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British Industrial History

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Devon Valley Railway

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Constructed by William Leslie (1802-1879).

The Devon Valley Line was built in two portions by two different companies. The first three and a half miles from Alloa to Tillicoultry, was built by the Stirling and Dunfermline Railway Company, who were then owners of a line open at that time from Alloa to Dunfermline. A temporary terminus was set up at Glenfoot about one third of a mile short of Tillicoultry on June 3 1851 and continued into Tillicoultry later the same year. The owning Company was absorbed by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Co in June 1858, which in turn was amalgamated with the North British Railway Co from August 1 1865.

After an interval of about 7 years a new Company named the Devon Valley Railway Company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament on July 23 1858 with power to extend the railway from Tillicoultry to Kinross. The first sod was cut south of Rumbling Bridge on Saturday August 4 1860 and the first section opened was the six and a half mile Kinross to Rumbling Bridge on May 1 1863.

After a further lapse of 4 years due to financial difficulties work began at the other end on the two and three-quarter miles from Tillicoultry to Dollar. This section was brought into use on May 3 1869 and finally the four and a quarter miles section from Dollar to Rumbling Bridge was opened on May 1 1871 making through working between Alloa and Kinross possible.

The Devon Valley Railway Company was amalgamated with the North British Railway Co from 1st January 1875, and passed to the LNER on January 1st 1923 then becoming part of British Railways on January 1st 1948.

Passengers from Tillicoultry were well served by a good time table and many extra excursions were provided to various seaside resorts, and scenic beauty spots. Queen Victoria travelled over the line from Perth and a spot near Rumbling Bridge is still known a the Queen's view; this gives a lovely panoramic view of the Ochil hills. The coming of the omnibus and the very convenient and frequent service provided together with a more direct route to Stirling along the Hillfoots and of course latterly the private car made deep in-roads into rail traffic from which it never recovered.

On the freight side a considerable amount of coal a handled at one time from the local pits and mines together with goods and material coming and going from local factories.

It was in the early 1920s, that Samuel Jones & Co. (Devondale) Limited began production at Tillicoultry, and their traffic became a valuable source of revenue to the railway; vans of raw material inward, and containers of finished product outward with a continual shuttle service of containers back and forth to the nearby mills. In these days articulated lorries it is perhaps difficult to imagine the early containers being pulled by horses.

The closing of most local pits and mines greatly reduced the railways earnings, and as with the passenger traffic the writing was on the wall.

Tillicoultry Station closed to passengers on June 13 1964, and it was a fitting climax to its history that on June 28th 1963 the Royal Train arrived conveying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh for a tour of the county.

British Rail decided to close the station completely from April 25th 1966, and concentrate all good traffic on Alloa, and so the station which has won several prizes for it floral display, has now reached the end of its useful life, and only the coal train from Dollar mine now pass its platforms."[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Samuel Jones & Co Quarterly Magazine - Christmas 1966 Vol 44 no.2