The Story of Bathgate's Railways - 1849 to 2010

The Coming of the Railway:

 

 

       

 

Two of the earliest railways in Scotland were the Monklands & Kirkintilloch Railway (M&K) (1826) and the Wilsontown, Morningside & Coltness   (WM&C) Railway (1845). These lines were initially freight lines and had been constructed to tap the rich minerals lying under the otherwise bleak and   impoverished moorland country straddling the North Lanarkshire/West Lothian borders, in order to supply the demands for raw materials by new iron-making industry in the west, and to supply domestic coal for Glasgow via the Forth and Clyde canal. Two further railways were constructed to serve this district, the first, the Ballochney Railway (1828), and the second, the Slamannan Railway (1840), these railways making end-on connection with each other and with the original M&K Railway. Again, the Slamannan Railway was built primarily to make a connection with, and use the Union Canal to supply coal to the ever-expanding Edinburgh market. All four railways initially operated as independent concerns, but with a comfortable relationship without any formal bonds, and with three of the four sharing a common Secretary. All were initially freight (mineral) railways, carrying the minerals to the furnaces, although, from 1846, the WM&C did also carry passengers, as did the Monklands Railway from 1858. These lines of railway all had been constructed to the old “Scotch” gauge of 4 feet 6 inches, but, in order to establish closer ties and interface with the larger predatory railway companies, and in this case, the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway Company (1842) (E&GR), the gauge was converted to the “standard” gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches by August, 1847.

With the development of mining in and around Bathgate and the increasing tonnages of coal being extracted, it was inevitable that these established mineral lines would seek to tap the sources of the coal; this being their “raison d’ être”. The WM&C, which had received Royal Assent, 1841, was to be the first railway to enter the county of West Lothian, when, in the same year a single line of railway from Morningside, near Newmains, in Lanarkshire, was constructed from an end-on connection with the Wishaw & Coltness Railway, the first part of which latter railway was opened in 1833, to run eastwards across the empty moorland south of Shotts, to a terminus at Longridge, which was reached in 1845. Passenger stations were provided at Morningside, Daviesdykes, Blackhall, Headlesscross, Fauldhouse (Crofthead) and Longridge. A rail passenger service was commenced in 1846, running between Longridge and Glasgow, with a horse-drawn coach connection from and to Edinburgh via West Calder being made at Longridge.

The Monklands & Kirkintilloch, the Ballochney and the Slamannan Railways amalgamated in 1848 to become the Monklands Railway Company. The Slamannan Railway had constructed a line running east to connect with the Union Canal at Causewayend, north of Bathgate, in 1840, but as yet, no railway had penetrated Bathgate proper. That was soon to change!

In 1846, the Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway received Royal assent (The Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway Act, 1846) (E&BR), to construct a new line of railway from Ratho (Bathgate Junction) on the E&GR’s main line, to Bathgate, with stations at Broxburn (later Drumshoreland), Houston (later Uphall Station), Livingston and terminating in Bathgate town centre, close by where the existing (1985) station lies today. A goods depot was also provided. The signal box controlling this connection was known as Bathgate East but was later to be re-named Bathgate Central. This railway was, from the outset, both a passenger and freight railway and it bisected the main oil shale reserves. The line opened for goods and mineral traffic in November, 1849, and for passengers in 1853. Under the E&BR’s Act of Incorporation, it was leased to the E&GR for 999 years and the E&GR operated this line from the outset. The E&BR was never amalgamated with either the E&GR or the North British Railway Company (NBR), which absorbed the E&GR in 1865, but remained as the Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway Company until taken over by the LNER at the Grouping in 1923. The WM&C was authorised by an 1846 Act, to extend their line from Longridge to Bathgate, making an end-on connection with the E&BR via a severe curve just to the east of that railway’s Bathgate terminus. However, before this line could be completed, the E&GR had taken over the WM&C. by an Act dated 28th July, 1849 and taking effect from 1st August in that year. This line is thought to have been opened in the spring of 1850 since mention was made in a report to shareholders of the E&BR at a meeting held on 13th March, 1850, that the line had been opened for goods and mineral traffic. Passenger traffic commenced to pass in May, 1850, when the station at Whitburn was opened. Another station was provided at Foulshiels but this was to be short-lived and in February, 1865, Bents station was opened. This line also provided a connection with the Meldrum, Binney & Young’s new oil works (chemical works) opened in February, 1851 near Durhamtown, lying just to the south of Bathgate. Meanwhile, to the north of Bathgate, the Slamannan Railway, with sights firmly set on the rich mineral pickings in the Bathgate area, obtained powers to build a branch line from their main line at Blackston Junction to Bathgate, in 1837, and again in 1846, but on each occasion, the powers were allowed to lapse. With the developments in the Bathgate area taking place in 1849-51, such as the new oil works and the discovery of  excellent gas coal deposits on the estate of Torbanehill, the Monklands Railway (the successor to the Slamannan Railway) renewed this interest. In July 1853, they obtained powers under the Monklands Railway Branches Act of that year to form a railway from the former Slamannan Railway, near Blackston, to the WM&C Railway near Boghead, and another Railway from such intended Railway near Boghead, to Cowdenhead, with subsidiary Branches therefrom to the said WM&CR, and to Armadale Toll”. This railway was built by J&A Granger and the first coal train passed over the line between Blackston and Bathgate in June, 1855.  However, the branch running off the WM&CR towards Boghead, at Polkemmet Junction, was not opened until November of that year. Two passenger stations were provided, one at Bathgate (originally Monklands and later to be renamed Bathgate Lower) in 1856, and another station at Westfield, opened in June 1864.  However, a passenger service commenced between Monklands station and Airdrie in 1858.

The following diagram illustrates the phased growth of the rail system throughout the period covered: 1849 to 2010.  However, it does not represent the current situation- (2010), since most, if not all, the lines shown are no longer in existence.

 

Diagram of Railways around Bathgate  1849 2010See Enlarged Diagram

 

Thus, in the very short period from 1849 to 1855, a mere six years, Bathgate had gone from being somewhat of a rural retreat without a railway, to fast becoming a large railway centre with burgeoning levels of rail traffic now passing. The E&BR established a large marshalling facility for the mineral traffic passing though and a substantial locomotive depot was also provided.

Years of Expansion:

The vast quantities of coal and ironstone being mined around Bathgate and Armadale, had however, to be worked via Bathgate Lower, Westfield, Slamannan and Rawyards to supply the many iron works around Airdrie and Coatbridge, a circuitous and difficult route at best. The Monklands Railway had promoted The Glasgow, Airdrie and Monklands Junction Railway, in an Act dated July, 1846 to construct a new direct line from Coatbridge to Glasgow. The plans for this very convoluted proposal, included the purchase of a new site in the west of the city, and construction of a new Glasgow University thereon, at the Monklands expense, in order that the site of the existing (old) University in the east end of Glasgow could then be cleared and used as a terminus for the line. These plans were to receive final approval in July 1848, by which time the Monklands promoters had abandoned the whole idea. The Monklands then obtained a further Branches Act in July 1857 which authorised the extension the line of railway from Cowdenhead, westwards to make an end-on junction with the former Ballochney Railway’s Rawyards-Clarkston branch near the village of Clarkston, with the added continuation of this new line, by means of a junction at Brownieside, around the southern part of Airdrie, to join the original 1826 M&KR’s Kipps branch at Kipps. This single line became known as the Monklands “new line” and was completed in the late spring of 1861, providing a shorter route for the raw materials to the furnaces of north Lanarkshire. Regular mineral traffic commenced on the 10th May, 1861. It was 1862 before all facilities for both goods and passenger traffic were completed and passenger stations were provided at Airdrie South, Clarkston, Caldercruix, Forestfield, Westcraigs and Armadale and passenger services commenced on 11th August, 1862. The line, although as then extended, was however, still some way short of Glasgow.

Locomotive outside Bathgate MPD shed. Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway Aug 1965

 

Locomotive outside MPD shed Edinburgh & Bathgate Railway - view  towards Edinburgh Road - Aug 1965.   Photograph by kind permission of GW Robin - All rights preserved

 

On the 31st July, 1865, the E&GR absorbed the Monklands Railway and on the following day, the 1st August, 1865, both the E&GR and the Monklands passed into the control of the NBR. The E&GR had sought to enhance the use of this Monklands “new line” by resurrecting the 1846 Act described above, and once more sought approval for the extension of the line into the centre of Glasgow. They were successful in promoting the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway Act of 1865 which authorised the construction of a line from Coatbridge (Sunnyside Junction) to a new terminal station at Glasgow (College), the site of the old Glasgow University. It fell to the NBR to progress this new line to completion and it was opened between Coatbridge and Gallowgate in December, 1870 and extended, firstly for goods traffic on 1st February, 1871, and then for passenger traffic on 1st April, 1871. Through passenger workings between Edinburgh and Glasgow (College) via Bathgate were introduced over this line, as yet still a single line, from that date. The line was doubled throughout in 1904 The final link in the Bathgate to central Glasgow route was the building of the Glasgow City & District Railway by the NBR from a new junction at College (East) through to Glasgow Queen Street (Low Level) and beyond. This line was opened for traffic on 15th March, 1886. A new station was built on this line at College (later to be named High Street) and the original College terminus became a goods depot. By providing this new route between Bathgate and Airdrie, the way was clear, as authorised in the aforementioned Branches Act of 1857, to also open up access to the mineral riches lying between Westcraigs and Shotts, on the bleak moor country above Harthill, via a new branch to be constructed southwards from Westcraigs Junction in 1862, and finally connecting with the E&GR (former WM&C) line at Blackhall Junction, immediately to the south of Shotts.

 

 

 

 

Bathgate Central Signal Box - view looking west- Upper Station in background

 

Bathgate Central Signal Box - view to west - Bathgate Upper Station in background.

Feb 1970  Photograph by kind permission of Bill Jamieson - All rights preserved. 


 

In 1865, around the time of the amalgamation of the E&GR and the Monklands Railway with the NBR, a new station was constructed at Bathgate, about 150 yards to the west of the original station, on the sharp, left hand curve of the original W.M&CR extension from Longridge, where it joined the E&BR line. It is believed that the original 1849 station at Bathgate was then closed and all facilities were transferred to the new station which was, from 1st August, 1865, to be known as Bathgate Upper station. The original Monklands station on the Blackston-Bathgate line, was re-named Bathgate Lower at this time. In 1897, a new, direct chord line was constructed to connect Bathgate Upper and Bathgate Lower.

 In around the same year (1865), James Young, having bought out his partners in the Bathgate oil works activity, and with supplies of the Torbanite cannel coal now rapidly running out, turned his attention to the oil shale reserves around West Calder, and, having been granted six concessions to extract oil shale around Addiewell, it was to be here, in 1865, he opened what was to be the largest oil refinery in the world at the time, to process the oil shale and extract and refine the oil products. By this time, it was the NBR which was to construct a new branch line, leaving the WM&C line south of Whitburn, at Addiewell Junction, the site of the former Foulshiels station, running southwards to access and serve the new oil works at Addiewell, also later serving Foulshiels colliery (1900), at Stoneyburn en route, in 1866. A later deputation from Bathgate to the NBR Directors, failed in their bid to have a passenger train service implemented between Bathgate and Addiewell. 

So by the 1870’s, Bathgate had now become a major railway centre sitting astride the huge coal and shale oil reserves and was the 5th most important coal production centre in Scotland. It is known that, over these momentous years, Bathgate was rail-connected to at least 50 collieries, plus the oil works at Addiewell, Uphall, Broxburn, Roman Camps, Deans and Pumpherston, and many of the numerous shale pits. A strong iron and steel industry, in the shape of iron foundries in the main, had sprung up in and around Bathgate, the North British Steel Foundry (formerly Macbeth Menzies Foundry) being the largest and probably most famous along with the Atlas Steel Foundry at Armadale. Spin-off industries in and around this area such as brick making, tile and fireclay products were also to be rail connected with Bathgate. Under the NBR and later the LNER, Bathgate was to be the largest railway marshalling yard in Scotland with in excess of 40 sidings, and employing some 550 men in the yard alone. 

 

 

The Years of Decline:

However, inevitably the coal measures were being worked out, pits were closed, branch lines were closed and the rail traffic contracted. By 1923, the portion of the Monklands (Boghead) branch between Bathgate West Junction and Bathgate Lower was gone. By the 1950’s there were but a handful of collieries still operating and by 1970, only two rail-connected collieries, Easton Colliery and Whitrigg Colliery, were left in production, and whilst Woodend Colliery (1870) had been closed in 1965, the Woodend washing plant continued in use, washing opencast coal, until the late 1970’s, and even saw the Woodend branch being re-laid completely for this purpose in the mid-70’s. In 1962, the Scottish Shale Oil Industry was struck a mortal blow when the Government of the day refused to continue the tax preference agreement for home produced hydro-carbon products and by 1963, the shale oil industry was dead in the water.

Railway closures had commenced in the 1930’s on a branch by branch basis as pits became worked out. Of the major lines, the WM&C lost its passenger services in 1930, and in 1960 the western end of the line from Castlehill Junction to Fauldhouse (Crofthead) was closed. The Addiewell Branch from Addiewell Junction was closed in 1963 and the remainder of the WM&C was gone by 1966.

Passenger services between Edinburgh, Bathgate and Glasgow via Airdrie were withdrawn in January 1956 and of the Monkland lines, Blackston Junction to Westfield was closed in 1964, the line between Westfield and the Easton Colliery branch was closed in 1967 and the Easton Colliery branch to Bathgate Upper was closed in 1973.


 


Locomotives lined up outside Bathgate MPD in late 50's/ early 60's

 

 

 

All Change!

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All gone!

Bathgate Central Signal Box - view looking east towards Edinburgh

Line of locomotives outside Bathgate MPD in late 1950's/ early 1960's.

Edinburgh Rd in background.   One geared up for snowplough duties

Photograph from the Robin Barbour Collection [ Courtesy of Bruce McCarthy]

All rights preserved. 

 

Bathgate Central Signal Box - looking east towards Edinburgh Feb 1970

Photograph by kind permission of Bill Jamieson - All rights preserved

In 1961, Bathgate was designated a Special Development Area as a consequence of the demise of Scottish Oils, the collieries and a general contraction of the tradition heavy industries thereby associated, and the ensuing significant unemployment problem this had created. The new British Motor Corporation’s (BMC) Truck and Tractor Division Factory, which had been planned for the traditional Midlands heartland of the motor industry, was, under pressure from the Government of the day, re-located to Bathgate and constructed on the south western side of the town between there and Blackburn. From day one, the factory was to be rail-connected, this being achieved by restoration of part of the former Riddochhill Colliery branch, opened in 1890 to serve the then new colliery at this location, but now truncated and running into the factory proper. The railway, now British Rail, was to gain much traffic from the new factory and very quickly, a daily freight service was established between Bathgate and Longbridge (King’s Norton) Birmingham, and Morris Cowley, (Oxford) for the transport of finished trucks and tractors back to the traditional markets for this commodity. However, these services were also to spawn a new traffic inwards to Bathgate, and Bathgate indeed became a centre for receiving block trains of new motor cars from not only the BMC factories in the midlands, but also regular services from the Ford (Dagenham) plant and the Vauxhall (Luton) factory. These inwards train services quickly increased to bring in imported motor cars from such places as Felixstowe, Tilbury, Sheerness and Harwich. Indeed, a new daily express air-braked freight service was started, running between Harwich (Parkeston Quay) and Glasgow (Sighthill) via Bathgate, serving Bathgate mid-morning daily, and running in reverse from Sighthill through to Parkeston Quay in the late afternoon, and again serving Bathgate. This service connected with the Harwich/Zeebrugge and Harwich/Dunkirk train ferries and soon, BR at Bathgate was loading trucks and tractors on continental railways (SNCF and DB) fitted wagons for direct service to the continent via the train ferry. This was a most successful operation leading to regular traffic flows to Chateau Thierry in France and Chiasso in Italy, with day “C” deliveries being the norm.

 

By the mid 1970’s Bathgate Goods was receiving around 400/500 new cars daily and Car Collection Firms had been set up in the town to undertake final deliveries of these vehicles to dealerships, these Companies including James Car Collection, Glasgow Car Collection and BRS Car Transport. All inwards cars were handled through the goods yard in Whitburn Road in Bathgate. These Car Collection Companies also took new trucks out of the factory for onward delivery and made extensive use of the rail facilities for this purpose, these vehicles being loaded to rail again at the Whitburn Road depot. Bathgate had a large pool of car flats allocated, plus specialist low loader wagons in permanently (bar) coupled sets. Much of the outward traffic ran under “Examine Load” conditions and even, on occasions, as “Out of Gauge Loads”. Other regular commodities handled at Bathgate goods were coal for the domestic market and rock salt (for WLDC Roads Department) at Guildihaugh. Scrap steel from both the BMC Factory and a local merchant provided a regular outwards flow.

 

In 1974/5, there was to be a quite unusual flow of traffic heading west from Bathgate. In the early 1970’s, the Civil Engineering Contractor, Leonard Fairclough & Co. had won the contract to extend the M8 motorway westwards through Glasgow towards Greenock. This was a massive civil engineering contract which, it was estimated, would require some 1 to 1.5 million tons of infill material. Thanks to the Scottish Shale Oil Industry, a legacy of giant bings of spent (burnt) shale, or blaes, had been inherited by the county and were considered by most to be eyesores in the extreme. Others however, with a bit of foresight, saw the same bings as an investment and one Bathgate-based Haulage Contractor, William Griffiths & Son, had the business acumen to purchase several bings and obtain planning approval to extract the spent shale as blaes for civil engineering projects. At that time, this material was in big demand throughout the construction industry and Griffiths, who was the largest supplier, just happened to have around 2 million tons lying doing nothing in the shape of Deans Bing, the Oil Works there having been closed in 1946, and readily undertook to meet Fairclough’s needs in that respect. The problem was, however, the logistical nightmare which would be some 45 heavy trucks having to make three loaded runs each day through the congested streets of Glasgow and the Clyde Tunnel, to deliver the blaes to site at Shieldhall.

 

Enter BR. In a tri-partite agreement between BR, Griffiths and Fairclough’s, BR undertook to transport and deliver to site, nine loaded trains of blaes per day, each train consisting of 31 x 21 ton hopper wagons with a payload of 750 tons, delivering 40,500 tons of shale each week. Bathgate shed received an allocation of eight Class 25 diesel electric locomotives for this working and each weekday, for just over a year and a half, these nine trains, worked by Bathgate-based Drivers, Secondmen and Guards, traversed the old Monklands railway, and were threaded through the intensive electric services of North Clyde, to run over the City Union to Shieldhall and return. Deans bing was all but removed from the West Lothian landscape and a logistical nightmare had been resolved by rail doing what it did best, heavy bulk haulage.

 

By the late 1980’s, Bathgate was once more in decline, railway-wise. British Leyland, the successor to the BMC was by now, in itself, in decline. Beset by industrial unrest, and with products which were becoming largely dated and suffering from poor quality control, sales were declining and the future was less than rosy. By 1986, the factory was gone. Inwards car traffic remained buoyant; a saving grace for Bathgate in railway terms, but the future of the whole line was untenable. In 1982, the line from Bathgate westwards to Clarkston was closed and the track lifted. Eastwards the line was retained for the car traffic.

 

The Railway Renaissance:

In 1985, a scheme was approved to re-instate a passenger train service between Edinburgh and Bathgate, however, as part of the financial project recovery of costs requirements, savings had to be achieved and this was done by the partial singling of the line from Bathgate to Bathgate Junction and the installation of a single lead junction to and from the branch, at the latter location. On leaving Bathgate, the line remained as double track to Carmondean Junction (28m 52ch) which was a double to single junction. The line then continued as a single line of railway through the new station at Livingston North (single platform face) and Uphall Station (single platform face) as far as Cawburn Junction (31m 59ch), which was a single to double line junction. The new passenger train service commenced in 1986 and was, from day one, an outstanding success.

In 2003, the Scottish Executive issued details of improved transport links between the two major Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. These initiatives included plans to complete the missing links in the M8 motorway and a proposal to provide a 4th main rail link between the two locations, by re-instating the former Edinburgh to Glasgow via Bathgate rail link. The projected cost was £300 million (2006 prices). This project was approved by the Executive in March 2007 and received Royal Assent in May 2007. Not only was a double line of railway throughout proposed, but the project also made provision for the route to be electrified using the 25Kv AC overhead line system of electrification. Work commenced with the symbolic cutting of the first sod at Livingston North in June 2007 and continued apace. By October, 2008, Newbridge Junction (with the E&G main line) had been re-instated as a full double junction, and the line between Carmondean Junction and Newbridge Junction doubled throughout. New platforms were constructed at Uphall and Livingston North. A completely new station was constructed at Bathgate (the fourth in its history), plus stabling sidings and a light maintenance depot for the new Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets. The complete relaying of the route through to Drumgelloch was completed in September 2010 and the route was declared operational (for Driver training purposes) in October 2010, and on which date, the new Bathgate station, located to the east of the present station, was also opened for traffic, but only to Edinburgh at this time. New stations are provided at Armadale, Blackridge, Caldercruix and Drumgelloch, the latter replacing the existing station there. Class 334 EMU’s will work this new service with a peak train service of four trains per hour in each direction planned and the service will start on the 12th December, 2010. To the credit of Network Rail and its contractors, the project has been brought in on budget.

So, for Bathgate, happily the railway wheel has turned full circle and whilst most of the original lines of railway are gone for good, Bathgate has emerged into the 21st Century with a state of the art railway link, and the first new major railway line to be built in the UK in just over 100 years, over a route, (and the shortest route between Edinburgh and Glasgow), which was first opened to through traffic between Edinburgh and Glasgow away back in 1871.

 

Train standing in Bathgate's New Station at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another new chapter opens in Bathgate's Rail History.

No longer is it the end of the line.  Out of the darkness

into the light.   A bright new station for a bright new future 

Bathgate Rail Station - Saturday evening - 13th November 2010

Photograph by kind permission of Bill Roberton.   All rights preserved.

Harry Knox FIRO MCIT CMILT

Linlthgow 2010

 

 

The Coming of the Railway:
Two of the earliest railways in Scotland
were the Monklands & Kirkintilloch
Railway (M&K) (1826) and the
Wilsontown, Morningside & Coltness
(WM&C) Railway (1845). These lines
were initially freight lines and had been
constructed to tap the rich minerals lying
under
the
otherwise
bleak
and
impoverished
moorland
country
straddling the North Lanarkshire/West
Lothian borders, in order to supply the
demands for raw materials by new iron-
making industry in the west, and to
supply domestic coal for Glasgow via the
Forth and Clyde canal. Two further
railways were constructed to serve this
district, the first, the Ballochney
Railway (1828), and the second, the
Slamannan
Railway
(1840),
these
railways making end-on connection with
each other and with the original M&K
Railway. Again, the Slamannan Railway was
built primarily to make a connection with,
and use the Union Canal to supply coal to
the ever-expanding Edinburgh market. All
four
railways
initially
operated
as
independent
concerns,
but
with
a
comfortable relationship without any formal
bonds, and with three of the four sharing a
common Secretary. All were initially freight
(mineral) railways, carrying the minerals to
the furnaces, although, from 1846, the
WM&C did also carry passengers, as did the
Monklands Railway from 1858. These lines
of railway all had been constructed to the
old “Scotch” gauge of 4 feet 6 inches, but,
in order to establish closer ties and
interface with the larger predatory railway
companies,
and in
this case,
the
Edinburgh
&
Glasgow
Railway
Company (1842) (E&GR), the gauge was
converted to the “standard” gauge of 4 feet
81⁄2 inches by August, 1847.
With the development of mining in and
around Bathgate and the increasing
tonnages of coal being extracted, it was
inevitable that these established mineral
lines would seek to tap the sources of the
coal; this being their “raison d’ être”. The
WM&C, which had received Royal Assent in
1841, was to be the first railway to enter
the county of West Lothian, when, in the
same year a single line of railway from
Morningside,
near
Newmains,
in
Lanarkshire, was constructed from an end-
on connection with the Wishaw &
Coltness Railway, the first part of which
latter railway was opened in 1833, to run
eastwards across the empty moorland
south of Shotts, to a terminus at Longridge,
which was reached in 1845. Passenger
stations were provided at Morningside,
Daviesdykes,
Blackhall,
Headlesscross,
Fauldhouse (Crofthead) and Longridge. A
rail passenger service was commenced in
1846, running between Longridge and
Glasgow, with a horse-drawn coach
connection
from and to Edinburgh via West Calder
being made at Longridge.
The Monklands & Kirkintilloch, the
Ballochney
and
the
Slamannan
Railways amalgamated in 1848 to become
the Monklands Railway Company. The
Slamannan Railway had constructed a line
running east to connect with the Union
Canal at Causewayend, north of Bathgate,
in 1840, but as yet, no railway had
penetrated Bathgate proper. That was soon
to change!