Ayrshire Coast Line

The Ayrshire Coast Line is one of the lines within the Strathclyde suburban rail network in Scotland. It has 26 stations and connects the Ayrshire coast to Glasgow. There are three branches, to Largs, Ardrossan Harbour and Ayr, all running into the high level at Glasgow Central. All trains call at Kilwinning (with the exception of the 1745 Glasgow-Ayr, which runs non stop between Paisley and Irvine) and most trains call at Paisley Gilmour Street.

Ayrshire Coast Line
Troon 380105.jpg
Class 380 train at Troon
TypeHeavy rail
SystemNational Rail
OwnerNetwork Rail
Operator(s)Abellio ScotRail And Strathclyde Passenger Transport
Rolling stockClass 380
Number of tracksTriple track, Double track and Single line
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC
Route map

Glasgow Central
(Glasgow Subway St Enoch)
Hillington East
Hillington West
Gilmour Street
Milliken Park
to Arran Caledonian MacBrayne
Ardrossan Town
West Kilbride
South Beach
to Larne P&O Ferries
Glasgow Prestwick Airport
International Airport
Prestwick Town

The route is operated by Abellio ScotRail.


The Largs branch in steam days

The Ayrshire Coast Line consists of lines that were formerly part of the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway, the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, the Ardrossan Railway and its Largs Branch extension.

After electrificationEdit


Class 318 trains at Paisley Gilmour Street in 1990

The line to Ayr was electrified and Class 318 electric multiple units introduced by British Rail in September 1986. The full electrified service, including trains to Largs and Ardrossan Harbour, commenced on 19 January 1987.[1] These were supplemented by occasional use of Class 303 and Class 311 EMUs, then in use on the Inverclyde Line.

These EMUs replaced the Class 101 and Class 107 DMUs that had served the line for over 30 years. Class 126 DMUs were also used on the line, but they succumbed to old age in the early 1980s.


For most of the day, 6 trains per hour run between Glasgow Central and Kilwinning, 4 go to Ayr whilst 2 service Largs and Ardrossan Harbour branches. Glasgow to Ayr trains which leave Glasgow at xx00 and xx30 between 0830 and 1830 and from Ayr leaving at xx23 and XX50 between 0850 and 1623 will run non stop between Kilwinning and Glasgow Central. After 1900, the service reduces to 4 trains per hour. All trains call at Paisley and Kilwinning with 2 trains going to Ayr while the other 2 serve Ardrossan and Largs. On a Sunday, a reduced service operates, 3 trains per hour run with 2 going to Ayr and 1 going to Largs. 5 trains daily run to Ardrossan Harbour to meet the ferry to Brodick. On Sunday evening, it reduces to only 2 trains per hour with 1 to Ayr and Largs. Paisley, Kilwinning, Troon, Prestwick and Ayr are also served by the Glasgow South Western Line with trains running between Glasgow-Stranraer and Kilmarnock-Girvan/Stranraer.


As of 2014, most services are run by Class 380s. Class 314s are, however, used on some peak time services when 380s are in short supply. There are now 5 trains per day between Ayr and Edinburgh.


In 2016, a Monday to Saturday service that runs between Ayr and North Berwick (via Glasgow Central and Edinburgh) was introduced, running once a day at 1501.


The line runs along the same Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway route as the Inverclyde Line as far as Paisley Gilmour Street, using different platforms at Paisley Gilmour Street, where it turns south west towards Kilwinning on the route of the former Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. Here the line branches in two, with one branch running south along the coast to Troon and Ayr. This branch also serves Prestwick Airport station, which opened in 1994. The other branch runs north along the coast to Ardrossan or Largs, becoming a single track for passenger trains after Saltcoats. Beyond Ayr, 'Sprinter' DMUs continue south towards Girvan and Stranraer.

The line connects at Troon with ferries to Larne (summers only), at Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran, and at Largs to Great Cumbrae.



  1. ^ The Rebirth of AyrLine: Electrification to Ayr / Ardrossan / Largs - 1987


  • "The Rebirth of AyrLine: Electrification to Ayr/Ardrossan/Largs - 1986/1987".
  • "The Rebirth of AyrLine: Electrification to Ayr/Ardrossan/Largs - 1987".

Further readingEdit