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A person walking over a Wade bridge on the Corrieyairack Pass.  Taken by Peter Sanders. Heritage Paths Project
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Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
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Path of the Month
Old Tracks to Backlass and Thulachan
Old Tracks to Backlass and Thulachan

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Old Fordell Train Line

Start location: Railway line 0.3km W of Donibristle Halt (NT 152 841)
End location: B925 opp. Cuttlehill Woods (NT 170 907)
Geographical area: Fife
Path Type: Railway Track
Path distance: 8.6km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

The start point is at Cowdenbeath Rail Station, 165 918 and from there walk to 171 907 along the A908 – busy road and road junctions where much care is needed.  Then follow the path through Moss Morran (occassional flooding in wood at 166 904 with dangerous slippy wooden board and also at 167 898).  Continue to follow the path to B925 via 155 895 and then cross the road and follow path to Fordell.  Then walk south on unclassified road for a short distance past houses.  Access to the path is at the standing stone on the left hand side and proceed to 156 885.   Continue on the path through 155 878 and 154 876.   This paved section probably follows line of railway.  At 152 871 there is a problem with a new Muirdean open cast mine and the path is now lost.  A detour for walkers is available to the west.  Return to the line of the path and from 149 865 to 150 858 is a section of what seems to be a cutting of the railway line.  Continue past Vantage House and take the path on the right hand side to see the bridge across the railway at 151 852.  Sadly from here on the line of the railway track is very difficult to access but a possible diversion is available through the woods to 145 844 and using the recently constructed path beside the B916 to Hillend.

OS Landranger 65 (Falkirk & West Lothian)

Heritage Information

This route was originally a Waggonway coming from Cowdenbeath and Crossgates to St David's Harbour in Inverkeithing Bay.  It was used to export coal and minerals from the mines around Cowdenbeath and Crossgates for shipping from Inverkeithing.  The Fordell Railways was still in use in 1939. Interestingly there was an explosion along its route in the late 19th century where the boiler of the steam locomotive 'Alice' exploded.  A good account of this can be found at the link below:

http://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/37/Fordell.htm

A waggonway can be differentiated from a railway line as waggonways predate them and usually had wooden rails, along which, carts would be pulled by horses.  This waggonway is unfortunately quite difficult to access in some places as fences and an open cast coal mine obstructs it but diversions can be found along the way.

There is a very well preserved section of cutting not far north of Dalgety Bay.

 

 



 

 

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