THE DUNDEE & NEWTYLE RAILWAY TODAY
By Bill Reid
From my photographs and
screen grabs from Google Earth and Google Street Views
Plus train video screen grab photos and Internet maps
The D&N was the first railway on the north side of the Tay, opened in December 1831, which also included the first steam locomotive in Scotland in 1833. .The Dundee & Newtyle was a rope-pulled incline railway with
stationary engines based at the Law, where the line went through a short tunnel at just over 300 ft above sea level and at Rosemill for the Balbeuchly incline, with the third incline at Hatton, to the south of Newtyle.
From Newtle the line continued to Alyth Junction (Station) where it joined the direct Perth to Aberdeen mainline, with a D&N branch going northwards and terminating at Alyth. There was also a junction to the west
giving a direct service to Perth.
While originally the Dundee & Newtyle railway all the railways through the Strathmore Valley came under the Caledonian Railway Company up until 1923 when that came under the North Eastern Railway Co. then in
1948 under British Railways. The D&N closed to passengers in 1955 but remained open for goods until total closure in the mid 60's under the Dr. Beeching Rationalisation & Modernisation cuts.
The first D&N station was on Ward Road Dundee, where the incline immediately began up to the Law Tunnel. From the station, street running took the line down to the harbour. With the coming of the new divergence
lines a new station, Dundee West was built close by the N.B.R's Tay Bridge Station. At this time Dundee had terminal stations at Dundee East and Dundee West, with passengers having to get themselves between the
two stations. The new direct link to Aberdeen via Dock Street Tunnel came later after which Dundee East was closed.
During the 1860's all three inclines were by-passed with longer but easier gradients. The new line branched off at Ninewells Junction to the west of the city on the Dundee- Perth mainline. With stations at Liff, Lochee
West and Lochee, where the line continued north meeting the old incline at Fairmuir, where a new junction was made with a goods branch running eastwards to Fairmuir and Maryfield Goods Yards. There were plans to
extend the branch to join the Aberdeen line near Broughty Ferry but that never came to reality.
At Rosemill a junction was formed with the short section of the incline railway becoming Rosemill Goods, while the new line went north to Auchterhourse, with a new station at Dronley. A new station was also built at
Auchterhouse with the old station becoming the goods yard. From Auchterhouse the original track bed remained as far as Millhole, just south of the Hatton incline but then took a long westerly and then northerly route
to the west of Newtyle, crossing the main road before turning eastwards to a new station, where the line then turned northwards onto the old track bed to Alyth Junction. Newtyle old station remained in use as the goods
yard and the northern section of track joined the new line just east of the new station. The three incline sections were abandoned.
Most of the stations were closed by the mid 50's but the line continued with goods along Fairmuir & Maryfield coal yards until total closure in the early 60's.
WARD ROAD TO DOWNFIELD (Original Route)
DOWNFIELD TO ROSEMILL JUNCTION (Original Route)
ROSEMILL JUNCTION TO AUCHTERHOUSE Via Balbeuchley Incline
HATTON INCLINE (Millhole) To NEWTYLE OLD STATION (Original Route)
NINEWELLS JUNCTION TO FAIRMUIR JUNCTION (New Route)
FAIRMUIR JUNCTION TO MARYFIELD GOODS
ROSEMILL JUNCTION TO NEWTYLE VIA DRONLEY (New Route)
NEWTYLE TO ALYTH JUNCTION & ALYTH
Links & Reading:
The Dundee & Newtyle Railway by Niall Ferguson. Still available from some books shops and on the Internet.
The Dundee & Newtyle (A history by Elliot Simpson)
http://www.auchterhouse.com/history/railway.htm (Includes and excellent map of the railway)
http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=7762615 Excellent 'remains' photos including the Law Tunnel, Balbeuchley Incline and Dronley
http://www.hows.org.uk/personal/rail/incline/dund.htm Explains the inclines but sketches are very poor quality and almost useless.
Video Screen grabs from the The Railways Of Scotland Volume 8 "Dundee". An excellent video available on DVD, from Cinerail at: http://www.cinerail.com/cinerail/railways-of-scotland.html There are many great archive
scenes of almost every Scottish route you can think of. Well worth a look.
The Cromford & High Peak Incline railway in Derbyshire has been luckier in having much of it's buildings, including an Engine House preserved. This is what could have happened, indeed, should have happened with at
least one of the D&N inclines. However, the C&H gives an excellent comparison of what the D&N would have looked like.
Boddam To Ellon Branch (Walks) By Bill Reid.
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