Old Mineral Line, Kilsyth
Start location: Queenzieburn Road, Twechar (NS 699 762)
End location: B802, Auchinstarry (NS 719 770)
Geographical area: Campsie Fells, Strathclyde and Lanarkshire
Path Type: Railway Track
Path distance: 2.3km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes
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Newsflash! The Heritage Paths (Campsie Fells) Project is very pleased to announce that we have a lovely Campsies map leaflet showing this old path and other routes 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.
Start on the Queenzieburn road out of Twechar just north of the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath. Go east along this signed and surfaced footpath, over a footbridge across the River Kelvin, then along the bank of the Kelvin, past a nature reserve and community woodland, to meet the B802 Croy road at Auchinstarry Quarry. The route forms part of the path network in and around the Dumbreck Marsh Nature Reserve.
OS Landranger 64 (Glasgow) or OS Explorer 348 (Campsie Fells)
This relatively short stretch of former mineral line forms part of an extensive system of such lines that connected the Twechar Pits, Dumbreck Pit, Haughs Pit, Auchinstarry Quarry, gravel workings at Cadgers Sheugh and the Kelvin Valley Railway. They date from a time when the Kilsyth area was a major centre for the mining and processing of coal, ironstone, and whinstone.
This route runs along the bed of a mineral line that once started in Twechar, crossed the canal via a swing bridge, and crossed the Queenzieburn road at the start of the present path. The line was used for small mineral railway engines called pugs, hauling trains of tubs containing coal, ironstone, mine waste, coke and gravel. Built in stages from the 1860s, it was used until the 1960s. Past Auchinstarry, the line once extended along the valley bottom eastwards to Cadger’s Sheugh, picking up a mineral line from Barrwood Pit and gravel workings.
[ - with many thanks to Friends of the Kelvin Valley. More information about the history of mineral lines in the area can be found on the Heritage Footpaths / River Kelvin Walkway section of their website.]