Bo'ness, Bo'ness & Kinneil Steam Railway Reviews

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“Great day out for all”

written by bobdowns1959 on 20/10/2013

We went for a train ride here whilst on a family holiday in the summer. Our young grandson's loved the steam engines and the views from the line are amazing. It was probably helped by the fact that the weather was amazing. We would recommend this to everyone. The prices were fairly steep, but the ride and overall trip made it well worth while. A great trip down memory lane.

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“had a great day at Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway...”

written by on 18/07/2009

had a great day at Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway with steam trains. futher more proper old fashioned signal box. would recommend to everybody young and old,to see how steam trains are so different to todays trains. the only draw back is do not stand to near as you get covered in dirt as train moves away. next time i visit i will be taking young children in the family.there ages are 8,7years. im sure after a visit they will have plenty to write about.

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“Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway is situated in the...”

written by Groovee on 03/05/2004

Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway is situated in the small town in West Lothian of Bo'ness. It is maintained by The Scottish Railway Preservation Society. It has been developed since 1979. Bo'ness opened in 1980 with Kinneil in 1987 and Birkill in 1989. A passenger service runs to Birkhill on a regular basis as there is a fireclay mine which is open to the public.

The timetable for 2004 started in April. Every weekend April to June the trains operate. They operate on a timetable of roughly every Hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the months of July and August the trains run every day. Then they run at weekends during September and October. At Easter, Halloween and Christmas, special trains are run. This is when you travel on the train and meet the Easter Bunny or Santa. At Birkhill, there will normally be a Marquee where special shows and face painting will take place too. The trains tend to run hourly at this time and it gives you time to get on the train, see what is happening at the other end and then get the next train back! There is also the Black Bun Special at New Year.

They also host special Thomas The Tank Engine weekends in May and August. This is when a special Thomas Engine helps to pull your train and there are lots of special Thomas activities going on.

On a normal weekend with no special activities the prices are £4.50 for an adult, £2 for a child aged 5-15 years, concession (anyone over 60 or disabled) family (2 adults+2 children) is £11. That is just for the steam train ride. If you want to visit the clay mine that is extra. The Scottish Railway Exhibition is £1 for adults and concessions and free for children.

Our experiences there have been not bad. We've been to Thomas and the Easter Train. Thomas was extremely busy and tickets cannot be purchased in advance and we had to queue for quite a while. Luckily there were little show rides which the children could go on for free. There was also the exhibition to have a look at too which has model trains. The tickets for Thomas were about £7 per person over the age of 2. A family ticket is available which makes it cheaper. Children get very excited about riding on Thomas and I am sure there were some engines further down the platform which children could have a look on and pretend to be the driver. At Birkhill, there was a marquee with an entertainer and face painting. We got off the first time and the second time we went we just rode the train up and then straight back as it was so busy.

The station at Bo'ness has toilets. There is also a wee shop in which you can buy lots of train things like Thomas toys and story books. There is also a cafe which sells Sandwiches, baguette, hot rolls as well as meals. The choice is limited but on a nice day you could take the train to Birkhill and do all the activities and then have a picnic at the other end as there is some picnic tables on the way to the fire mine and the toilets. The cafe prices were on Par with a day out to the zoo etc. For 2 adult Macaroni Cheeses and chips, 2 chicken nuggets and chips and 3 cokes it was £16.50. I really enjoyed the Macaroni. The highchairs in the cafe were wooden and not that great. They didn't even have restraints and I had to get my friend to keep and eye on Murray in his chair while I went to get the food. My other complaint is how slow the staff seem to be at serving you. They also seem quite young, but the chef seemed to be on the ball.

The Birkhill Fire mine is down what feels like 1 million steps! It was a struggle getting back up carrying a 17 month old. There is no disabled access here, so if you are unable to manage a lot of steps I wouldn't advise this! I would love a chairlift to help everyone get back up. There is some little seats after about every 30 steps which were a lifesaver with a four year old who kept moaning. Other than the fire mine there isn't much else to do at Birkhill, unless it is a special weekend. The fire min requires you to wear a "Bob the Builder" hat. We went through a little part of it and it was cold, wet and muddy. Some of the little hills inside were quite steep too. I personally wouldn't go back there as I found it boring.

There is plenty Parking at Bo'ness and it is well signed posted there. If I can find it without a map anyone can find it. As long as you find Tesco you know you are on the right tracks. Outside the front door to the station there was a mini steam train which adults and children alike can go on and ride about 50 yards. It doesn't go too fast but I was concerned about my friends daughter who liked to peer round me without holding on to me. This was free and you got 2 rides up and down. If you make you way over the bridge you find the Scottish Railway Exhibition. It's quite small inside. Older children and Train enthusiasts would like this. I tended just to walk past.

This is a great experience with children or train enthusiasts! We went for the Easter Bunny Train and we were a bit disappointed with the bunny. Although he made the effort, his outfit was a bit scabby. We certainly enjoyed the cream eggs. The children enjoyed looking out the window too watching the world go by out of it! If you can be on the platform for the train arriving, it is great to watch a train like the Hogwarts Express come towards you. I found both children really enjoyed watching the train coming in. We were also on the platform before the train arrived and we could hear it arriving which was a really good experience too. If you need to take a buggy for a little one, there is no problem in getting a big Mama's and Papa's type pram on or a little stroller. Some of the carriages have space to store the buggies while you sit in another part of the carriage.

So if you are coming to Edinburgh or Glasgow it would be worth taking a visit here. Bo'ness can be found from Junction 3 on the M9. From Edinburgh it takes about 20-35 minutes driving there depending on traffic. Well worth a visit!

The website can be found at The phone number is 01506 822298

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Cyberwriter's Response to Groovee's Review

Written on: 07/04/2006

If you're visiting the Bo'ness Railway, remember to visit Kinneil Estate on the edge of the town. This beautiful park features a small museum, telling the story of the estate from Roman times to the present day, plus a historic house and church, a cottage used by inventor James Watt and a Roman fortlet. Best of all the museum and estate a free to visit. It's open Monday to Saturday 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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