- Glasgow South Western Line
The Glasgow South Western Line is a mainline railway in
Scotlandthat runs from Glasgowto Kilmarnock, and then either Carlislevia Dumfries, or Stranraervia Ayr, with a branch to East Kilbride.
The line south of Kilmarnock was built by the
Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railwayand the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railwaywhich amalgamated to form the Glasgow and South Western Railwayin 1850. The line between Kilmarnock and Glasgow was previously known as the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railwayand was co-owned by the Glasgow and South Western Railway and Caledonian Railway. Until 1923 the line via Dumfries was in competition with the North British Railwayand Caledonian Railway as one of the mainlines into Scotland. With the passing of the Railways Act 1921("Grouping Act") the line became part of the " London, Midland and Scottish Railway" (LMS). In 1948, with nationalisationthe line became part of the Scottish Region of British Railways. During the Beeching Axein the 1960s many of the railway's branch lines were closed, including the direct route between Dumfries and Stranraer, via Gallowayon the Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Railway, leaving the present 'Y' shaped railway.
During the electrification of the
West Coast Main Linein the early 1970s, the line was used as a major diversionary route whilst the Caledonian Railway's Annandale/Clydesdale route was closed, particularly during the weekends. Following completion of this project, the sections of line between Barrhead and Kilmarnock (with a crossing loopat Lugton) and Annan and Gretna (controlled from Carlisle) were singled. Re-doubling of the Annan to Gretna section was completed in August 2008, controlled from Dumfries Station signal box.
The line is "not" electrified, with the exception of parts of the line around the approaches to Glasgow Central and the section of the line shared with the Ayrshire Coast Line (Troon to Ayr).
There are currently plans to re-double the line between Lugton and Stewarton.
The line serves the following places.
PollokshawsWest:"East Kilbride branch":* Thornliebank:* Giffnock:*Clarkston:*Busby:* Thorntonhall:*Hairmyres:* East Kilbride
Kilmarnock:"Stranraer line":* Troon:*Prestwick International Airport:* PrestwickTown:* Ayr:* Maybole:* Girvan:* Barrhill:* StranraerAfter Kilmarnock, the line crosses the Ballochmyle Viaduct.
*Newcastle (limited service via the
Tyne Valley Line)
In the latter years of
British Railways, operations were sectorised. All Scottish operations (excluding the WCML and ECML services), including this line, became part of the Regional Railways operation - being branded as "ScotRail".
Following privatisation, passenger services upon the line were taken over by
ScotRail, (part of National Express), and are now operated by First ScotRailwith the track and signalling being operated (nationally) by Network Rail. The Dumfries route remains one of only three railway lines between the Scottish border and lowland areas alongside the East Coast Main Lineand West Coast Main Line. Along with the Settle-Carlisle Railway, the line is much used as both a diversionary route, especially during the recent West Coast Main Line modernisation, and for freight, notably coal from the several open cast coalmines of the Ayrshire Coalfieldthat adjoin the line.Between Glasgow Central and New Cumnock and Girvan the line is operated by Scottish Train Operating Company (TOC) - currently First ScotRail - on behalf of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. Electric train services are also provided between Glasgow and Troon and Ayr via the Ayrshire Coast Line. Some services continue on from Carlisle to Newcastle, with a daily direct service between Newcastle and Stranraer via Kilmarnock.
The train chase sequence in the 1996 movie "" was filmed on the Glasgow South Western line, with the image of a French
TGVlaid over the top of the footage of a standard British train using CGI.
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