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Troon Harbour

Opened 1812 as the terminus of the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway - a coal carrying plateway that was first in Scotland to use steam locomotives and to carry passengers.

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The Harbour Bar

169-173 Templehill 



KA10 6BH
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About Troon Harbour

In 1808 an Act of Parliament was passed for the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway, which was also one of Scotland's first passenger-carrying lines. Opened in 1812, the real purpose of this double-tracked one-and-a-half mile line was to carry coal from the Duke of Portland's Kilmarnock collieries, mostly for export to Ireland.

Regular passengers were also carried for the first time, in coaches called The Caledonias, and by 1814 passengers were able to travel by rail from Kilmarnock to the coast at Troon for weekends and holidays, leading to Troon becoming a popular holiday resort in the 19th century.

For the first few years the wagons were horse-drawn, but in 1820 the Duke bought Scotland's first steam locomotive, which was then named The Duke and was supplied by George Stephenson.

This locomotive was in service until 1848 when it was discarded because of its weight and the subsequent damage to the track. However by then it had not only substantially improved the efficiency of the coal industry but also had a favourable impact on the lives of the community.

In 1840 the Glasgow to Ayr railway was built and "the Duke's line" eventually became a branch of it.

Growth in Troon itself became much more rapid and the Portland estates feued much land for building.

By the end of the 1800s, Troon was among the top ten coal ports in Britain.

Also see article in The Scotsman by John Yellowlees 25th August 2022

Photos: John Yellowlees, Google Streetview

Prof Roland Paxton, An Engineering Assessment of the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway (1807–1846), in Early Railways, Newcomen Society, 2001, ISBN 0 904685 08 X

Campbell Highet, The Glasgow and South Western Railway, Oakwood Press, Lingfield, 1965

Thomas, John; Paterson, Rev A.J.S. (1984). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (2nd ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-9465-3712-7. OCLC 12521072

Yellowless, John: Coal that fuelled a passenger service, The Scotsman 25th August 2022

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR