The Cairnryan Military Railway


Based on a book first published in 1999 by Stranraer and District Local History Trust, this is a fairly short history of one of two military ports established on the west coast of Scotland during World War 11. These were intended to handle the importation of miltary arms and ammunition, as well as reinforcements. in ports both built by the military, and run by them, and outside Luftwaffe bomber range.

A seven mile long railway connected the Cairnryan port to the two main lines to Stranraer, from Glasgow and Carlisle, and work on this started in late 1940, the port starting operation in early 1943. After D-Day the port largely went on to a Care and Maintenance basis, although parts of it were used for the construction of the Muklberry Harbours and, at the War's end it was busy for some years handling vast quantities of explosives not now needed, which were loaded on to adapted fleet landing craft for dumping at sea. In 1959 all military personnel were withdrawn, and the Port was closed, the railway being lifted in 1967.

The railway had extensive facilities, sidings and marshalling areas, with extensions onto the two deep water wharfs, but never worked to full capacity.

An interesting story of a nearly forgotten saga. 49 landscape format pages with 30 full page B&W photos and 8 maps and station layouts. Paperback.