Ayrshire Coast Line

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Ayrshire Coast Line
Troon 380105.jpg
Class 380 train at Troon
Overview
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Scotland
Stations 26
Operation
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) First ScotRail
Rolling stock Class 380
Technical
No. of tracks Triple track, Double track and Single line
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25kV 50hz AC

The Ayrshire Coast Line is one of the lines within the Strathclyde suburban rail network in Scotland. It has 26 stations and connects the Ayrshire coast to Glasgow. There are three branches, to Largs, Ardrossan Harbour and Ayr, all running into the high level at Glasgow Central.

The route is operated by First ScotRail forms part of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport network.

History[edit]

The Largs branch in steam days

The Ayrshire Coast Line consists of lines that were formerly part of the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway, the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, the Ardrossan Railway and its Largs Branch extension.

Ayrshire Coast Line
Glasgow Central
(Glasgow Subway St Enoch)
Paisley Gilmour Street
Inverclyde Line
CalMac ferry to
Largs
Great Cumbrae
Fairlie
West Kilbride
CalMac ferry to Arran
Ardrossan Harbour
Johnstone
Ardrossan Town
Milliken Park
Howwood
Ardrossan South Beach
Lochwinnoch
Saltcoats
Glengarnock
Stevenston
Dalry
Kilwinning
Irvine
Barassie
Glasgow South Western Line
Troon
P&O Ferries to Larne
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Prestwick Town
Newton-on-Ayr
Ayr
Glasgow South Western Line

After electrification[edit]

1986[edit]

Class 318 trains at Paisley Gilmour Street in 1990

The line to Ayr was electrified and Class 318 electric multiple units introduced in September 1986. The full electrified service, including trains to Largs and Ardrossan Harbour, commenced on 19 January 1987.[1] These were supplemented by occasional use of Class 303 and Class 311 EMUs, then in use on the Inverclyde Line.

These EMUs replaced the Class 101 and Class 107 DMUs that had served the line for over 30 years. Class 126 DMUs were also used on the line, but they succumbed to old age in the early 1980s.

2002[edit]

Both Class 334s and Class 318s operated on the line.

2005[edit]

From June 2005 most services on the busy Glasgow Central to Ayr route were strengthened to six cars between 0900 and 1900 due to increased passenger numbers as a result of the growth of Prestwick International Airport.

2006/07 - RUS[edit]

On 24 August 2006, Network Rail announced plans as part of its Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) for Scotland to lengthen platforms by 2014 to enable eight-car trains. There have been 16 4-car Class 380s made to carry out this operation.

After a four-month consultation process, Network Rail announced its final RUS for Scotland on 28 February 2007. The document continues with plans for eight-car trains by 2014 with longer platforms, although NR has proposed possible selective door opening on eight-car trains at little-used stations to cut down on the cost of refurbishing all platforms. NR has also made clear that until a complete timetable re-cast is carried out, there is little scope for additional trains on Glasgow to Ayr and Largs services.[citation needed]

2010/11[edit]

From late 2010, the Class 334s and Class 318s started to be replaced by three and four car Class 380s. Due to commissioning difficulties, only four Class 380 units were in services as of the beginning of February 2011. By the end of June 2011, most of the services were in the hands of Class 380s; however, Class 318s and 334s were still sighted on occasional services.

Route[edit]

The line runs along the same Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway route as the Inverclyde Line as far as Paisley Gilmour Street, using different platforms at Paisley Gilmour Street, where it turns south west towards Kilwinning on the route of the former Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. Here the line branches in two, with one branch running south along the coast to Troon and Ayr. This branch also serves Prestwick Airport station, which opened in 1994. The other branch runs north along the coast to Ardrossan or Largs, becoming a single track for passenger trains after Saltcoats. This part of the network is heavily used by freight traffic to carry coal from the Hunterston Terminal. Beyond Ayr, 'Sprinter' DMUs continue south towards Girvan and Stranraer.

The line connects at Troon with ferries to Larne (summers only), at Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran, and at Largs to Great Cumbrae.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Rebirth of AyrLine: Electrification to Ayr / Ardrossan / Largs - 1987

Sources[edit]