Golden days of railway recalled
Members of Stewartry U3A heard about the Forgotten Railways of Galloway from rail enthusiast Angus Rex at their latest meeting.
Angus, who was brought up in Portpatrick, illustrated his talk with photos of engines and rolling stock which operated on the lines in the area and the many stations, most of which have now disappeared.
The main railway was to Portpatrick, intended by the government of the day as a means of taking the mail for the ferry to Ireland.
The section from Castle Douglas to Stranraer opened in 1861 and reached Portpatrick in 1862 with a short, steep branch line down to the harbour.
The route for the railway was across the centre of Galloway, often over rural land which was cheap to acquire even if this meant that stations were some distance from the towns.
The Gatehouse station was six miles from the town and at Creetown the station was well above the village.
The line dropped down to a lower level at Dunragit and the Stranraer station was built on the edge of the town where the line then headed west to Portpatrick.
The 10-mile branch line from Castle Douglas to Kirkcudbright opened in 1864 and the Wigtownshire railway from Newton Stewart to Wigtown and Whithorn opened in stages from 1875 to 1877 and served the creameries in the area.
A line south from Ayr was opened, first with the Ayr and Maybole railway in 1856 and eventually reaching Challoch Junction between Dunragit and Glenluce on the Portpatrick railway in 1877.
Part of this was over the moors above Girvan.
The Cairnryan military railway was opened in 1942 to serve the port there, an important location during the Second World War particularly in preparation for the D-Day landings.
The line was finally removed in 1967.
Memories Steam train