Leadhills and Wanlockhead Branch

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Leadhills and Wanlockhead Branch
 Caledonian Railway Main Line 
 Caledonian Railway Main Line 

The Leadhills and Wanlockhead Light Railway was promoted by the Caledonian Railway, using the provisions of the 1896 Light Railways Act.[1] It opened to traffic between Elvanfoot and Leadhills on 1 October 1901, with the remaining section to Wanlockhead on 19 September 1902.[1]

The line[edit]

With a summit of 1,498 feet, it was the highest, for a standard gauge line, in Great Britain.[1][2]

The line closed to passengers on 31 December 1938 and to freight shortly afterwards.[1][2]

Rispin Cleugh viaduct shortly before being demolished, 11 November 1990

A significant viaduct on the line (Rispin Cleugh viaduct) was built by Sir Robert McAlpine. It was built from concrete and was clad with terracotta bricks to improve its appearance.[2] It was demolished with explosives in 1991 as the terracotta bricks were falling off.[2]

The 2 ft (610 mm) gauge Leadhills Tramway from Meadowfoot to Wanlockhead crossed the line at a flat crossing to the north of Leadhills station.[3]


The narrow gauge Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway, which is also a light railway, has been built on the track formation, west from Leadhills. Some terracotta bricks from the demolished viaduct were used to clad a signal box at Leadhills station.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d Awdry
  2. ^ a b c d e Atterbury, pages 228 - 229
  3. ^ Leadhills and Wanlockhead Branch