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The North British Railway promoted the Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton and Coatbridge Railway to serve the new coal fields around Hamilton to compete with the Caledonian Railway.
1874 The railway was incorporated on 16 July 1874. The line would be 12-mile (19 km) from Shettleston on the North British Railway's Coatbridge line, to Hamilton, and a 3-mile (5 km) branch from Whifflet to Bothwell Junction on the Hamilton line.
WWI The line was closed to passengers, except miners' trains.