Kirriemuir Branch Line

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
Gympie
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Gympie »

Hi!
I'm new here . Am in the process of building a new layout and am interested in modelling the Kirriemuir Branch Line. I am interested in the Balmuckety Siding. Niall Ferguson's book "The Arbroath & Forfar Railway . . ." makes reference to it as being used every day. What activity happened there. His book mentions that the branch line at one stage trailed towards Kirriemuir but any of the OS maps I have seen it always trailed towards the Kirriemuir Junction.
He includes a breakdown of the passenger trains to Kirriemuir but there is no mention of the locos that operated on this line. Any information regarding this would be appreciated.
Gympie.
MIKEWILLIAMS
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

Welcome!
The 1915 Working Timetable Appendix states that wagons from Balmuckety siding are propelled towards Kirriemuir, which fits with your point about the siding trailing towards the junction. There was no special activity - according to the list of sidings 1910, it was a "public siding."

Best

Mike
Gympie
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Gympie »

Thank you,

Gympie
Dave Lochrie
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Hi Greg,
not sure how much of the branch you intend modelling but there was a series of articles published over the last few years in the Bachman Collector's Club Magazine (starting with Vol10 No 1, I think) which contained a surprisingly useful amount of info on building a model of Kirriemuir Station in OO. If you know someone who's a member then you could arrange copies, they do turn up in piles of magazines at exhibitions and occasionally on ebay, I've picked up several but by no means all, but I can scan the relevant pages if you don't already have these.
You are probably already aware of this but the Bachmann 4mm scale Caledonian signal box was commisioned using info supplied by the CRA to provide a box for this layout, I'm not sure if these are still available but an email request to the Sales Officer should confirm. Its is ackowledged as "similar to Kirriemuir" because research could only uncover one photograph with a distant side view of the signal box.
In addition to Niall's book there is also a self published E-book The Kirriemuir Branch of the Caledonian Railway, by CRA member (current?), (and original Caledonian Modellers Consortium member) Hugh Gibb which is a pretty thorough abstract of previously published and unpublished info, it's 60+ pages include sections on development, history, passenger and goods traffic and more than half its length is made up of Appendices on Timetables, WTT info, Private Owner Wagons, Staff, and Caledonian Locomotives used in the area.
If this sounds like it contains all the background info you would need for a model, you would be right because, if my memory serves me right, that is what Hugh was setting-out to do in the late 1970's!
On Balmuckety Public Siding he states-
Balmuckety was situated beside Balmuckety level crossing where the A 926 road from Kirriemuir crossed the Kirriemuir branch line. The crossing was on an angle of 45 degrees, and had four gates. One 18ft long and one 8 ft long, on each side. The gates were operated by a gatekeeper and were worked by hand. The crossing was protected by distant signals in each direction located about 400 yards on either side of the crossing. Traffic from both of these sidings would be worked to the Public Siding at Kirriemuir Junction, which lay immediately to the south of the closed Junction station, and from there on to Perth and Forfar.
and in the section on goods traffic-
Balmuckety Public Siding was similarly long-lived. Robert Drummond remembers ““……considerable traffic……”” throughout the 1950s and 1960s, particularly for potato traffic. The siding was worked in the same way as Ballindarg, but trains from Kirriemuir pulled the wagons to the siding, and propelled those returning to Kirriemuir.
And if all that doesn't sell it, it is available to download at-
http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/hugh-dun ... 15091.html
And it's FREE!
Kirriemuir Station Postcard.jpg
Kirriemuir Station Postcard.jpg (172.92 KiB) Viewed 21444 times
Dave L
Gympie
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Gympie »

Many thanks for this information - it fills in the gaps I don't have.
This will be a long term project and would like to attempt modelling from the junction to the station. I am in the process of sorting out the loft and have 16'X12' to play with. I know this seems a huge task but I hope being trained initially in electronics and being a Chartered Engineer, I have the skills and know about planning long term projects.
Some of this information is recorded in Ferguson's book but the (free) download attachment really has useful information about locos and rolling stock used. I am in the process of building a Jumbo and have a 439 to build. I wasn't sure if these were used on that line but the attachment not only gives loco numbers but also the livery used.
I would like to build the station - Ferguson's book give a basic plan with dimensions - it could be large enough to warrant its own postcode, but as that is not my area of expertise, I might seek further assistance.
I have been looking for some of the four wheel passenger stock (there was a five coach rake) that visited Kirriemuir. I found out that Decent Models have these as a brass fret. I also found out that we are only about twenty five miles apart, so I have organised a visit for Wednesday. The pieces of the jig-saw are fitting into place.
Gympie
Dave Lochrie
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Geography ensured that the site at Kirriemuir was fairly restricted,and it is one of the few prototype BLT's that appeared in photos to be as filled with stock as most model railways.
Kirriemuir post 1923.jpg
Kirriemuir post 1923.jpg (455.38 KiB) Viewed 21409 times
For reference when you come to model Kirriemuir, the CRA Archive holds drawings of both the station building and the goods shed as well as an undated track plan, National Archives of Scotland have a one of the Caledonian's rating plans dating from 06/06/1900 updated to 1924 at the handover to the LMS, which can be found at RHP81472, and you can purchase prints of photographs of the station (747_45_439 up to 747_45_445 incl. taken in the 1960's from Angus Council Cultural Services, their listing also includes a photo of a snowbound Balmuckety cutting, with 3 Caledonian locos coupled together with a snow plough (747_45_460).
Angus -Kirriemuir extract.jpg
Angus -Kirriemuir extract.jpg (240.29 KiB) Viewed 21409 times
Start at http://www.angus.gov.uk/history/gallery/default.htm and follow the Kirriemuir link (also good for colour references to the distinctive local shade of red sandstone).
Kirriemuir Goods Shed & Station.jpg
Kirriemuir Goods Shed & Station.jpg (143.53 KiB) Viewed 21409 times
Enlarged business section of the floral postcard.

Dave L
Gympie
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Gympie »

Thank you so much for your reply - there is a lot to take in here, I am enjoying reading it. Some of this information along with photos I have, but you are filling in the missing gaps.

I have been discussing holidays for next year with my better half, I am hoping to include a visit to the area next year.

Gympie.
John Duffy
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by John Duffy »

Regarding the working of Balmuckety Crossing, the signalling diagram that I have (LMS) shows distant signals both sides of the crossing controlled from a three lever ground frame at the crossing. There does not though appear to be any home signals by which to actually stop a train. Would the expectation be that a train would approach at such a suitable speed as to be stopped by a hand signal should the gates not be clear?

There were warning treadles either side to warn the crossing keeper of an approaching train, one 400 yds from Kirriemuir signal box and the other 1864 yds from the crossing itself, both cancelled by a further treadle just north of the crossing. Would these have been linked into the main telegraph/telephone lines along the branch?

Given there seems to be a reasonable level of infrastructure designed to protect the crossing, it is not somewhat odd that the protection of the crossing with home signals was omitted?

Regards

John
dunalastairv
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by dunalastairv »

Dear John,

The explanation is quite simple - the red targets on the gates themselves counted as home signals, with red lights to match at night. Of course, if you 'spad' these it makes rather a mess of the gates but for all bar the rarest of events, the low speeds on branch lines and the familiarity of the crews to every inch of line resulted in very few accidents.

Mike.
John Duffy
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by John Duffy »

Much appreciated Mike - Thanks
bdrummond
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

Many decades ago a visit to the by then closed sidings at Balmuckety (there were two parallel roads) saw me come home with a handful of labels for wagons destined for Balmuckety but sadly they have long since gone astray. They showed a year-round traffic in draff used as animal feed, some from distilleries as far away as the Speyside line. Agricultural lime in and potatoes out were seasonal traffics. By the gate to the yard was the crossing keeper's two storey house (the last resident keeper was Andrew Pullar) and the crossing was of course the scene in 1946 of the dreadful smash when an evening passenger train hit an elderly and poorly maintained excursion bus heading home to Forfar which had crashed into the closed gates.

Though there are several large farms nearby, I rather think part of the value of Balmuckety was that there was easy road access from it to Kirrie's agricultural hinterland well to the north and east of the wee town and to some of the Angus glens. Given the difficult road access to the station at Kirrie and the fairly restricted yard space as shown in the postcard views, at busy times of the year Balmuckety have been a useful asset and would have been far busier than the sidings at Ballindarg and Kirriemuir Junction.

The Kirrie branch had the distinction of being served not only by CR and subsequently LMS freights, but also by NB/LNE freights though I am unsure whether foreign locos would have dealt with any of the traffic to and from the three public sidings. Everything was invoiced to Kirrie and I was once told that the NB/LNE office at Kirrie was in the small square hut at the buffer end of the passenger platform. This hut features in several views of the station.

Please let me know if I can offer you any other help with your project.

Bob Drummond
John Duffy
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by John Duffy »

Today is the anniversary of the Balmuckety accident. I thought these might be of interest;
67642065_2385369694882443_3085286570215866368_n.jpg
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67676611_2385369704882442_8992858470608797696_n.jpg
67676611_2385369704882442_8992858470608797696_n.jpg (205.13 KiB) Viewed 11039 times
John
Malcolm
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Malcolm »

What a fantastic & useful thread with great photos! I have recently resumed building a 00 gauge model of Kirriemuir in my attic, which I have modified slightly & renamed 'Thrums' to allow some artistic licence. This project was started in the late 1980s then left derelict for decades (during a terrible marriage which eventually ended). Work is currently ongoing on tracklaying & ballasting, the station building has been part-constructed from card, & the mainly Caledonian kit stock is being repaired or constructed. I'm aiming for immediate post-Grouping period.
John Duffy
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by John Duffy »

bdrummond wrote: Tue May 14, 2019 4:05 pm
The Kirrie branch had the distinction of being served not only by CR and subsequently LMS freights, but also by NB/LNE freights though I am unsure whether foreign locos would have dealt with any of the traffic to and from the three public sidings.
From time to time I revisit this thread and notice it has now fallen dormant for some time. On my re-reading I am once again drawn to Bob Drummond's comment about the NB working over the branch. There is a similar reference in Niall Ferguson's Arbroath & Forfar Railway book, albeit it is discussed in post-grouping terms, where he specifies two daily round trips as a "hangover" from NB days.

Is there any confirmation that the NB operated the trains over the branch or were the NB trains run over the line by the Caledonian? In the United States the distinction is made by the terms "trackage rights" as against "haulage rights", the difference being one companies right to run trains over a line as against have their trains run over the line for them, by the host company.

The question therefore is would a visitor in the early years of the 2Oth century see NB locomotives (and I assume brake vans) arriving in Kirriemuir with freight trains?

John
Graham R
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:44 am

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Graham R »

Hi John,

I've never seen anything as conclusive as a photo of an NB loco between Arbroath, Forfar and Kirrie, but a study of the Caley working timetable for September 1916 and the D&A Joint WTT for October 1910 leads me to think that the N.B. did indeed provide its own motive power and, as you say, presumably brake vans as well.

The service pattern in both documents is the same, give or take some minor timing differences. There were two N.B. "Fast Goods" daily from Dundee Tay Bridge to Kirrie. The first left at 4.40am, arriving at Kirrie at 8.40am, returning at 9.27am and arriving back at 2.50pm. That's just within a twelve-hour day for the crew if you allow an hour for preparation and another hour for disposal. The second set out from Dundee at 11.45am, reached Kirrie at 3.0pm, and returned at 6.32pm, reaching Dundee at 9.55pm - this train returned earlier on Saturdays, presumably so that traffic for further south was not becalmed on the Sabbath.

The "Fast" in the titles appears to be because they generally did not work forward all traffic offered at intermediate sidings on the D&A where the N.B. had an equal chance to bid for the traffic, but rather only lifted traffic for Forfar and Kirrie (and presumably set down traffic from these points to D&A goods stations in the return direction). Some exceptions are noted for specific traffic: dead meat for Barry, draff for Carnoustie, urgent traffic from Dundee East to Panmure. (The reference to Barry had me puzzled for a while, since I doubt if the village even had a butcher's shop, but then I remembered Barry Buddon army camp). The earlier train was only booked to stop for 5 minutes at Arbroath in the outwards direction, which is not enough time to change locomotives, vans and crews as well as lifting any traffic offered. Other timings at Arbroath were not quite as tight, but were still short enough to make it unlikely. Arbroath is the only logical place to make such a change, but the two services are simple, single-shifted out-and-back turns which the N.B. were fully entitled to run themselves - the running powers originated from Parliamentary unease over potential monopolistic behaviour in the aftermath of the Caley takeover of the Scottish North Eastern, and the same running powers act permitted the N.B.to run services with its own locos and plant between Kinnaber Junction and Aberdeen. So I think it is reasonable to assume these trains were wholly N.B. operations, and presumably their crews were all passed to work the route by the Caley authorities, just as N.B. crews working trains to Aberdeen must have been. For the Strathmore services, this would have been cheaper than hiring Caley locos and crews, and would have ensured traffic captured by the N.B.'s canvassers was worked as expeditiously as possible.

However, there is one further N.B. train which is more of a puzzle. It ran on Tuesdays only, leaving Forfar (not Kirrie) at 2.40pm, arriving at Arbroath at 3.25pm, then returning at 3.40pm to reach Kirrie at 5.45pm. A footnote explains that the train is timed to meet an N.B. Montrose - Glasgow Bellgrove livestock train at Arbroath, so at a guess it was provided to move animals prior or subsequent to sale at auction (there were marts at Kirrie, Forfar, Arbroath and Carmyllie). There are no balancing light-engine workings shown and the train runs wholly on Caley territory. It seems reasonable to suppose that this train was worked by Caley locos, vans and crews and that this was cheaper for the N.B. than running up high light engine mileages.

There's some surmise in all of that, so I would be most interested if anyone has more definite information, or can check the situation in earlier WTTs. The LNE eventually gave up its independent goods services to Brechin from Montrose in 1934 after 68 years of keeping the Caley and LMS rate setters on their toes, as part of the wider measures between the LNE and LMS to reduce uneconomic practices. Does anyone have working timetables from the early 1930s to prove that the Dundee-Arbroath-Forfar-Kirriemuir service lasted until 1934 as well?

regards
Graham Roberts
John Duffy
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by John Duffy »

That's an extremely helpful contribution, Graham, many thanks.
bdrummond
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

I missed recent contributions to this interesting thread until now but can confirm that the Summer 1931 WTT still showed LNER freights to and from Kirrie and it's clear the service continued into 1932 as through the British Newspaper Archive I've just learned that Mr J S Crowe (who appears to have been the last LNER goods agent at Kirrie) is mentioned in a short article in the Kirriemuir Free Press of Thursday November 3rd 1932. It announced that from November 1st the LNER would withdraw its goods service to Kirriemuir, Forfar, and Brechin. LNER staff at Forfar had actually ceased to handle traffic from October 31st whilst the last LNER train to Kirrie had run on Saturday the 29th. Mr Crowe confirmed the LNER would continue to handle goods traffic at Kirrie until December 1st though it would be carried by the LMSR.

Various other press reports show Mr Crowe and his wife were active in the local community. He was a respected member of the bowling club and both of them were much involved in the life of the South Church in Kirrie's Southmuir where Mrs Crowe was the organist and on her leaving many Church groups made presentations to her. Mr Crowe had at least one member of staff under his supervision at Kirrie as yet another press article mentions his presence at a presentation to his goods clerk who was soon to be married. Indicative of the cooperation there appears to have been at Kirrie, Mr G Edwards, the station master, handed over the gift and warmly endorsed Mr Crowe's remarks about his clerk. I mention these points because they suggest the position of goods agent at Kirrie was one of some importance and merited the appointment of somone able to carry a fair bit of responsibility. Indeed on leaving Kirrie he was quickly appointed to the post of station master at St Monance, though he had briefly considered a move to Ballindalloch. Maintaining its interest in his life beyond Kirrie, the Free Press reported in September 1933 success at St Monance in the special class of the Best Kept Station award scheme.

I have so far found no press references to the situation at Brechin and would urge caution as things there may not have gone as Mr Crowe expected. The details of the LNER withdrawal from Brechin as given in the posting above should be regarded as correct unless any contrary evidence emerges.

I assume most CRA Forum members will know that the LNER building at Kirrie was the neat little wooden structure close to the end of the main passenger platform.

Bob Drummond
bdrummond
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

I've now found a reference to the withdrawal of the LNER goods agent from Brechin in the Brechin Advertiser of November 15th 1932. No exact dates are given, the report simply saying that ".. in future LNER business will be handled by respective LMSR agents ..". Unlike the situation as reported above at Kirrie and Forfar, there is no mention of whether or not LNER loco power might have continued to be involved at Brechin and the date quoted by Graham could still in some respects be correct. A few weeks later the Advertiser of December 20th confirms that the LNER goods agent at Brechin, Mr J Gilhooly, had been appointed station master at South Queensferry.

Bob Drummond
Graham R
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:44 am

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Graham R »

Hi Bob,

Thanks for posting such conclusive research - the newspaper archive sounds like a great resource. The 1934 date I gave was from Wilfred Simms’ “The Railways of Brechin” published in the 1980s by Angus Libraries. Simms’ brother was a signalman at Bridge of Dun. I think your press references are much more precise in tying down the correct date. It is interesting that they do not seem to mention any public reaction. Did you come across any discussion of reduced choice or less advantageous rates? I remember coming across a reference to agitation for the N.B. to run competitive passenger services from Brechin as well as goods - I think it was in one of the annual commercial directories in the 1890s or 1900s - but the company declined so even then they could not have seen it as a paying proposition.

Best regards
Graham
bdrummond
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

Thanks for responding to my posting Graham. Whilst I think we probably have the full story about the end in late 1932 of LNER goods workings to Forfar and Kirrie, I'm not convinced that we have enough to discount what you quoted of Simms' account as to what eventually happened at Brechin. I've now looked at what he says in The Railways of Brechin - "After 1934 ..... the LNE withdrew its direct goods workings to Brechin." According to the Brechin Advertiser all that happened in 1932 at Brechin was that LNER goods staffing was at an end. Now that might be inaccurate but it seems possible LNER loco power might have continued to haul LNER goods to Brechin beyond 1932 even although there was no LNER agent at Brechin. Compare this to what the Kirriemuir Free Press reports in relation to Kirrie and Forfar with talk in late 1932 of the imminent loss of LNER goods agents and that LMSR loco power was already handling everything. It was of course Mr Crowe's words which were being quoted but he may have been wrong in forecasting the same would happen at Brechin or he may have been wrongly quoted.

I've now had a quick look at the Forfar Dispatch where in 1932 a Mr Falconer was the LNER goods agent but so far I've uncovered little else of relevance to this debate in that fine broad sheet.

Bob
bdrummond
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

Graham

One more offering on the topic of the working of LNER goods to/from Brechin. It occurred to me that Simms' belief that 1934 saw its demise may have arisen because that was the year of the big shake up at Montrose with the diversion of passenger workings from the old LMSR station (including the passenger service to and from Brechin) to the LNER station. That the cessation of LNER goods workings to Brechin happened at the same time seems a reasonable proposition but as I've already said I've uncovered nothing in the press to indicate any exact year.

You asked whether the press reported any reactions to the 1932 changes from service users but I've seen nothing.

Bob
Graham R
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:44 am

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by Graham R »

Bob,

I chased up the reference I recalled regarding Brechin town council lobbying the N.B. to exercise running powers to serve the town. It was in the summary of the previous year's notable events published in the 1892 "Brechin Almanac and Directory" which is online here. Railways are mentioned several times, with the Brechin-Forfar line under construction and the Edzell line in planning. The specific item was in July 1891: "In reply to a request by the Town Council, the North British Railway Company stated, that they were not prepared in the meantime to exercise running powers on the Brechin branch of the Caledonian Railway". However, the same publication makes mention of the N.B.'s Brechin goods agent and carting contractor, so it seems that the council's running powers request concerned passenger services. I wonder if you might be able to check the files of the "Brechin Advertiser" or the "Brechin Herald" for July 1891, in case they published a more detailed account?

Coming back to services to Kirriemuir, it belatedly struck me that the best place to look for details of N.B. trains is in the N.B. working timetable ... I have their July 1915 WTT and it provides full details of the Kirrie services, which are slightly different from those in the Caley WTT a year later. There were two Dundee Tay Bridge-Kirrie services daily: one at 4.0am which reached Kirrie at 8.15am, departed again at 9.27am, tarried at Forfar between 9.45am and 11.50am (the timetable specifically states "Engine does shunting work at Forfar"), finally reaching Dundee again at 2.18pm. The other left Dundee at 12.15pm, arriving at Kirrie at 3.0pm, leaving at 6.5pm and arriving at Dundee at 10.5pm. On Tuesdays the loco broke its journey at Forfar to work an extra Forfar-Arbroath-Forfar trip before continuing to arrive at Kirrie 2¾ hours later than usual. (This clears up the mysterious unbalanced working mentioned in my previous post). The return trip of this train was two hours earlier on Saturdays.

For completeness I should mention the Brechin N.B. service in 1915: three trains a day: one from Dundee Tay Bridge (dep 1.56am - arr 5.13am Brechin dep 5.30am - arr 10.40am Dundee); one from Arbroath (dep 6.10am - arr 9.34am Brechin dep11.28am - arr Montrose N.B. 11.53am, finally terminating at Kinnaber (!) at12.45pm): and finally one from Bervie (dep 2.5pm - arr 3.42pm Brechin dep 6.57pm - arr Montrose 7.35pm). These ran via Broomfield Junction and Dubton. It's interesting to note that two of these trains worked Kincraig siding, between Bridge of Dun and Brechin, which demonstrates that the N.B. services were not restricted to traffic to and from the main centres.

The timetable also mentions arrangements for Sunday night livestock specials from Glasgow Bellgrove or Sighthill to Forfar or Brechin.

regards
Graham
tony brenchley
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:36 am

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by tony brenchley »

I have unpublished article on the Kirriemuir branch written by Hugh Gibb. Unfortunately this is too large to post as an attachment but I could copy to anybody who wishes it by email at [email protected]

Hugh was an active modeller a long time ago and apparently gave up railways to pursue a career as a barrister in Edinburgh. I heard from him a few years ago when he said he had retired and sent me this article. I have not had any contact with him since and he is not a member of the CRA.

Does anybody know of him or have contact with him?

Tony B
bdrummond
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by bdrummond »

Hi Graham

From the Brechin Advertiser I learn that your supposition that the lobbying had related to the operation of NB paasenger trains to Brechin is correct. With the opening of the Forth Bridge the previous year, a service for Brechiners to/from the NB station at Montrose opened up prospects of a speedier and more direct service to/from the capital when compared to what the Caley offered. Nonetheless the lobbying was unsuccessful.

Brechin Town Council had also lobbied hard in support of a proposal that the soon to be created Forfar and Brechin line should bypass Forfar by beginning just east of Kirriemuir Junction and continuing through Brechin to rejoin the Caley line at Marykirk. It was suggested some or all Aberdeen to Glasgow workings would go by way of Brechin. If Brechiners were excited by the prospect, Forfarians were decidedly against but in April 1891 a Commons Select Committee threw the idea out but only after the exchange of much angry language between town councils.

Ther's little reference to NB freight to Brechin during this period othet than for mention of a substantial traffic in Irish cattle to Brechin (12,000 head in 1890) which came through Greenock or Ardrossan. The NB hauled it all the way from the relevant port using running powers at each end of the journey. An Angus farmer spoke of the traffic to a House of Lords Select Committee of the benefits which would accrue from the amalgamation but in July 1891 it became clear nothing would come of the idea.

Bob
jimwatt2mm
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Kirriemuir Branch Line

Post by jimwatt2mm »

As a student in the 1960's I went on a brake van trip from Bridge of Dun to Brechin. While waiting for the return trip we rummaged around in a desk in the good shed and found, among other things, CR wagon labels lettered 'Live Stock/Brechin to Bellgrove NB'. This made me think, until the penny dropped that Bellgrove was next to the Glasgow abattoir! The label is now in the CRA archive.

Jim W
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