The Monklands and Kirkintilloch Railway

The canal is in operation now and is extremely profitable. So now we come to look at the monklands and kirkintilloch Railway. Of course, the monkland Canal now had the monopoly on the transport of coal and other goods into Glasgow from the Lenox pits. This dissatisfied the pit and Foundry owners who found the charges exorbitant and they decided to build a railway from their coal mines and foundries which were in the Coatbridge area to the forth and Clyde canal kirkintilloch a distance of about 10 miles. The line was built in only two years and opened in 1826, using horse drawn wagons. passenger services along the line started around 1828 the monklands and kirkintilloch Railway was the first railway in Scotland to use a steam locomotive used from around me 1831 and closely followed by Either Glasgow and Kern Kirk. As we’ll see later, the building of the line led to the great expansion of the town of Coatbridge. It had 17 blast furnaces in 1826. And that increased to 53 blast furnaces in 1843. However, the line began to decline later in the 19th century, as other more direct routes were built, and is now apart from a couple of junctions, completely derelict. And you join us for the monkland and kirkintilloch Railway on the rail website useful website for giving us information about old railway lines particularly in Scotland, and locations. And we see here that the act for the railway was passed in 1824. And the railway was opened in 1826. So quite a quick construction and that William Baird and co one of the main contractors very Famous company in the Glasgow area and north of Glasgow, owner of mines and quarries, and all sorts of things back in the 1800s. And the rails Scott page gives us some information that we can look at some photos there. And gives us information about the timeline of the route, and so on. I’m not going to go into this in detail you can look at the webpage if you want to, but some of the remains which is basically a footpath nowadays so much fit as we’ll see of the railway, very little remains of the monkland and kirkintilloch Railway. Now you can follow it on cycle or on foot, some of the route but a lot of the route is lost. And there we go. It talks about each of the steps all the way through to got Sheree which is on the edge of Coatbridge and then Sunnyside which is in Coatbridge as we’ll see from the mapping. So let’s Jump into National Library of Scotland again side by side mapping. And we’re at a little town of kirkintilloch, just north of Glasgow about seven miles north of Glasgow, and the beginning of the monkland and kirkintilloch rally. And the beginning was this basin here on the forth and Clyde canal. The idea behind behind the railway was to bring the coal and other products from the pits around the coop progeria to the fourth and cloud canal where they could be transported down south to Glasgow or north and east through to the further fourth Edinburgh and so on. So this is the beginning of the monkland kirkintilloch Railway. Now a business park as we see Southbank business park, we also see a railway line going up here. This is a much later railway line built in the mid 1800s, perhaps even in the late 1800s I think goes through to Lenox town and strathblane and a branch goes up through Kilsyth to bonnybridge later. It’s never particularly successful, rather remote country with fewer mines and so on. But we’re here to follow the monkland and kirkintilloch. So let’s have a look. There goes the line down here on the old map, the 1888 map. Let’s have a quick look on the 25 inch map. As it loads, yep, there we go. And we’re going to be able to follow up quite soon it goes past white gates business park there on what is now a road or so called marine away. And still lenzi road here, it’s crossing here and then we can see here some sort of path. This is where the psychopath stops, or starts even behind these houses here. We’re going to go back to the six inch mark because I think that has given us a little better for you actually. And there we begin to come. There’s the railway route going down there as we can see Just a wee bit loop they’re constructed to we can still see the track of that as well as a path to join on with a more modern line when that was built. And there is our mineral line, which is a footpath or psychopath between these rows of what is now houses what was then fields. There’s the line following through here. And this is the modern road. So it’s crossing the road was it crossing the road roundabout here, which is all gone, which is all trees should be able to find traces. But this is certainly a path that you can cycle along or walk along. Let’s have a look at openstreetmaps shows the dotted line of the path. Yep, here we go. We’re following the path that’s lost a bit here because this is a new road, but there’s a path coming through here and then we can begin to follow it on this site, too. Okay modern rotors obscured parts of it but there we see the track coming and then there is down there and this can still be followed as I say just gonna go to OpenStreetMap again for a bit yep there is along there. Still coming along here beside this this love river stream. Long hair this is all still a footpath cycle paths so we can easily access this we can follow the line along there was a branch up to a colori just a bit further north there and but this line McClinton kirkintilloch continues and this is where we cross what is the modern MH and you can see a footbridge there so we can still cross the road. It’s Still is a public path that crosses the road and follows the line of the tracks that we can continue to follow the line of a track interesting that says to him right there when you realize I don’t think this zoom is going to show us anything no and we continue through industrial areas here but we can still see the path they’re going along behind these houses old quarry there with houses built on it now. Here’s the railway line we can see it through the trees there we can still follow it still following the stream following the river following it down badly cemetery we see it’s crossed Cumbernauld road here. Looks like we’d have to look right Left and cross the road. But it’s still it’s still there. And if we look on the Open Street Map, yet, we can still see the dotted path, dotted line of the path there. And here we lose the dotted line for a bit. I’m sure I’ve, oh yes, this is where it ends. So we can access the path right up until this road here. What’s that called? Avenue head road. But this is fenced off, you can see that the sort of trap continuing but it’s all fenced off is a form of quarry and clay pit and sand works as we can see all around here. Now have a bit of I get the heebie jeebies about quarries in mind, so I’ve never actually access this. And we can see that the modern m 73 comes through here. So the railway line crossed it we can sort of see on the aerial photo there. It’s crossing it but there’s not really much visible but we pick it up again very shortly down this track here we can begin to see that track there, zoom out just a second. We see it continue we can pick it up again there if we look on open street they OpenStreetMap we can see the path continuing so the path is back we can follow it again. Go back to being continue to follow it down here across this post industrial derelict landscape down here. And then we’re beginning to get into land which was old quarries and collieries. inch knocked our remains of in ruins. The light was anything now. Past the fireclay works past the fire claim pit here lots of works used to be on this land which is now derelict, we can see the line of the track coming down Hear coming down here crossing this main track which is probably the main Coatbridge line, you know, it looks like the lines are joining here. Still attract there down below we can see and this is where it joins into what is the Caledonian railway obviously that wasn’t there back in when the monkland can cook until it was built because it was first row were built in this area. And the line is now still running line. So we’re on the running line which is the original track of the monkland and kirkintilloch. Zoom out just a wee bit past more fireclay works and lots of clay in this land to be had. And then we come in here still now modern tracks along the line of the old and now much more densely populated, which work with railway as we’ll see in a second when we look at the glass on gunk and we Coming into gargery here which is where all design works. All these chemical works all these pits were built as a result of the monkland and kirklin kirkintilloch Railway being built and this is where ended it ended at Sunnyside, so it must have looped round here. It’s not as evident on this old map let’s quickly jump to the 25 inch maps if it gives us any more. Not really it probably zoomed across there and it got Sherry road as it now is to get to sunny side but that is where the line ended. Well didn’t end because there were branches up into the colonies. But that was when the passenger services started. That would be the terminus okay and that is the monkland and kirkintilloch. As we can see. It was the dawn of the railway age for this part of Scotland one of the very first lines in Scotland. line with steam locomotive and it opened up the coal fields Atlantic share price of coal in Glasgow dropped dramatically.