Kilmarnock railway station

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Scottish Gaelic: Cill Mheàrnaig[1]
National Rail
2019 at Kilmarnock station - entrance.JPG
Main entrance to Kilmarnock railway station
LocationKilmarnock, East Ayrshire
Coordinates55°36′45″N 4°29′57″W / 55.6124°N 4.4992°W / 55.6124; -4.4992Coordinates: 55°36′45″N 4°29′57″W / 55.6124°N 4.4992°W / 55.6124; -4.4992
Grid referenceNS427382
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Transit authoritySPT
Other information
Station codeKMK
Original companyKilmarnock and Troon Railway & Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Pre-groupingGlasgow and South Western Railway
Key dates
6 July 1812Original station opened by K&TR[2]
4 April 1843Original station closed and second station opened by GPK&AR[2]
20 July 1846Second station closed and current station opened by GPK&AR[2]
2015/16Decrease 0.593 million
2016/17Decrease 0.589 million
2017/18Increase 0.619 million
2018/19Decrease 0.609 million
2019/20Increase 0.618 million
Listed Building – Category B
Designated3 July 1980
Reference no.LB35928[3]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Kilmarnock railway station is a railway station in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland. The station is managed by Abellio ScotRail and is served by trains on the Glasgow South Western Line.


Local passenger and goods trains in 1957

The first station in Kilmarnock was opened by the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway on 6 July 1812,[2] one of the earliest stations in Scotland. It was replaced by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway on 4 April 1843.[2] with the opening of their main line from Dalry.

The third and current station was opened on 20 July 1846 by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.[2] - this was connected to Ardrossan via Irvine two years later and to Carlisle via Dumfries & Gretna Junction in 1850. The current route to Glasgow (via Barrhead) - the Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway was completed in 1871 jointly by the G&SWR and Caledonian Railway.

Services on the Irvine branch and via the old main line to Dalry both fell victim to the Beeching Axe in the mid-sixties - the former closed to passengers on 6 April 1964 (and to all traffic in October 1965) and local trains on the latter were withdrawn on 18 April 1966 . Services to the G&SWR terminus at Glasgow St Enoch also ended soon after (on 27 June), with services henceforth running to and from Glasgow Central. The old K&T line also lost its passenger service for several years (local trains ended on 3 March 1969), but these were subsequently reinstated in May 1975 when the boat trains from Stranraer to Carlisle were diverted from their former route via Annbank & Mauchline. The Dalry line remained in use for freight and occasional long-distance passenger trains until 23 October 1973, when it was closed to all traffic and subsequently dismantled.

Current operations and station description[edit]

Platforms 1 and 2 at the station, adjacent is Platforms 3 and 4

The station is built well above street level and is accessed via either a subway and stairs or a more circuitous but step-free route along a narrow access road. Network Rail are currently undertaking a project to install lifts. Started in February 2018, it's hoped the project will be completed by December 2018.

The station has a total of four platforms; two north-facing bays for both terminating Glasgow services and trains on the Glasgow to Stranraer via Kilmarnock route, on which trains reverse out of the station towards the junction with the Troon line. Two through platforms serve through services between Glasgow, Dumfries, Carlisle and Newcastle. Platform 3 is used for most of the services between Glasgow and Carlisle/ Newcastle via Dumfries in both directions however platform 4 does see some use. Platform 3 and 4 are 57 miles from Dumfries and 89 miles from Carlisle.

The bay platforms (1 and 2) as well as Platform 3 are covered by a partly glazed roof and directly accessible from the ticket office. Platform 4 is accessed via a subway and stairs, and afforded only a bus stop style shelter although it does have a departure board.


The station is fully staffed seven days a week, with the ticket office open from 06:30 (Mon-Sat)/10:15 Sundays until 23:30. A self-service ticket machine is also provided for use outside opening hours and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Other amenities on offer in the main buildings include toilets, a vegan deli, a shop selling Scottish food and gifts,[4] an Active Travel HUB, waiting room and public wi-fi access. Train information is offered via CIS displays, timetable posters, automated announcements and customer help points. Step-free access is available to platforms 1-3 only.[5]


New coal sidings

The present Kilmarnock signal box is located north of the station, in the vee of the junction. Opened on by British Rail on 12 April 1976, it is a plain brick building containing an NX (entrance-exit) panel on the upper storey. It replaced four mechanical signal boxes in a scheme that saw the track layout greatly simplified. Originally, the box worked Track Circuit Block to Hurlford signal box and Scottish Region Tokenless Block over the single lines to Barassie Junction and Lugton signal boxes. Kilmarnock signal box was severely damaged in a suspected arson attack on 25 December 2006 but was repaired and returned to full operation within weeks.

The train service to Glasgow is partly limited by the single track northwards as far as Lochridge Junction (near Stewarton). This formerly extended all the way as far as Barrhead (with just one loop at Lugton) following track rationalisation in the early 1970s and restricted the frequency of services that could be operated. A "dynamic passing loop" (in effect a redoubling of the section between Lugton and Stewarton) was installed to help rectify this in 2009.[6] The service frequency was increased to half-hourly from the 13 December 2009 timetable change.

New sidings were installed in 2009-2010 along a short section of the trackbed of the old route to Dalry to facilitate the increased coal train traffic.

Kilmarnock railway viaduct[edit]

Constructed from 1843 until 1850, the Kilmarnock railway viaduct is a bridge crossing the town centre of Kilmarnock.

It is a most distinctive feature of the town centre with 23 masonry arches. It was built in the 1840s to enable the GlasgowKilmarnock line to continue to Carlisle.

At present, the viaduct is currently lit by blue lights when it is dark, which makes it more of a noticeable feature in the town. This was part of the Kilmarnock town centre regeneration. The programme carried out on the viaduct was considered a "success".[7]

In April 2012, the bridge's safety had to be upgraded after a man was seriously injured after jumping 40 ft from the top of the railway viaduct.[8]

Kilmarnock station clock[edit]

Outside of the railway station, a clock is operated by East Ayrshire Council and Abellio ScotRail. In 2011, the clock received a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust to undergo a regeneration scheme that began in late 2011 and was completed in March 2012.[9]


A Class 156 with a train to Glasgow

December 2019[edit]

On Monday to Saturdays, There are 2 trains per hour to/from Glasgow for most of the day with journey times taking between 40 and 50 minutes depending the service taken.

Monday to Saturday: There are 12 trains per day south of Kilmarnock towards Dumfries and Carlisle. 9 trains go to Carlisle (one train continues to Newcastle), 2 trains go to Dumfries and 1 in the mid morning only goes as far as New Cumnock, These operate to a roughly 2 hourly frequency however the frequency is uneven so gaps of up to 3 hours are possible at certain times of the day.

There are ten trains per day to Girvan, 7 of which continue to Stranraer, (and all call at Ayr) running a 2 hourly frequency (with peak extras).

Sundays: One train per hour to Glasgow. Two trains per day to Carlisle. There is no Sunday service to Ayr/Girvan/Stranraer. [10][11]

Due to Lamington Viaduct on the West Coast Mainline being severely damaged by the Storms of 2015-16, Virgin Trains services from Carlisle were diverted along the Glasgow South Western Line and called at Kilmarnock en route to Glasgow Central. These were irregularly scheduled services and ceased once Lamington Viaduct was repaired and the WCML reopened on 22 February 2016.


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Troon   Abellio ScotRail
Glasgow South Western Line
  Historical railways  
Connection with
  Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western Railways
Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway
Line and station open
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Line and station closed
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
  Connection with

Former Ferry Links[edit]

Trains also connected along the Glasgow South Western Line to Troon for former the P&O Ferries service to Larne Harbour.



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Butt (1995), page 133
  3. ^ "KILMARNOCK RAILWAY STATION". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kilmarnock station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  6. ^ "RAILSCOT - Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway".
  7. ^ "Kilmarnock". dailyrecord.
  8. ^ "Kilmarnock News". dailyrecord.
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^


  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • 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.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

External links[edit]