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British Industrial History

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Slamannan Railway

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The Slamannan Railway was an early mineral railway built near Slamannan, Falkirk, in an area containing coal and iron ore.

The railway was Incorporated on 3 July 1835 and was opened on 31 August 1840. Its main function was intended to be the transportation of coal and passengers, but iron ore was also carried. It was built to the Scotch gauge of 4 ft 6 in

The line included Inclined planes.

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 1835 Act of Parliament was to raise £86,000 (Pound sterling) of joint stock capital and a loan of £20,000. A further Act was obtained on 3 July 1837 to raise an additional £29,000 by shares. Half the capital was provided by the Ballochney Railway.

The route ran from the northern branch of the Ballochney Railway to the Union Canal at Causeway End, a distance of 12.5 miles

In 1844 a one mile extension at Causeway End, to link it to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was authorised.

On 31 August 1840, the Slamannan Railway arranged passenger services between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Passengers travelled from Glasgow, via the Glasgow and Garnkirk Railway, the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, the Ballochney Railway and the Slamannan Railway to Causeyway End on the Union Canal. Two through passenger trains per day ran in both directions; they linked with boats on the Union Canal, and reduced the journey time between the two cities to four hours.

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 Slamannan Railway merged with the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway and the Ballochney Railway to become the Monkland Railways.

A 4.5 mile extension - the Slamannan and Borrowstounness Railway - was built to Bo'ness, which opened on 17 March 1851. The 26 June 1846 Act of Parliament authorising this extension, also allowed the railway to lease the harbour at Bo'ness but this lease was not followed through.

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.

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