Scottish Main Lines

Inverkeithing to Thornton Junction

Via Cowdenbeath

by Dennis Lovett and Allan McLean

     The railways covered in this album were constructed piecemeal and it took some time before they were formed into a comprehensive network under the auspices of the North British Railway. Add in the myriad of mineral lines built to serve the collieries and a complex system emerges. Between 1890 and 1970 the line as far as Cowdenbeath enjoyed main line status as part of the Edinburgh to Perth direct line. Once coal was king in this area, but coal mining is now long gone, and the remaining route is a shadow of itself today with ScotRail providing the majority of trains over the route.



'It is good to be reminded of the romance of North British steam, but also to know that the Scottish government has invested sensibly in a line that Beeching had little faith in.'
(HJ, Steam World, Issue 432, June 2023)

'The volume exemplifies the values of this well-established series, with every location given comprehensive coverage.'
(John Yellowlees, North British Railway Study Group Journal, No.148, March 2023)

'It follows the familiar format with a brief geographical and historical background, timetable extracts, maps, tickets and photographs with helpful and well-written captions.
The photographs are from both the steam and diesel eras, with an interesting selection of colliery shunting locos.'
(Railway Observer, July 2023)

'Can I recommend it? As with all the Middletons an undoubted yes if your interests either encompass the area covered or the former industrial landscapes of the UK.'
(John New, SLS Journal - The Journal of The Stephenson Locomotive Society, March/April 2023, No.940, Vol.99)

'This Middleton Press book comprehensively covers the area from Inverkeithing via Cowdenbeath to Thornton Junction. Every station is illustrated and, I was delighted to find, many of the former rail served coal mines and works.'
(Ewan Crawford,

'This volume covers a network of lines that had individual origins and came together under the North British Railway, served by a host of mineral lines, now disappeared, along with the local coal industry.'
(Heritage Railway, Issue 304, March-April 2023)

'This is a very detailed study of the route and should be useful to those interested in the rail network of this area of Fife.'
(Industrial Railway Society Bulletin, May 2023)

Book Details

Dennis Lovett and Allan McLean
Scottish Main Lines
Middleton Press Ltd
24 February 2023
240 x 174 mm
96 Pages
120 Photographs
Large Scale Maps
Other details of local history

Stations & Locations

Stations Photo
Dunfermine Lower BC, 14-18
Cowdenbeath North Junction FC, 120
Inverkeithing 1-7
Rosyth 8-11
Charlestown Junction 12
Dunfermline 13
Dunfermline Town 19
Dunfermline Pittencrief Park 20
Touch South Junction 21-23
Dunfermline Queen Margaret 24-25
Townhill Junction and Sidings 26
Townhill Wagon Works and Diesel Depot 27-30
Halbeath 31-33
Crossgates 34-36
Cowdenbeath South Junction Signal Box 40
Cowdenbeath Old 44-49
Cowdenbeath Colliery Engine Shed & NCB Central Works 50-55
Lumphinnans No.1 Colliery & Central Junction 59-60
Lochgelly 61-67
Cardenden 76-81
Clunybridge Junction 83-84
Thornton TMD 90-93
Thornton Shed (No.2) 94-97
Glenrothes with Thornton 98-101
Thornton Junction 105-110
Cowdenbeath New 111-113
Cowdenbeath 114-119