Dundee and Arbroath Railway

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Dundee and Arbroath Railway
Locale Scotland
Dates of operation October 1838 – 1 February 1880
Successor Caledonian Railway / North British Railway
Track gauge Initially 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm);
converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 16.75 miles (26.96 km)
North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway
Arbroath and Forfar Railway
St Vigean's Junction
Arbroath Catherine Street(A&FR)
Arbroath (new)
Arbroath Lady Loan
Carmyllie Railway
Elliot Junction
Golf Street Halt
Barry Links
Dundee and Forfar Direct Line
Barnhill Junction
Broughty Ferry Pier
Broughty Ferry
West Ferry
Camperdown Junction
Dundee East
Dundee Tay Bridge
North British Railway
to Tay Bridge and associated lines

The Dundee and Arbroath Railway was a railway link between those two towns in Scotland.


The railway company received its Act of Parliament on 19 May 1836. It was planned as a 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge railway, because, at that time, it was expected to be a purely local railway with no connection to the national network. The main part of the line, some 14.5 miles (23.3 km) from Arbroath to a temporary terminus at Craigie, opened on 6 October 1838. A 1.5-mile (2.4 km) extension to Roodyards, at the east end of Dundee, opened on 3 June 1839, and the final section, of only 0.75 miles (1.21 km) from Roodyards to Trades Lane opened on 2 April 1840.

It soon became clear that the railway could not remain isolated from the rest of the network, and on 19 May 1845 a conference was held in London between representatives of the Dundee & Arbroath Railway, the Dundee & Perth Railway and the Arbroath & Forfar Railway to agree how to provide through traffic over the three railways.

This required the line to be converted to standard gauge, which took place on 6 July 1847. Then, on 23 December 1847, a connecting line at Arbroath was opened, which linked it to the Arbroath & Forfar Railway.

In May 1848, the short branch from Broughty Ferry to Broughty Ferry Pier opened. This formed the northern terminal of the ferry service across the Firth of Tay from Ferryport-on-Craig, which was operated by the Edinburgh and Northern Railway. This branch closed when the Tay Bridge opened.[1]

On 31 August 1848, the Dundee and Perth Railway was authorised by Act of Parliament to lease the company, with the latter being renamed as Dundee and Perth and Aberdeen Railway Junction Company. Although the Dundee & Perth Railway operated the Dundee & Arbroath line and paid rental to the Dundee & Arbroath company, the lease was never executed, and the arrangement was dissolved on 9 March 1850. The Dundee & Arbroath worked its own undertaking again from that date.[2]

The original terminus station in Dundee, Trades Lane station, was replaced by the new Dundee East station on 14 December 1857.

On 31 January 1862, it was absorbed into the Scottish North Eastern Railway. On 1 February 1880 (as a result of an Act of Parliament on 21 July 1879), the line passed jointly to the Caledonian Railway and North British Railway,[3] which in turn became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway and London and North Eastern Railway respectively as a result of the 1923 grouping.


Archive Services at the University of Dundee hold papers relating to the Dundee and Arbroath Railway as part of the Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans.[4] The same archive also has papers relating to the railway in the collection of material it holds relating to the Dundee and Perth and Aberdeen Railway Junction Company.[5]

Current operations[edit]

With the exception of the short spurs for the stations at Dundee East, Broughty Ferry Pier and Arbroath LadyLoan, the line is still open, with passenger services operated by First ScotRail and East Coast.



  1. ^ "Railway Magazine", February 1958
  2. ^ "Railway Magazine", January 1958
  3. ^ "MS 200 North British Railway, Dundee and Arbroath Joint Line Act, 1879". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "MS 17/3 Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway; Kirkcaldy District Railways: miscellaneous papers". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "MS 105/3 Dundee and Perth and Aberdeen Railway Junction Company". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 5 September 2014.