The High Line
Start location: Lay-by west of Lairdshill Place, Kilsyth (NS 703 778)
End location: Tak-ma-doon Road, 100m SW of Colzium North Lodge (NS 725 786)
Geographical area: Campsie Fells, Strathclyde and Lanarkshire
Path Type: Railway Track
Path distance: 2.4km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Newsflash! The Heritage Paths (Campsie Fells) Project is very pleased to announce that we have a lovely new Campsies map leaflet showing this old route and other paths in the area. To get your hands on one, simply send us an SAE c/o ScotWays (see address top-right) and we'll post one out to you.
From a lay-by west of Lairdshill Place, a signed path goes up through woodland and onto a straight level path. Follow this until Balmalloch Road and cross into Corrie Road. At the south entrance to Kilsyth Academy the old railway track bed continues and goes east for 0.5km past Balmalloch Primary School to near its main entrance from Kingsway. From Garrell Avenue, 100m from its junction with Kingsway and Allanfauld Road, a rough road called 'Neilston Walk' passes in front of private houses before crossing the Garrel Burn by a pedestrian bridge. The route crosses Hill Road and reaches Tak-ma-doon Road after 0.6km.
OS Landranger 64 (Glasgow)
The High Line or Neilston Walk is the line of a former mineral railway between Neilston and Dumbreck. Before 1860, coal and ironstone from the mines near Neilston had had to be carted away on rough roads. The Bairds of Gartsherrie built the mineral railway to connect with the canal at Twechar, it later connected with the Kelvin Valley Railway and Dumbreck Pit. Muir and Wood used Baird's railway to send coal and coke to Gavell Station on the Kelvin Valley Railway line - the minerals would have been carted in a train of 'tubs' hauled by small locomotives called 'pugs'. The line may have also served the now disused quarries near Colzium House.
On OS mapping from the 1920s, it can be seen that from Dumbreck Pit the mineral line used to run south under the former L&NE&LM&SR line that served Kilsyth. Then having crossed the River Kelvin and the Forth & Clyde Canal, it served the mines at Twechar before joining the then L&NER (Glasgow & Edinburgh) line southwest of Croy station.
The former mineral line is shown as a footpath on the 1956 OS map and has been used by generations of Kilsythians as a recreational route. It now connects Colzium Estate at one end with Dumbreck March nature reserve at the other, providing a pleasant walkway through the Balmalloch housing estate.
The High Line is so-called due to the presence of another railway in Kilsyth - the Low Line was the former Kilsyth & Bonnybridge Railway.