Golden days of rail­way re­called

The Galloway News - - DISTRICT NEWS -

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

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