Canals & Railways

The Linlithgow area is rich in terms of industrial heritage and there are a number of things to see and do for the visitor.

Falkirk Wheel workings
Opened in 1790, the Forth and Clyde Canal connected the two river estuaries linking to the Clyde at Bowling and the Forth at Grangemouth. Originally designed as large enough for sea-faring boats it fell into decline with the development of the railways in the second half of the 19th century.
It was closed in the 1960s, but has recently been revitalised and reinstated largely for leisure purposes. It is now connected to the Union Canal by the Falkirk Wheel.
The canal has been recently reconnected to the River Forth with a new cutting under the road at the Kelpies in the Helix Park between Falkirk and Grangemouth.

  

 

LUCS Victoria

The Union Canal was built in 1822 mainly to import coal and other materials into Edinburgh.  It linked Edinburgh to the Forth and Clyde Canal at Falkirk through a flight of 11 locks. It went into a slow decline with the development of rail travel and closed to commercial traffic in 1933 and completely in 1965.

It was restored as a navigable waterway in 2000 and reconnected

The rest of the canal has no locks as it winds its way across the countryside following the 240 foot contour.  Along its route are three fine aqueducts and a tunnel.

 

 

Falkirk Wheel Main

The Falkirk Wheel was built as a Millenium Project as a key part of a programme to revitalise Scotland's Waterways and canals, opening in 2002.  It reconnected the Union Canal with the Forth Clyde Canal replacing the long gone flight of 11 locks which were dismantled in 1932. 

The Falkirk Wheel is the world's only rotating boat lift and visitors can take trips to ascend the lift on a boat.

 

Old Station to Palace

The main railway line between Edinburgh and Glasgow passes through Linlithgow.

The line originally took 4 years to build and opened in 1842.

This old view from the mid 19th century shows St Michael's Parish Church in the distance with the original Linlithgow station in the foreground.  The old Goods Yard in the immediate foreground is now a car park, but you can still recognise the main station building across the tracks as much is unchanged.

 

Linlithgow Station

Since 1842, Linlithgow has been well served by rail links to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, as it sits astride the main line between Scotland's two principal cities. Originally operated by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, the line has been through various ownerships over the years, through North British Railways (NBR), London and North Eastern Railways (LNER) and British Railways.

Traction was by steam until 1957 when the first DMUs (Diesel Multiple Units) appeared. The line is currently being electrified (overhead wires) and the first electric trains are expected to start operating from December 2016.

 

 

BKR
Scotland's largest railway museum and operating steam railway is situated in Bo'ness a few miles north of Linlithgow. The Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway operates from mid-March till the end of October.