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Kilmarnock railway station is a railway station in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland. The station is managed by Abellio ScotRail and is served by trains on the Glasgow South Western Line.

Kilmarnock National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Cill Mheàrnaig[1]
Kilmarnock Railway Station 2016.jpg
Main entrance to Kilmarnock railway station, showing the new floral clock
Local authorityEast Ayrshire
Coordinates55°36′45″N 4°29′57″W / 55.6124°N 4.4992°W / 55.6124; -4.4992Coordinates: 55°36′45″N 4°29′57″W / 55.6124°N 4.4992°W / 55.6124; -4.4992
Grid referenceNS427382
Station codeKMK
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms4
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.555 million
2014/15Increase 0.612 million
2015/16Decrease 0.593 million
2016/17Decrease 0.589 million
2017/18Increase 0.619 million
Passenger Transport Executive
Original companyKilmarnock and Troon Railway & Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Pre-groupingGlasgow and South Western Railway
6 July 1812Original station opened by K&TR[2]
4 April 1843Original station closed and second station opened by GPK&AR[2]
20 July 1846Second station closed and current station opened by GPK&AR[2]
Listed status
Listing gradeCategory B
Entry numberLB35928[3]
Added to list3 July 1980
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Kilmarnock from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.



Local passenger and goods trains in 1957

The first station in Kilmarnock was opened by the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway on 6 July 1812,[2] one of the earliest stations in Scotland. It was replaced by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway on 4 April 1843.[2] with the opening of their main line from Dalry.

The third and current station was opened on 20 July 1846 by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.[2] - this was connected to Ardrossan via Irvine two years later and to Carlisle via Dumfries & Gretna Junction in 1850. The current route to Glasgow (via Barrhead) - the Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway was completed in 1871 jointly by the G&SWR and Caledonian Railway.

Services on the Irvine branch and via the old main line to Dalry both fell victim to the Beeching Axe in the mid-sixties - the former closed to passengers on 6 April 1964 (and to all traffic in October 1965) and local trains on the latter were withdrawn on 18 April 1966 . Services to the G&SWR terminus at Glasgow St Enoch also ended soon after (on 27 June), with services henceforth running to and from Glasgow Central. The old K&T line also lost its passenger service for several years (local trains ended on 3 March 1969), but these were subsequently reinstated in May 1975 when the boat trains from Stranraer to Carlisle were diverted from their former route via Annbank & Mauchline. The Dalry line remained in use for freight and occasional long distance passenger trains until 23 October 1973, when it was closed to all traffic and subsequently dismantled.

Current operations and station descriptionEdit

Platforms 1 and 2 at the station, adjacent is Platforms 3 and 4

The station is built well above street level and is accessed via either a subway and stairs or a more circuitous but step-free route along a narrow access road. Network Rail are currently undertaking a project to install lifts. Started in February 2018, it's hoped the project will be completed by December 2018.

The station has a total of four platforms; two north-facing bays for both terminating Glasgow services and trains on the Glasgow to Stranraer via Kilmarnock route, on which trains reverse out of the station towards the junction with the Troon line. Two through platforms serve through services between Glasgow, Dumfries, Carlisle and Newcastle. Platform 3 is used for most of the services between Glasgow and Carlisle/ Newcastle via Dumfries in both directions however platform 4 does see some use.

The bay platforms (1 and 2) as well as Platform 3 are covered by a partly glazed roof and directly accessible from the ticket office. Platform 4 is accessed via a subway and stairs, and afforded only a bus stop style shelter although it does have a departure board.


The station is fully staffed seven days a week, with the ticket office open from 06:30 (Mon-Sat)/10:15 Sundays until 23:30. A self-service ticket machine is also provided for use outside opening hours and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Other amenities on offer in the main buildings include toilets, a food outlet, waiting room and public wi-fi access. Train information is offered via CIS displays, timetable posters, automated announcements and customer help points. Step-free access is available to platforms 1-3 only.[4]


New coal sidings

The present Kilmarnock signal box is located north of the station, in the vee of the junction. Opened on by British Rail on 12 April 1976, it is a plain brick building containing an NX (entrance-exit) panel on the upper storey. It replaced four mechanical signal boxes in a scheme that saw the track layout greatly simplified. Originally, the box worked Track Circuit Block to Hurlford signal box and Scottish Region Tokenless Block over the single lines to Barassie Junction and Lugton signal boxes. Kilmarnock signal box was severely damaged in a suspected arson attack on 25 December 2006 but was repaired and returned to full operation within weeks.

The train service to Glasgow is partly limited by the single track northwards as far as Lochridge Junction (near Stewarton). This formerly extended all the way as far as Barrhead (with just one loop at Lugton) following track rationalisation in the early 1970s and restricted the frequency of services that could be operated. A "dynamic passing loop" (in effect a redoubling of the section between Lugton and Stewarton) was installed to help rectify this in 2009.[5] The service frequency was increased to half-hourly from the 13 December 2009 timetable change.

New sidings were installed in 2009-2010 along a short section of the trackbed of the old route to Dalry to facilitate the increased coal train traffic.

Kilmarnock railway viaductEdit

Constructed from 1843 until 1850, the Kilmarnock railway viaduct is a bridge crossing the town centre of Kilmarnock.

It is a most distinctive feature of the town centre with 23 masonry arches. It was built in the 1840s to enable the GlasgowKilmarnock line to continue to Carlisle.

At present, the viaduct is currently lit by blue lights when it is dark, which makes it more of a noticeable feature in the town and under-went as part of the Kilmarnock town centre regeneration. The programme carried out on the viaduct was considered a "success".[6]

In April 2012, the bridge's safety had to be upgraded after a man was seriously injured after jumping 40 ft from the top of the railway viaduct.[7]

Kilmarnock station clockEdit

Outside of the railway station, a clock is operated by East Ayrshire Council and Abellio ScotRail. In 2011, the clock received a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust to undergo a regeneration scheme that began in late 2011 and was completed in March 2012.[8]



There is a half-hourly to Glasgow Central for most of the day - journey times can vary between 30–40 minutes depending on the stopping pattern.[9]
The service frequency on the Carlisle line is irregular (10 per day in total), with intervals varying between hourly & 2/3-hourly depending on the time of day, (3 trains extend through to Newcastle), with the last southbound weekday (M-F) service terminating at Dumfries.

On the Ayr line, There is roughly a 2-hourly service (extras during the afternoon) to Ayr & Girvan with 3 extended to Stranraer, There is no Sunday service on this route and passengers for stations to Ayr have to either use Kilwinning (6 miles away) or drive to Ayr, A Sunday service operates in the event of the Ayrshire coast line being closed. Sundays sees 14 services to Glasgow but only two trains to and from Carlisle.


There are 2 trains per hour to/from Glasgow for most of the day with journey times taking between 40 and 50 minutes depending the service taken. There are Twelve trains south of Kilmarnock towards Carlisle, which run to an uneven frequency depending on what time of the day it is (2 evening trains only go as far as Dumfries, 1 train in the mid morning only goes as far as New Cumnock.).[10] Trains to Ayr and Stranraer run every 2 hours, with extra trains running at peak times to/from Girvan.[11] On Sundays, There is an hourly service to Glasgow and only 2 trains a day to Dumfries and Carlisle, with no service to Ayr and Stranraer.

Due to Lamington Viaduct on the West Coast Mainline being severely damaged by the Storms of 2015-16, Virgin Trains services from Carlisle were diverted along the Glasgow South Western Line and called at Kilmarnock en route to Glasgow Central. These were irregularly scheduled services and ceased once Lamington Viaduct was repaired and the WCML reopened on 22 February 2016.


Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Troon   Abellio ScotRail
Glasgow South Western Line
  Historical railways  
Connection with
  Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western Railways
Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway
Line and station open
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Line and station closed
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Kilmarnock and Troon Railway
  Connection with

Former Ferry LinksEdit

Trains also connected along the Glasgow South Western Line to Troon for former the P&O Ferries service to Larne Harbour.



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Butt (1995), page 133
  3. ^ "KILMARNOCK RAILWAY STATION". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ Kilmarnock station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  5. ^ "RAILSCOT - Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway".
  6. ^ "Kilmarnock". dailyrecord.
  7. ^ "Kilmarnock News". dailyrecord.
  8. ^
  9. ^ GB Rail Timetable 2013, Tables 216 & 218
  10. ^ Table 216 National Rail timetable, December 2018
  11. ^ Table 218 National Rail timetable, December 2018


  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

External linksEdit