Beattock Summit

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Beattock Summit
Rth Beattock Sign 05.12 edited-2.jpg
Sign marking the summit, as seen from the West Coast Main Line
Location
Place Scotland
Area South Lanarkshire
Coordinates 55°25′18″N 3°35′27″W / 55.4217°N 3.5907°W / 55.4217; -3.5907Coordinates: 55°25′18″N 3°35′27″W / 55.4217°N 3.5907°W / 55.4217; -3.5907
Grid reference NS994152
Operations
Original company Caledonian Railway
Pre-grouping Caledonian Railway
Post-grouping London Midland and Scottish Railway
Platforms 2
History
3 January 1900 Station opens[1]
After 1926 Station close[1]
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
Portal icon UK Railways portal
Nearing Beattock Summit from the north in 1957
The Royal Scot approaches Beattock Summit in 1957

Beattock Summit is a high point of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) railway and of the A74(M) motorway as they cross from Dumfries and Galloway to South Lanarkshire in south west Scotland.

Railway history[edit]

The highest point on the WCML north of the border (built by the Caledonian Railway and opened on 15 February 1848), it is located 52 miles (83 km) south of Glasgow Central and 349 miles (558 km) north of London Euston stations. The height of the summit is 1,033 feet (315 m) above sea level. The signboard by the rail track records the elevation as 1,016 feet.

The summit was the location of a private halt from 1900 to around 1926.[1]

Steam locomotives frequently required banking assistance in getting their heavy trains up the incline, particularly in the northbound direction, which had steeper gradients. There was an engine shed at Beattock which had banking locomotives on standby twenty-four hours per day to minimise train delays.

The severity of the climb to the summit is referenced in W. H. Auden's poem Night Mail, written in 1936 for the G.P.O. Film Unit's celebrated production of the same name.

Electric locomotives, as far back as the Class 86, as well as today's Virgin Trains services, climb the gradient without assistance.

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Auchencastle
Line open; Station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Main Line
  Elvanfoot
Line open; Station closed

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Butt (1995), page 30

Sources[edit]