Wemyss Private Railway
In 1879 the plans for what was to become known as the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway were set out. Its route was from Thornton Junction to Methil where the intention was to improve the Harbour before the Leven Harbour Company could develop theirs as the coal port of the district. RGE Wemyss successfully managed to achieve both the building of the railway with the redeveloped Harbour at Methil opening in 1887.
By 1897 R.Wemyss had decided to build the Wemyss Private Railway, thus an agreement was made in 1899 such that the Wemyss Coal Co. Ltd would build a railway to link the lines between Methil dock and the adjacent, Denbeath Colliery. The plan being for the coal traffic generated by Lochhead, Earlseat and Michael Collieries to moved without using the North British Railway Company’s routes.
The main centre of operations being at the Baum mechanical coal preparation plant built near to the docks in 1905 with the intention of servicing all the Wemyss Collieries.When it was realised that the capacity of Methil Dock was in sufficient to meet the amount of demand Wemyss persuaded the NBR Co. to build a new dock known as No. 3 dock, opening in 1913.When WW1 started shipping from Methil harbour saw a considerably reduction. In the early 1920's the Wemyss Coal Co. Ltd sank a much deeper shaft at their Michael Colliery opening in 1932 to work the deep seams under the Firth of Forth thus making it the deepest and most productive pit in Scotland. It was producing some 1,000,000 tons a year but tragically a terrible fire bought about the closure of the mine for ever. Some 70 years after the opening of the line and with the closure of Michael Colliery there was insufficient traffic to justify the lines existence and it closed.
NGR given is for the docks at Mithil