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British Industrial History

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Ballochney Railway

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The Ballochney Railway was an early mineral railway built near Airdrie, in the Monklands District of Scotland.

The railway was Incorporated on 19 May 1826 and was opened on 8 May 1828. Its main function was intended to be the transportation of coal, but iron ore and passengers were also carried. It was built to the Scotch gauge of 4 ft 6 in; and the engineer was Thomas Grainger). The line included two self-acting inclined planes.

It became relatively prosperous, by 1838 to 1834 it was paying 14 - 16% dividend; and it contributed half the capital of the Slamannan Railway.

In 1848 it merged with other railway lines to become the Monkland Railways; which in turn were absorbed by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.

The original 1826 Act of Parliament was to raise £18,431 (Pound sterling) of joint stock capital and a loan of £1,000. The Forth and Clyde Canal company agreed to subscribe for stock in the railway company in February 1826, because an economic depression in Glasgow, which lasted from 1826 - 1827, made fund raising difficult. In 1826, £3,300 of capital came from England.

A further Act was obtained in 1835 to raise, by means of a loan, an additional £10,000.

It was linked to the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, at Kipps, to the west of Airdrie. From there branches went to: Arbuckle, Airdrie, Ballochney and Clarkston.

The were two inclined planes in the middle section.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway started negotiations in 1844 to take over the various Monkland Railways; and at the same time the railway companies applied for permission to change to Standard gauge.

In May 1846, the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was refused permission to amalgamate and it decide to withdraw on 31 December 1846. The Caledonian Railway by that time had taken over the Wishaw and Coltness Railway and the Glasgow and Garnkirk Railway.

The Ballochney Railway, the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the Slamannan Railway all obtained authorisation to change to Standard gauge between 1845 and 1846. The three railways changed their gauge on 26 July and 27 July 1847.

On 14 August 1848 the Ballochney Railway merged with the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the Slamannan Railway to become the Monkland Railways.

The Monkland Railways were absorbed by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway by an Act of Parliament, dated 5 July 1865, effective from 31 July 1865. A day later (on 1 August 1865) the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was absorbed into the North British Railway.

Connection to other lines

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