburn Station

During the 1939-45 war, railwaymen were called up to the armed forces and ladies were taken on to man the stations. This group was photographed at Coalburn Station in the LMS era in 1943.

Bankend

Train at Bankend

Train at Bankend

Bankend Signal Box

Signal Box at Bankend. Bobby French is at the stairs. Apologies for the condition of this photo.

The remains of Spireslack Viaduct

The remains of Spireslack Viaduct. Photo: 17th April 2022 by David Halls

This carried the Caledonian Railway's line from Coalburn and Bankhead to Galawhistle Pit and on to Muirkirk. This section was only for coal traffic. The viaduct was dismantled following the first world war.

Other sources of information