South Scotland

'Replacement' Leadhills to Wanlockhead train service wins award

Railway Image copyright Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway

A "replacement" train service offered by a narrow gauge railway between two remote villages during a road closure has won a heritage award.

The B797 between Leadhills in South Lanarkshire and Wanlockhead in Dumfries and Galloway was shut in July and a 50-mile diversion put in place.

The rail service helped people get to work and to the doctor's surgery.

It won the small group category at the Heritage Railway Association's annual awards at the weekend.

The trains are usually run at weekends during the summer months on what bills itself as "Britain's highest narrow gauge adhesion railway" reaching 1,498ft (456m) above sea level.

They link Leadhills to a terminus at Glengonnar which is less than a mile from Wanlockhead.

However, last summer the service was extended during the closure of the road link for resurfacing with a lengthy diversion in place via the A76, B740, B7078 and A702.

Image copyright Leadhill and Wanlockhead Railway

It was run to help people from Wanlockhead to get to the doctor's surgery in Leadhills.

It also offered a "commuter service" for some workers at the Museum of Lead Mining in Wanlockhead.

The award it has received is a solid brass plaque that will be put up at the station in Leadhills.

"It is a great achievement as we can all now say we volunteer at an award-winning railway," said commercial manager David Winpenny.

"Thanks must go to all who helped to organise and run the week of the closure, without the drivers and guards and shop people we would not have been able to do it.

"Hopefully this will give us a boost and urge us to give even more for the new season that starts at Easter this year."

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