museums and attractions

Railways / Heritage Railways

Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway

Britain's highest narrow gauge adhesion railway, reaching 1,498 feet above sea level, and running a selection of historical industrial diesel locomotives.


  • Parking
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Part disabled access


Lowthers Railway Society


The Station Station Road Leadhills Lanarkshire ML12 6XS

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Open days

Sat-Sun Easter-Sep 1045-1600.


By Bus: 30, 31

By Rail: Sanquhar / 11 miles

The railway is Britain's highest narrow gauge adhesion railway, reaching 1,498 feet above sea level. Operated and managed by a team of dedicated enthusiasts, all of whom are volunteers, the railway welcomes visitors every weekend during the summer months.

We also run special events outwith these times and hope you enjoy our Easter Weekend, Santa Specials and Steam Weekend. On Saturdays and Sundays, the trains run frequently, with journey time taking 25 minutes. The journey takes you from the station at Leadhills to the terminus at Glengonnar halt before returning back to the station. The train runs past the disused Glengonnar Mine, where minerals were first excavated in the 1450s.

The original Caledonian Railway was built to transport lead and other minerals from the mines in Wanlockhead and Leadhills to the main industrial towns of Britain, Europe and beyond. The original line went to Elvanfoot, connecting there with the main Glasgow to Carlisle railway. Mining continued in the area until 1938 when the closure of the mines signalled the end of the railway.

The 2ft narrow gauge track has been built on the original trackbed of the Caledonian Railway and today runs a variety of historic industrial diesel locomotives. Visitors are invited to explore the signal box and railway shed, view the trains and wander around our shop and small museum. On display are a number of interesting local artefacts that help to provide an insight into the industrial heritage of the area. The signalbox controls all train movements on the main line and was constructed by volunteers using reclaimed bricks from the remains of the viaduct at Risping Church. The lever frame dates from the late 1880s and was rescued from Arrochar and Tarbet.

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