Scotland did not escape the fierce competition that accompanied the coming of railways to England. It saw a two-pronged rivalry between the North British Railway based in Edinburgh and the Caledonian Railway in Glasgow. Rivalry was intense, producing the same, often chaotic, route configurations. The Lowland lines were on the whole profitable and produced fine stations, notably in Glasgow and Perth, while the Highland ones, promoted for tourism towards the end of the 19th century, found investment less easy and often took many years to complete. [Simon Jenkins]


The story of Scotland's pioneer railway builders is a fascinating one in its own right, but what of the steam locomotives which hauled those trains? Early locomotive builders responded to a need for powered traction to help exploit efficiently, and distribute economically, the products of the coal, mineral and steel industries.

Fortunately, for the world in general and Great Britain in particular, those early steam locomotive builders developed their skills to such an extent over the decades that Scotland became a major centre for the manufacture of steam railway locomotives.... Exports of locomotives through such ports as Glasgow and Leith created enormous wealth for the country and their manufacture provided thousands of Scottish workers with jobs, over many years.... Even in modern times Glasgow built locomotives are still at work in various corners ofthe world! [Keith Langston]


General discussions

Locomotives and rolling stock

Stations and associated structures

Select Bibliography

"Basic Biographical Details: James Miller." Dictionary of Scottish Architects (DSA).

Jenkins, Simon. Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations. London: Penguin, 2017.

Langston, Keith. Scottish Steam: A Celebration. Barnsley, S. Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Transport, 2014.

Sinclair, Neil T. Strathspey Railway Guide Book. 8th revised ed. Strathspey Railway Co., 2014.

Townsend, Chris. World Mountain Ranges: Scotland. Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone, 2010.

"West Coast Railways Presents 'The Jacobite' Famous Steam Train." West Coast Railways.

"West Highland Railway." Grace's Guide.


Created 16 October 2016