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Ayrshire’s Forgotten Railways – A Walker’s Guide


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The coming of the railways transformed Ayrshire. By the mid-nineteenth century, blessed with rich coal deposits, fertile fields and with traditional industries like textiles, Ayrshire’s industries could take advantage of the railway era and flourish. Ayrshire goods could reach new markets and its coastal resorts became a destination for people wanting to go for a ‘doon the watter’ or for a game of golf on one of the famous links courses.

Ayrhsire’s railways proudly held many early railway records, such as the historic Kilmarnock & Troon Railway, opened in 1812, with the first passenger service in Scotland and one of the first in the world.

This route saw one of George Stephenson’s earliest experiments with a steam engine and also has the oldest surviving multi-span bridge in Scotland, recently restored, at Laigh Milton near Kilmarnock.

Railway engineers were confronted with many challenges such as Ballochmyle Viaduct (built to cross the deep red sandstone gorge created by the River Ayr) which boasted the largest masonry span of any railway bridge in the world when built.

Alasdair Wham tells the story of the growth and shrinkage of Ayrshire’s railway network and explores its heritage, tracing disused trackbeds and visiting sites of railway interest. Sections of former trackbed that can be walked are highlighted in series of walks. The book is illustrated throughout with both historic and newer photographs showing the remnants of the railway routes today. Clear maps and grid references are included.

The book is A5 format, 200 pages with 165 images.



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Earn Discount: £0.20

Product Code: OAKN217

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