Giffen railway station

Giffen railway station was a railway station approximately one mile south-west of the village of Barrmill, North Ayrshire, Scotland. The station was part of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway.

Giffen station.jpg
The remains of Giffen station in 2006
PlaceNear Barrmill
Coordinates55°43′13″N 4°36′45″W / 55.7202°N 4.6125°W / 55.7202; -4.6125Coordinates: 55°43′13″N 4°36′45″W / 55.7202°N 4.6125°W / 55.7202; -4.6125
Grid referenceNS359505
Original companyLanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway
Pre-groupingCaledonian Railway
3 September 1888Opened as Kilbirnie Junction
1 October 1889Renamed Giffen
4 July 1932Closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain


Old sign for munitions traffic operations

The station opened on 3 September 1888 and was known as Kilbirnie Junction, however it was renamed Giffen on 1 October 1889.[1] Giffen had three platforms, a small station building, and at one point at least seven members of staff.[2] A one time station master was Mr Willie Haining and his son Billy was born in the station master's house in April 1934.[3] The station had large concrete letters spelling out the name with, oddly, a triskelion or Isle of Man symbol set between the two words. Sunday school pupils would walk to the station from Barrmill for a day out in Saltcoats.[2] Giffen station closed on 4 July 1932.[4]

Today (2011) the three platforms of Giffen station still exist (although overgrown and in disrepair), and a single intact railway line runs through the station from Lugton to DM Beith. This track was used regularly to transport supplies into the base, however the track became disused in 1996 and the majority is now overgrown. The connection with the main line at Lugton was lifted in 2008 as part of the track doubling operations on the Lugton to Stewarton section of the Glasgow to Carlisle via Dumfries railway line.

The track near Lugton did see one more recent use on 2 September 2000 when it was used in a rail crash simulation in order to test emergency response times as a result of the Paddington rail crash in 1999.[5]

A footpath on old OS maps as running from the nearby Nettlehirst house down to the station and then to the Gatend and South Barr road via an overbridge.

A feature of WWII was the use of the line for what locals called the night time 'Ghost Trains' that carried injured service personnel to the Glasgow hospitals from where they had been landed at the port of Ardrossan.

Views of the station in 2008Edit

Workings detailsEdit

In 1907 the Caledonian Railway Working Timetable (WTT) states that in relation to the nearby Gree Goods station :

Brakesmen of Trains having work to do at this place must get the Key from him and hand it in on arrival at Giffen to the Station Master, who will return it by first train. The Signalman at Lugton Station Box will signal the train forward as per clause (b) of Block telegraph Regulations.


  1. ^ Butt, page 131
  2. ^ a b Reid & Monahan, Page 56
  3. ^ Reid, Page 35
  4. ^ Butt, page 102
  5. ^ "Rail disaster plan test", BBC News, 2 September 2000.
  1. Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  2. Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
  3. Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.
  4. Reid, Donald L. & Monahan, I.F. (eds.) (1999). Yesterday's Beith: A Pictorial Guide, Printall, Glasgow. ISBN 0-9522720-5-9.
  5. Reid, Donald L. (2010). Beith, Barrmill & Gateside. Precious memories. ISBN 978-0-9566343-1-3.
Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Line and station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway

External linksEdit