Stranraer railway station

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Scottish Gaelic: An t-Sròn Reamhar[1]
National Rail
Stranraer railway station.jpg
156 434 at Stranraer
LocationStranraer, Dumfries and Galloway
Coordinates54°54′33″N 5°01′30″W / 54.9093°N 5.0249°W / 54.9093; -5.0249Coordinates: 54°54′33″N 5°01′30″W / 54.9093°N 5.0249°W / 54.9093; -5.0249
Grid referenceNX062613
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Other information
Station codeSTR
Original companyPortpatrick Railway
Pre-groupingPortpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Railway
Post-groupingLondon Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
1 October 1862Opened as Stranraer Harbour
by 1996[2]Renamed Stranraer
2016/17Increase 62,282
2017/18Increase 69,964
2018/19Decrease 56,386
2019/20Increase 65,862
2020/21Decrease 9,014
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Stranraer railway station (sometimes known as Stranraer Harbour railway station) is a railway station that serves the town of Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The station is 94.5 miles (151 km) southwest of Glasgow and is the terminus of the Glasgow South Western Line. It has two platforms (although only one of these is currently in use) and is staffed on a part-time basis.

The station is located on the east pier of Stranraer Harbour, formerly used by ferry services to Northern Ireland.


Passengers have just arrived on the train and transfer to the ferry in 1974
Stranraer Harbour station in August 1980

The station was opened on 1 October 1862 by the Portpatrick Railway;[3] however, the current station buildings date from 1877[4] under the Portpatrick Railways Act 1877. The original facility was a concrete platform. Passengers and mail were meant to use the station at Portpatrick. The Portpatrick ferry service was never successful as, despite its apparently attractive location and significant initial investment, the harbour there was unsuitable as it was too small and insufficiently sheltered.

A ferry service had commenced by 1861 but passengers made their way from Stranraer Town station to the steamers, not Stranraer Harbour station. The first daily ferry service started on 1 October 1862 to Larne and was provided by PS Briton. However, it only lasted until 31 December 1863.[5] Originally named Stranraer Harbour,[3] the station name was simplified to Stranraer by 1996.[2]

The Stena Line ferry service to Larne was moved to Belfast on 12 November 1995. P&O Ferries still sails there from nearby Cairnryan. Stena stopped serving Stranraer on 21 November 2011, having invested £200 million on a new route to Loch Ryan Port, near Cairnryan.[6] ScotRail has cut services to Stranraer since the ferry services started departing from further up Loch Ryan[6] and ferry passengers who travel by rail now face a long journey to Ayr by bus (called "RailSail", though it uses neither rails nor sails).


August 2020[edit]

On Monday to Saturdays, there is a regular two-hourly service with eight trains per day northbound to Kilmarnock with the first trains departing at 07:00 and the last one at 21:03; two of the trains extend through to Glasgow Central. On Sundays, five trains per day operate to/from Ayr where passengers can change for connections to Glasgow.[7]

From January 2021[edit]

Mon-Sat: There are three trains per day northbound to Kilmarnock which depart at 0700, 1106, and 1500. Only the 0700 service extends to Glasgow Central. Sunday service remains the same. The 1900 service was withdrawn in January 2021 due to signalling staff availability due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Service withdrawn September 2018[edit]

ScotRail withdrew the rail service from Stranraer in September 2018 because of ongoing problems with South Ayrshire Council addressing safety issues at Ayr's old Station Hotel. ScotRail provided a replacement bus service, adding considerably to journey times.[8] However, the service was reinstated in November 2018.

Bus link to Cairnryan ferry terminals[edit]

In September 2013 a bus link, route 350 operated by McLeans, was introduced between the railway station and the P&O Ferries and Stena Line ferry terminals at Cairnryan.[9] The bus also serves the centre of Stranraer. Note this service meets all trains but does not operate on Sundays.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Glasgow South Western Line
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Caledonian, Glasgow & South Western,
Midland and London North Western Railways
Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Railway
  Castle Kennedy
Line open; station closed
"boat icon" Ferry services
Cairnryan   Stena Line
  Port of Belfast
Cairnryan   P&O Ferries
  Larne Harbour


The station is the southern terminal of the South West Scotland Community Rail Partnership[10] which comprises local Community Councils, representation from South Ayrshire Council, ScotRail as well as private individuals. SWSCRP has adopted the station and has provided tubs, shrubs and plants. These are tended to by South West Scotland Station Adopters Gardening Group.

Plans by Dumfries & Galloway Council, to close the station and replace it by a new structure a few hundred metres further east to create a new transport hub for Stranraer have been ditched and the ring-fenced money used on other projects. On 21 November 2011, Stena Line operations ceased at Stranraer and were transferred a few miles up Loch Ryan to Cairnryan.[11]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b Baker 1996, p. 70, section C1
  3. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 222
  4. ^ Thorne 2005, p. 90
  5. ^ "History". Port of Larne. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b Jamieson, Teddy (19 November 2011). "End of an era as Stranraer ferry sails for new waters". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Scotrail" (PDF).
  8. ^ "20/12/18: Services return to normal at Ayr station | ScotRail".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "South West Scotland Community Rail Partnership - What we do" Retrieved 14 November 2017
  11. ^ "MiniWeb: South West of Scotland Transport Partnership (SWESTRANS) - Strategy". Archived from the original on 2 June 2008.


  • Baker, S.K. (1980) [1977]. Rail Atlas of Britain (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-106-4.
  • Baker, S.K. (2007) [1977]. Rail Atlas - Great Britain & Ireland (11th ed.). Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-86093-602-2.
  • Baker, Stuart K. (1996) [1977]. Rail Atlas Great Britain & Ireland (8th ed.). Yeovil: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-86093-534-5. T534.
  • 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.
  • Thorne, H. D. (2005). Rails to Portpatrick. Wigtown: G.C. Books. ISBN 1-872350-63-1.

External links[edit]