Ardrossan North Station

Ardrossan North was a railway station in Montgomerie Street, Ardrossan. Originally part of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway, it opened on 3 September 1888. Officially known simply as “Ardrossan”, locally it was known as “Ardrossan Montgomerie Street” or “Ardrossan Caledonian” to distinguish it from the many other stations in the town.

The original Caledonian Ardrossan station building c.1890. Photo by Valentine & Sons, postcard makers, courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland.

On opening day, a special train ran from Glasgow Central to Ardrossan, where a large celebration was held including a lunch for various visiting dignitaries at the Drill Hall on Cannon Hill. Bunting hung up and down the town, and later there were fireworks and music at South Beach.

The station was initially the southern terminus of the L&AR until Montgomerie Pier and its station were opened in 1890.

After eleven years of operation the station building caught fire in December 1898, causing devastating damage and leaving virtually nothing but the iron framework standing. Plans for a replacement, in a different style but still following the original layout, were quickly drawn up. The new design was signed off in May 1899 with construction commencing shortly after.

From the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald, Friday 30th December 1898.

The station’s facilities included a booking hall, refreshment room with bar and separate gents and ladies first class waiting rooms.

The rebuilt station sometime after it was destroyed by fire in 1898. Photo from an old postcard.

In 1906 the station was renamed Ardrossan Town (not to be confused with the station at Princes Street which would be later called the same). In 1923 the Caledonian Railway merged with its rival, the Glasgow & South Western Railway, into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. With all Ardrossan stations now under one company, Ardrossan Town became Ardrossan North the following year.

Ardrossan North station in June 1962.

The station closed on 4 July 1932, along with former Stevenston and Saltcoats Caley stations, since there became little need for two lines running similar routes. After closing the large, glazed canopies over the platforms were used for the rebuild of Buchanan Street station in Glasgow. The line through Ardrossan North remained open for traffic to Montgomerie Pier until 1966, but the station building didn’t survive that long and was demolished a couple of years before the line closed.

Ardrossan North station from the north c. 1950. Photo courtesy of CANMORE.
Looking towards Montgomerie Pier from the station platforms c. 1950. Photo courtesy of CANMORE.

The site of the station building became a bus depot, which remained in use until 2022 when it was demolished and relocated to the Inches. Although the original L&AR line was lifted in the late 1960s, a spur from the old Glasgow & South Western Railway meant track still ran alongside the station site to allow access to the nearby bitumen plant (formerly the Shell Max plant), but this was lifted around 1987. Amazingly some of the station platforms remained in situ until 2017, when they were demolished to make way for a new housing development (Sweeney Court).

The remains of the platforms sometime between 1976 and 1987. Photo © Three Towns Explored.
The site of the station building in 1986, from a similar perspective to the 1890 photo above. Photo © Tom McGrattan.
The site of the station building in May 2022, shortly before the bus depot was demolished. Photo © Three Towns Explored.
The remains of the platforms in February 2006. Photo © Three Towns Explored

You can watch our flyover of the old Caley line through the Three Towns in 2021 below:

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