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Ravenstruther is a coal loading terminal on the WCML between Carstairs and Motherwell.
Railway type and traffic
East Coast services between Glasgow Central and London Kings Cross.
Virgin West Coast services between Glasgow Central and London Euston using Pendolinos.
Arriva Cross Country services between Glasgow Central and various locations around England.
ScotRail services between Glasgow Central and Carstairs/Edinburgh/North Berwick (only a handful of services a day with either a 318, 334 or 322).
Freight: - A wide variety of freight passes here.
DB Schenker and Freightliner Heavy Haul both load coal at Ravenstruther for Millerhill and power stations in England such as Cottam and Drax.
Passing freight includes Securicor parcel services (with class 67s), Freightliner services to and from Coatbridge (either pairs of 86s or 90s), engineering trains, car trains and enterprise services. 60s, 66s and 92s can all be seen.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Ravenstruther
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual
location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
This is an open field next to the railway line, although it is partly sheltered by the road climbing up over the railway to the north west.
Take the A70 east towards Carstairs. You should pass over the Lanark branch about a mile before Ravenstruther. Just before crossing over the WCML, there is a gated entrance to a field on your right that looks out across towards Ravenstruther. You can then cross the field and up to the fence which gives a good view of any train coming out of the terminal.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Ravenstruther map co-ordinates
You can park your car by the entrance to the field.
The location is a field, the nearest amenities are in Carstairs.
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Ravenstruther general view map
Ravenstruther close up map
Windows Local Live Link
- image quality may vary
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Railway Gen Group
For taking photos of trains in the terminal, anywhere along the fence line is good. When under the terminal they have their slow speed control active, so you can easily take a selection of photos as the train crawls along. When heading south, the train has to reverse out onto the Down line, and run wrong line towards Carstairs. This means that you can get some good close up shots of the loco as it reverses and then waits to depart south.
Passing trains can be photographed in either direction, depending on the time of day, although as the line is running south east - north west, you are usually ok from late morning until late afternoon. Between the line up to the loading terminal and the mainline, there is a slight hillock which lifts you above track level giving a good vantage for Glasgow bound trains. Between here and the A70 (facing towards Glasgow), the ground drops below track level providing an interesting perspective.
You will need to watch your timing when taking photos, as the line speed is over 80mph and there is OHLE to avoid. But it is fairly easy to get photos between the masts.
General views - All photographs © Ewan Tait unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east
Looking towards Carstairs at a Glasgow bound Voyager from the trackside.
Fig 2 - Looking east
Looking across the fields to an MGR waiting to reverse
Fig 3 - Looking north east
An MGR reversing out onto the Down line.
Fig 4 - Looking north
Across the field to the mainline.
Fig 5 - Looking north west
Fig 6 - Looking north west
Fig 7 - The loading facility
A train draws slowly under the loading facility.
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