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Aberdour Railway Station Including Shelter, Footbridge and Signal Box

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0547 / 56°3'16"N

Longitude: -3.301 / 3°18'3"W

OS Eastings: 319073

OS Northings: 685408

OS Grid: NT190854

Mapcode National: GBR 24.QGCT

Mapcode Global: WH6S5.82CR

Entry Name: Aberdour Railway Station Including Shelter, Footbridge and Signal Box

Listing Date: 12 July 1985

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334748

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3629

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdour (Fife)

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Aberdour

Description

1890. Single storey and attic 7-bay U-plan station building (ticket office and waiting room) with outshot. Squared, snecked, rockface stone with long and short stone dressings to window margins and arises, painted cills. Chamfered base course.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: near symmetrical elevation. Setback central section with advanced flanking wings. Centred door with flanking windows to central section. Right wing; 2 windows equally spaced. Left wing; former door later converted to window to right, window to left. Single storey outshot to far left slightly setback of main block; window to centre.

NE ELEVATION: door off-centre right, small flanking windows, further window to left.

NW (PLATFORM) ELEVATION: original door to off-centre right; 2 enlarged windows to left of door, further window to left, small window to far left. Door to far right with window to left. Setback outshot to far right; window to left, door to right.

SW ELEVATION: outshot; door to right with flanking window to left.

Predominantly 2-pane lower, 8-pane upper timber sash and case windows. Projecting canopy to central section of SE elevation, decorative diamond pierced bargeboards. 3 cast-iron columns to NW platform supporting apex canopy attached to NW elevation; decorative pierced bargeboards. Tie braces and pendants in apices crowned by finials to projecting wings of SE elevation. Pitched slate roof to advanced wings, piended elsewhere, ridge tiles, centred piended dormer window to SE, centred rooflight to NW, dormered ventilation to NW. Possibly corrugated-asbestos roof to NW canopy with central rooflight. Ridge stack to right of central SE section and to far NE, advanced stepped detailing to upper section, circular clay cans. 2 elongated wall head stacks flanking outshot to SW, circular clay cans.

INTERIOR: seen, 2012. Original roof to booking hall; collar-rafter roof with king post, ball pendants, exposed rafters, moulded cornice, decorated corbels supporting principal rafters.

SHELTER: single storey 3-bay shelter to far NW platform. Squared, snecked, rockface stone with similar pink long and short stone dressings to window margins and arises, painted cills. Chamfered base course. Full height central opening with flanking windows, centred windows to side elevations. Pitched slate roof, ridge tiles, elongated stack to rear of NW.

FOOT BRIDGE: painted cast and wrought-iron footbridge to NE linking SE and NW platforms. 4 decorative columns supporting landings at either side of platforms; fluted base with decorated Doric capitals. Lattice work to balusters. Modern replacement steel risers.

SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NT 19125, 85434): North British Railway - Type 2, 1890. Raised single storey with basement, 3-bay square-plan signal box to far NE. Squared, snecked, rockface stone with similar pink long and short stone dressings to window margins and arises, painted lintels to basement, painted cills to raised ground floor. Chamfered base course. Small windows to basement, larger to raised ground floor. NW elevation; 3 equally spaced blocked basement windows with windows to raised ground floor centred above. SW elevation; 2 squat basement windows to left and centre with raised ground floor windows centred above. SE elevation; 2 raised ground floor windows to far right and left. NE elevation; basement window to right, door to left, matching arrangement to raised ground floor. Piended slate roof, wall head stack to SE section of roof, brick coping, circular clay can.

Statement of Interest

Aberdour Station is a fine group of railway buildings, built of rock-faced sandstone and using decorative timber detail. The station serves a popular tourist desitination and was built in the run-up to the opening of the Forth Rail Bridge on the 4th of March 1890, allowing direct rail travel from Edinburgh to Fife for the first time. Aberdour Station opened for passenger trains three months later in June 1890.

At the start of the 1870s it was decided that a rail bridge spanning the Firth of Forth should be built and it was therefore necessary to build a stretch of line from the bridge to Burntisland which would link the existing East Coast line to Edinburgh. Prior to this a ferry carried the train over the Firth between Granton and Burntisland. Parliamentary authorisation for the construction of a line between Inverkeithing and Burntisland was passed in 1873 and 1882 and the seven-mile stretch joining Inverkeithing junction and Burntisland was begun in 1887. The line was routed through Aberdour so that a station could offer a final destination for tourists and seaside day-trippers during the summer months whilst also providing a valuable transport artery for the coal and whinstone from the local mines and quarries.

A goods yard and sidings were located to the E of the station, provision was made for a first class waiting room and a bookstall was situated in the booking hall. The interior of the main building was renovated in the late 1950s. In 1963 'The Reshaping of British Railways' was published in which the chairman of the British Railway Board, Lord Beeching, recommended the closure of 2,300 stations throughout the UK with the reduction of 29,000 km of track. The sidings at Aberdour had already been closed in 1961 due to the reduction of visitors travelling to Aberdour by train and as a result of the closure of nearby collieries. The goods yard was closed in 1964, with the demolition of the goods shed and removal of the loading gauge. The station remained open and was refurbished in 2000.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and now rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. Of more than 2000 signal boxes built across Scotland by 1948, around 150 currently survive (2013), both on and off the public network. All pre-1948 mechanical boxes still in operation are due to become obsolete by 2021. The signal box at Aberdour is a rare example of a stone-built signal box. In an unusual departure by the North British Railway Company, whose boxes were usually timber, the box at Aberdour is built of the same rockfaced sandstone as the station, adding to the group interest and to the wider historic context. In 1981 the signal box became obsolete as full colour light signalling was put into service controlled from the Edinburgh signalling centre.

List Description revised as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13).

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