Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Leadburn, Linton & Dolphinton Railway

John and I went to an exhibition by the West Linton and District Historical Association in the Village Centre, Raemartin Square, West Linton.  It commemorates the 80th Anniversary of the Closure of the Leadburn-Dolphinton Railway. If you're in the area it will be open till 5  pm today and from 10.30 am - 5pm tomorrow.

The reason we are so interested in this is the fact that we live in a house part of which is the old railway cottage, located next to what once was Macbiehill Station. Sadly there aren't any old pictures of this cottage to be found anywhere (and believe me, I have been on the lookout since we moved here more than 17 years ago)
Above the old plans for the design of the railway, officially called, the Leadburn, Linton & Dolphinton Railway and by the way all pictures here were taken at the exhibition with permission from the Historical Association. The Civil Engineer of the railway was Thomas Bouch, who is better known for the fact that he designed the world's first train ferry in 1850, that ran between Granton and Burntisland.

And this picture shows why we are so fascinated by the old railway. In the distance you can see the railway bridge over which our lane still runs and beside which on the right hand side and out of shot in this photograph the old railway cottage is located that later became part of our home. That lovely little building is sadly long gone. It was probably used as a place for the staff of Macbiehill Station to take a break.
Even closer to the bridge was this even more delightful construction, where passengers could wait for the trains to arrive. The platforms can still be seen clearly to this very day although they have crumbled since those fine times when the railway was in it's heyday.

This area is as familiar to me as our own backyard. I have been walking our dogs along here since we came in 1995, and every blade of grass, bloom of heather and mud patch are registered with my eyes on a twice daily basis. Of course the tracks have long gone. In 1939 long after the railway was officially closed (in 1933), i the railway itself became part of the Royal Navy Armaments Depot and munitions were stored there during the Second World War. Some of the sheds used to do so are still there (hopefully without any remaining munitions!). The tracks themselves were finally lifted in 1961. If you're looking at the above picture try and imagine the train and tracks gone, and an evergreen forest on the left hand side and that's exactly what is on view today. The picture is taken just after the train has left Macbiehill Station and is on it's way to Lamancha Station further north.
In this picture the train is going in the opposite direction, on it's way to Macbiehill Station and I can tell you that it was taken in 1961 when the process of lifting the tracks was in full swing. This is the Class J37-06-0 locomotive No. 64599. It was probably one of the last times a train drove on this track.  It would have gone on through the railway bridge you can see on my blippost here, There are times when I can almost hear an imaginary whistle going in the distance when I walk the dogs!

3 comments:

Lenna Young Andrews said...

what an awesome history you have shared with us here!!!

Linda said...

very interesting story and photos Frieda-thanks for bit of the Scottish railroad history from your own back yard!

Terri said...

Fascinating historical post Freida. I enjoyed reading the railroad history of your area. The images are wonderful!
Hugs,
Terri

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