60054 at Holytown

Holytown Station is located on the Wishaw Deviation Line, approximately 3 miles north from Wishaw, 5 miles north from Law Junction and about a mile from Mossend Freight Yard and from Motherwell TMD.   Until sometime in the 1960's Holytown boasted 4 platforms and 2 station buildings.   Until 1992, Holytown would have been a mecca for all the traffic heading to / from Ravenscraig steel works which was located only a couple of miles away and the associated loco movements to / from Motherwell TMD with workings double and triple headed by class 37/0's and 37/3's as well as class 56's and class 60's.    Nowadays there is less freight than then however there is still plenty to see.   

Nowadays station has 2 platforms and is located in the middle of a housing scheme.    Holytown has no station buildings but does have shelters on both platforms.   There is also a footbridge across the line, which is also used as a shortcut between the 2 sides of the housing scheme.  It also has a small car park on the Edinburgh side of the station.

There is a 3-way Junction to the North of the station (left goes towards Motherwell, straight on to Bellshill and Uddingston and right to Mossend, Coatbridge and the North) and a 2 way junction to the south, taking the line either eastbound to Edinburgh via Shotts or south to the WCML at Law Junction via Wishaw.

Holytown is served by the Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Central via Shotts DMU's hourly stopping service (Class 156's) .

Holytown Station should be reasonably safe as it is covered by CCTV, however I would strongly recommend that keep your wits about you.   I certainly would not recommend this location after dark. 

92031 at Holytown


I'd advise taking photos from the Glasgow end of the platform.   The area around the footbridge from either platform is also OK depending on the light / sun.   

66735 at Holytown

What will I see?

From a passenger point of view, services are dominated by class 385s and occasionally class 380s with 1 stopping service and 1 express service passing through each way in an hour. Class 156s or 158s can occasionally be seen on the Shotts line if there is a shortage of electric traction.   There is a single morning and evening express to and from Carstairs via the Argyle lines from Anderston which usually consists of a combination of either a pair/ mixture of class 318s or 320s.   There is also some ECS workings with some services from Whifflet being sent to Wishaw to reverse and can consist of 318s, 320s or 334s.    All Scotrail stock is painted in the Scotrail Saltire livery. 

Most freight from the WCML heading to or from Mossend or heading to or from the north and any east / west freight from /to the Shotts line pass through here.   Occasional Loco Movements from DRS heading to / from Motherwell TMD and also DBS light Engine workings to / from Mossend can also pass here.   Most Freight is class 66 hauled.  


66424 at Holytown

Freight that passes through Holytown between 2.30 and 5.30 on a weekday includes

         Approx time    Headcode     Working                                                                      Traction   Notes

  • 13.45             4S43            Daventry - Mossend Stobart Containers                      DRS 88
  • 15.30             6S45 / 6E45 North Blyth - FortWilliam or reverse Alcans                  GBRF 66
  • 16.30             6B34             Viewpark - Oxwellmains Cement                                Colas 70 * runs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
  • 17.28             4E99            Mossend - Tees Containers                                          DBS 66
  • 17.30              6O15             Mossend - Eastleigh empty cars                                DBS 90 x2


Locos that can be seen here include

  • Class 37 (DRS, West Coast)
  • Class 47 (DRS, West Coast)
  • Class 57 (DRS, West Coast)
  • Class 66 (DRS, Freightliner, DBS, GBRF)
  • Class 67 (DBS)
  • Class 70 (Freightliner)
  • Class 90 (Freightliner)
  • Class 92 (GBRF)

6233 'Duchess of Sutherland' at Holytown

Interesting Workings

There are a number of interesting workings that pass through Holytown, the main ones are

  • The Alcan Tanks. (6S45 - North Blyth - Fort William) These pass through Holytown at around 3pm on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday heading to Fort William with the return working passing in the opposite direction on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday at around 3.30pm.    This is operated by a GBRF class 66.   It is usually limited to a loco in the 66733 - 66737 range and that particular loco operates this working for a number of days / weeks at a time.
  • 6S58 Tees Yard - Dalziel loaded steel.   This used to be operated by a class 60, now a 66.
  • 6S04 Hartlepool - Mossend Loaded pipes, operated by a class 66.   Not operated for a while.
  • 6O15 / 6V15 Mossend - Didcot empty car wagons working usually features the 2xDBS 90.   This working has been known to contain a loco dead in tow that will be detached from the train further south,  more exotic locos have included a DRS 37 and a class 60.