Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway
CLYDE AND THE PASSENGER TRAIN DEPARTING LEADHILLS
Britain's highest adhesion railway, reaching 1498 feet above sea level, it was originally built in 1900 for the Caledonian Railway Company for transporting refined lead to the central belt of Scotland. The lead mines closed in the late 1930's, but passenger traffic continued until the end of 1938. There are the Hidden treasures at Wanlockhead and you may wish to combine a visit to the Railway with one to the Museum. Local accommodation is available for those who wish to make a visit to Leadhills and the surrounding area a holiday experience. Upper Nithsdale has stunning scenery and a wealth of historic places to visit including Drumlanrig Castle part of the Buccleuch Estate .
The Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway Society was formed in 1983 to construct and operate a 2ft gauge tourist railway between two villages on the old standard gauge trackbed. Track laying commenced in 1986 with the station at Leadhills being built from scratch. A limited service began in 1988 over a 1/4 mile of track and has been improving steadily ever since, it has now reached the border with Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway, negotiations are at present under way to extend the track into Wanlockhead and build a station complete with run round loop, with the acquisition of more locomotives and coaches the shed at Leadhills is becoming quite full. A Hudswell Clark 68hp ex. mines locomotive was recently restored at Anniesland College of Further Education in Glasgow as part of a training scheme and will be brought into service soon.
All trains are hauled by diesel locomotives at present, although an
Orenstein and Koppel steam locomotive is being restored for use on the railway. The signal
box at Leadhills is an interesting attraction due to the preservation of the mechanical
equipment from the West Highland Line, and the use of the terra cotta facing bricks from
the now demolished Risping Cleuch Viaduct built on the original line by 'Concrete Bob
McAlpine' at the beginning of the century.
The railway operates at Easter and then every weekend (including Bank Holidays) until the end of September
Trains departures are:-
Easter weekend then Saturdays & Sundays to the last weekend in September
NOTE: Trains also operate over the Easter Weekend (including Good Friday and Easter Monday if sufficient staff can be rostered) , and Holiday Mondays in May and August.
Day Ticket Prices (pay once travel as often as you like)
Group discounts are available for parties of ten or more please contact The Secretary for details and prices.
Many visitors travel on an early train and spend an hour or so visiting the Hidden
Treasures at Wanlockhead and even Pan for Gold, then travel back
on a later train. Simply let the guard know when you wish to return and we'll
endeavor to have a train at the summit for your return trip.
A weekly on-line NEWS page is available for members. Please e-mail the secretary for details on how to access the weekly newspage quoting name and membership number. Also the members area where there are more photographs and other items available for viewing and download.
Certain text and images on this page were originally created by Mark Dewell of the
The railway is a member of Visit Scotland and is a two star visitor attraction, and is listed on the irail.co.uk listing of railway websites. Whilst in the area don't forget a visit to Leadhills Library, which is the world's oldest subscription library and definitely don't forget to visit the legendary Leadhills Mining Bear Company in the Main Street and have Lunch or Dinner in the Houtoun Arms Hotel where you will get a discount on your meal if you show your railway ticket.
For the golfers there's the Highest Course in Scotland at the Leadhills Golf Club
24/03/13 by Mark Andrew
Railway Society Ltd (SC100468)
The Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway
Recognised as a charity in Scotland, Scottish charity number SC 035209
© Lowthers Railway Society Ltd unless otherwise stated