Crieff and Methven Junction Railway
|Crieff and Methven Junction Railway|
As a purely local concern, the line was dependent on local traffic, and when that declined in the middle of the twentieth century, the railway became unsustainable. It closed to passengers in 1951 and completely in 1967.
The company received parliamentary authorisation to build the line on 14 July 1864, with the line being completed in 1867. Perth was linked to the growing Scottish railway network when the Scottish Central Railway opened its main line from Castlecary, near Falkirk, in 1848. The Scottish Central was allied with the Caledonian Railway, connecting with Glasgow and Carlisle, and the Scottish Midland Junction Railway built northwards from Perth, also opening in 1848, giving connection to Forfar and over other lines to Aberdeen.
Places served by these main lines experienced an economic benefit: the prices of commodities such as lime and coal brought in fell considerably, and the cost of delivering their manufactured goods and agricultural products to market also reduced. By contrast, towns not yet connected experienced a worsening in their position, and business interests in Methven proposed a railway to their town, and the Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway opened from a junction north of Perth to Methven on 1 January 1858.
The important town of Crieff also suffered from the lack of a railway connection, and in 1856 the Crieff Junction Railway opened, from a location then called Crieff Junction, on the main line between Stirling and Perth: it is now known as Gleneagles station. This more southerly connection was convenient for transits towards Glasgow and Edinburgh, but Perth was a major commercial and agricultural centre at this period, and passengers from Crieff to Perth preferred to travel by road coach to Methven, continuing their journey over the Almond Valley line.
A railway link was suggested and on 14 July 1864 the Crieff and Methven Junction Railway obtained Parliamentary authorisation. The company's capital was £66,000. The line opened on 21 May 1866, from a junction with the Methven line a mile south of the Methven terminus. The line ran broadly west, following the Pow Water, entering the eastern margin of Crieff alongside the Crieff Junction line, and using that company's station facilities.
The Crieff Junction line was absorbed by the Scottish Central Railway in 1865, and the Crieff and Methven Junction Railway was worked by the Scottish Central Railway until absorption by the Caledonian Railway in 1868.
In the latter half of the century tourism developed considerably and Strathearn became a destination of great importance. Road tours were arranged from Crieff, and in 1893 the Crieff and Comrie Railway built westward from Crieff; this involved a new and more commodious station at Crieff. The Comrie line was extended still further, eventually reaching Lochearnhead and Balquhidder on the route of the Callander and Oban Railway.
The importance of the town of Methven was considerably reduced in the later years of the nineteenth century, and the decline continued in the twentieth; the section from Methven Junction to Methven terminus closed to passengers on 27 September 1937. The remaining line was continuous from Crieff to Perth (Almond Valley Junction) and was operated by the Caledonian Railway as a single route. However carryings on the line declined as well, and on 1 October 1951 passenger traffic on the line ceased. Goods traffic continued until that too was discontinued on 11 September 1967.
Passenger stations on the line were:
- Methven Junction (station); it was an unadvertised exchange station from 1889 until closure of the Methven section in 1937;
- Abercairny; certain early publications spelt the station Abbercairny and also Abercairney;
- Innerpeffray; closed 1 January 1917; re-opened 2 June 1919;
- Crieff; Crieff Junction Railway station; relocated on the opening of the Comrie line on 1 June 1893.
Connections to other lines
- Perth, Almond Valley and Methven Railway at Methven Junction
- Crieff Junction Railway at Crieff
- Crieff and Comrie Railway at Crieff
- Christopher Awdry, Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies, Patrick Stephens Limited, Wellingborough, 1990, ISBN 1 85260 049 7
- Peter Marshall, The Scottish Central Railway: Perth to Stirling, Oakwood Press, Usk, 1998, ISBN 0-8536-1522-5
- John Thomas and David Turnock, A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Volume 15: North of Scotland, David & Charles (Publishers), Newton Abbot, 1989, ISBN 0 946537 03 8
- E F Carter, An Historical Geography of the Railways of the British Isles, Cassell, London, 1959
- Bernard Byrom, The Railways of Upper Strathearn, Oakwood Press, Usk, 2004, ISBN 0 85361 622 1
- Col M H Cobb, The Railways of Great Britain -- A Historical Atlas, Ian Allan Publishing Limited, Shepperton, 2003, ISBN 07110 3003 0
- M E Quick, Railway Passenger Stations in England Scotland and Wales—A Chronology, The Railway and Canal Historical Society, 2002
- Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063.
- Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
- Railscot on Crieff and Methven Junction Railway