Railways of Jamaica: Kingston to Montego Bay

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Kingston to Montego Bay
0.0 Kingston
to goods yard and railway piers 1, 2 & 3
to engine sheds
to turntable, workshops & PWD
to locomotive works
Trench Town Gully
Shoemakers Gully
Greenwich Town Halt
Marcus Garvey Drive Halt
Unclassified road (gated)
Hunts Bay Halt
Cockfight Bridge
Salt River
to sugar estate light railway
Rio Cobre
10.5 Gregory Park Station
50' contour
14.5 Grange Lane Station
Irrigation canal
18.9 Spanish Town Station
18.9 Spanish Town Junction
Irrigation canal
Town Gully
Track
20.5 Horizon Park Halt
Irrigation canal
24.1 Hartlands Halt
Estate light railway crossing
50' contour
Cut Throat Gully
Spring Garden River
50' contour
Irrigation canal
Irrigation canal
Coleburns Gully
32.2 Bushy Park Halt
Church Pen Gully east
Church Pen Gully west
Stony Gully
Fraser's Gully
36.5 to works
36.6 Old Harbour Station
Old Harbour(?) River
Bowers Gully
39.8 Bodles Junction
Sandy Bay Halt
100' contour
100' contour
Palmetto Gully
100' contour
Bushy Park or Inverness Halt
250' contour
Lancasters Halt
Hunts Pen road
250' contour
A2 road
Rio MinhoCombined A2 road and rail
52.3 May Pen Station
52.3 May Pen Junction
Jacks Gully #1
Jacks Gully #2
55.4 Logans Junction Halt
55.5 Logan's Junction
56.3 Denbigh Siding
Jacks Gully #3
56.7 Jacob’s Hut
Jacks Gully #4
59.5 Four Paths Station
63.2 Rock Halt
Flemings Gully east
Flemings Gully west
68.4 Clarendon Park Station
250' contour
Milk River
70.8 Scott’s Pass Halt
71.2 No. 1 Scotts Pass Tunnel21m
71.6 No. 2 Scotts Pass Tunnel52m
Milk River (seasonal)
75.2 Porus Station
500' contour
Unnamed Halt[1]
Track
750' contour
1000' contour
1250' contour
85.3 Williamsfield Station
88.1 Kendal Station
Kendal - Mandeville road
1500' contour
1500' contour
1500' contour
93.3 Grove Place Halt
98.2 Greenvale Station (Mile Gully)
1500' contour
1250' contour
1250' contour
1250' contour
105.4 No. 3 Comfort Hall Tunnel209m
105.8 Comfort Hall Siding & Halt
1000' contour
109.0 Duck Pond Halt[2]
750' contour
111.0 Oxford Siding
112.6 No. 4 Balaclava Tunnel106m
750' contour
113.4 Balaclava Station
B6 road
750' contour
500' contour
Estate light railway crossing
Raheen Halt[1]
121.9 Siloah Halt
123.5 Appleton Station
Appleton estate light railway
124.7 Appleton Tourist Halt
Black River #1
Black River #2
128.3 Maggotty Station
Black River #3 and Maggoty Falls road
500' contour
750' contour
135.2 No. 5 Highworth Tunnel56m
136.0 No. 6 YS Tunnel66m
138.0 Ipswich Station
Ipswich - Merrywood road
138.8 No. 7 Ipswich Tunnel261m
750' contour
750' contour
140.8 Breadnut Walk Halt
141.2 No. 8 Unnamed Tunnel165m
142.4 No. 9 Merrywood Tunnel116m
1000' contour
146.0 Stonehenge Station
151.3 Catadupa Station
1000' contour
Richmond Hill road
B6 road
750' contour
157.3 Cambridge Station
Seven River #1
Seven River #2
500' contour
Fifth Bridge (Seven River #3)
Seven River #4
Seven River #5
Browns River
165.7 Montpelier Station
Anchovy Gully
500' contour
B6 road
168.2 No. 10 Anchovy Tunnel31m
170.2 Anchovy Station
171.8 Ailford’s Halt
173.8 No. 11 Ramble Tunnel56m
500' contour
174.6 No. 12 Long Hill Tunnel389m
500' contour
175.0 No. 13 Bogue Hill Tunnel140m
Viaduct over dry valley
250' contour
177.0 Gordon’s Halt
100' contour
50' contour
Montego River
to engine sheds
to sidings
181.4 Montego Bay

The Kingston to Montego Bay line was Jamaica's main railway. It linked the capital Kingston with the second city Montego Bay, passing en route most of the major towns.

Construction, operation and closure[edit]

The first 14.5 miles (23.3 km) of 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge) track were laid from Kingston to Angels (just North of Spanish Town) in 1845 at a cost of £222,250, or £15,377 per mile against a budgeted cost £150,000.[3]

An 11-mile (18 km) extension from Spanish Town to Old Harbour was added in 1869[4] at a cost of £60,000.[5]

A further 24½ mile extension from Old Harbour to Porus was added in 1885 at a cost of around £187,000.[5]

The final 62 miles (100 km) from Porus to Montego Bay was completed in 1895.[6]

Much of the line closed in October 1992 when all passenger traffic on Jamaica's railways abruptly ceased. Some sections remain in use for bauxite and aluminium freight[7] while the section from Montego Bay to the Appleton Estate remained open for a while as a tourist attraction.

Gradients and curvature[edit]

From Kingston the line ran west along the coastal plain, within 50 feet (15.2 m) of sea level, for about 40 miles (64 km) before starting a gentle climb over 5.25 miles (8.45 km) from Bodles to 250 feet (76.2 m) near Lancaster Halt.[1] From here there was a plateau for about 24.25 miles (39.03 km) to the Milk River and the start of the 20 miles (32 km) climb through Scotts Pass and Porus to 1,500 feet (457.2 m) just north of Kendal.[1]

Between Kendal and Mile Gully the line reaches its summit at around 1,700 feet (518.2 m); in this section the ruling curvature was 300 feet (91.4 m) and the ruling gradient was 1 in 30 (3.33%).[8]

From Mile Gully there was a gentle descent over 17 miles (27 km) to 500 feet (152.4 m) near Raheen.[1] From here the line ran on the level across the Appleton Plain to Maggotty and the start of a climb to 1,000 feet (304.8 m) near Stonehenge.[1] From here to Catadupa the line ran on the level then descended to 500 feet (152.4 m) at Seven River.[1] Another level section brought it to Long Hill Tunnel and the final descent into Montego Bay.[1]

Stations and Halts[edit]

There were 22 stations and 17 halts:[1][9]

  • Kingston (Terminus)
  • Greenwich Town Halt
  • Marcus Garvey Drive Halt                 
  • Hunts Bay Halt
  • Gregory Park Station
  • Grange Lane Station
  • Spanish Town Station
  • Horizon Park Halt
  • Hartlands Halt
  • Bushy Park Halt
  • Old Harbour Station
  • May Pen Station
  • Jacob’s Hut
  • Four Paths Station
  • Rock Halt
  • Clarendon Park Station
  • Scott’s Pass Halt
  • Porus Station
  • Williamsfield Station
  • Kendal Station
  • Grove Place Halt
  • Greenvale Station
  • Comfort Hall Halt
  • Duck Pond Halt
  • Oxford Halt[10]
  • Balaclava Station
  • Siloah Halt
  • Appleton Station
  • Appleton Tourist Halt
  • Maggotty Station
  • Ipswich Station
  • Breadnut Walk Halt
  • Stonehenge Station
  • Catadupa Station
  • Cambridge Station
  • Montpelier Station
  • Anchovy Station
  • Ailford’s Halt
  • Gordon’s Halt
  • Montego Bay (Terminus)
Gregory Park railway station c1980.
Montego Bay railway station c1905.

Tunnels[edit]

There are 13 tunnels on the line:[11]

No. Name Mi from
Kingston
Km from
Kingston
Parish Length
feet
Length
meters
1 Scotts Pass 44.25 71.2 Clarendon 70 21.3
2 Scotts Pass 44.50 71.6 Clarendon 170 51.8
3 Comfort Hall 65.50 105.4 St. Elizabeth 688 209.1
4 Balaclava 70.00 112.6 St. Elizabeth 348 106.1
5 Highworth 84.00 135.2 St. Elizabeth 182 55.5
6 Y S 84.50 136.0 St. Elizabeth 218 66.4
7 Ipswich 86.25 138.8 St. Elizabeth 855 260.6
8 Unnamed 87.75 141.2 St. James 555 164.6
9 Merrywood 88.50 142.4 St. James 362 115.8
10 Anchovy 104.50 168.2 St. James 102 31.1
11 Ramble 108.00 173.8 St. James 182 55.5
12 Bogue Hill 108.50 174.6 St. James 1276 388.9
13 Bogue Hill 108.75 175.0 St. James 458 139.6

Bridges[edit]

There were 51 significant[12] bridges and one viaduct on the line[1]

  • Trench Town Gully
  • Shoemakers Gully
  • Cockfight Bridge (gully)
  • Salt River
  • Rio Cobre
  • Irrigation canal east
  • Irrigation canal west
  • Creek Town Gully
  • Track (rail over)
  • Irrigation canal
  • Cut Throat Gully
  • Spring Garden River
  • Irrigation canal east
  • Irrigation canal west
  • Coleburns Gully
  • Church Pen Gully east
  • Church Pen Gully west
  • Stony Gully
  • Fraser's Gully
  • Old Harbour(?) River
  • Bowers Gully
  • Palmetto Gully
  • Hunts Pen road (rail over)
  • A2 road (rail under)
  • Rio Minho - originally completed in 1874, it was completely rebuilt during the second decade of the twentieth century by Hewson (of the Jamaica Government Railway) using the then new method of concrete blocks[13]
  • Jacks or St Annes Gully #1
  • Jacks or St Annes Gully #2
  • Jacks or St Annes Gully #3
  • Jacks or St Annes Gully #4
  • Flemings (sic) Gully east
  • Flemings (sic) Gully west
  • Milk River
  • Milk River (seasonal)
  • Track (rail over)
  • Kendal - Mandeville road (rail over)
  • B6 road, Balaclava (rail under)
  • Black River #1
  • Black River #2
  • Black River #3
  • Ipswich - Merrywood road (rail under)
  • Richmond Hill road (rail under)
  • B6 road, Jubilee (rail under)
  • Seven River #1
  • Seven River #2
  • Seven River #3
  • Seven River #4
  • Seven River #5
  • Browns River
  • Anchovy Gully
  • B8 road, Mount Carey (rail under)
  • Bogue Viaduct
  • Montego River

Junctions[edit]

There were 3 branch line junctions, 3 railway works junctions and 4 estate railway junctions on the line:[1]

Branch lines

  • Spanish Town Junction to Bog Walk, Ewarton, New Works and Port Antonio.
  • May Pen Junction to Frankfield.
  • Logans Junction to Fort Simmonds.

Railway works

  • Kingston railway workshops.
  • Kingston permanent way department.
  • Kingston engine sheds.

Estate railways

  • Caymanas estate.
  • Bridge Pen.
  • Raheen.
  • Appleton.

Bauxite lines

  • Bodles.

Piers

  • Kingston railway piers numbers 1, 2 & 3.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k UK Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1:50,000 map of Jamaica, various sheets (1958-1973).
  2. ^ "Duck Pond" is given in the Annual Transport Statistics; the 50K maps show "Dick Pond".
  3. ^ The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica, 1845-1975 Journal of Transport History - March 2003
  4. ^ The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica, 1845-1975 - Pg3 Journal of Transport History - March 2003.
  5. ^ a b The Jamaica Railway 1845-1945 by H R Fox, General Manager, Jamaica Government Railway in The Railway Magazine of November & December 1945.
  6. ^ 1866 to 1913 Crown Colony Government discoverjamaica.com
  7. ^ The rise and fall of railways in Jamaica, 1845-1975 - Pg18 Journal of Transport History - March 2003
  8. ^ The Jamaica Railway 1845-1945, H R Fox (General Manager, Jamaica Government Railway), The Railway Magazine Volume 91 Number 560 November and December 1945, pages 313-317.
  9. ^ Annual Transport Statistics Report: Jamaica in Figures 2003-2004, Ministry of Transport and Works, July 2005, Table 3.5 - Mileage for JRC Stations, Halts & Sidings in relation to the Kingston Railway Terminus 2003-2004.
  10. ^ UK Directorate of Overseas Surveys 1:50,000 map of Jamaica sheet D, 1959.
  11. ^ Annual Transport Statistics Report: Jamaica in Figures 2003-2004, Ministry of Transport and Works, July 2005, Table 3.6 - List of JRC Railway Tunnels by Line 2003-2004.
  12. ^ In this context, significant means mapped on the Directorate of Overseas Surveys 50K series of maps:
  13. ^ Volume 6 Number 7, Monthly Comments, Ansell Hart, 1968-06.

External links[edit]

  • Montego Bay to Williamsfield, Jamaica, 7 minute black and white silent film shot from the rear of a moving train, SINTZENICH, Hal & WEDDUP, Charlie, Kineto, 1913, Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire.