Ayr railway station

For the station in Australia, see Ayr railway station, Queensland.
Ayr National Rail

Looking south; terminal platforms 1 & 2 to the right, through platforms 3 & 4 on the left
Place Ayr
Local authority South Ayrshire
Coordinates 55°27′30″N 4°37′33″W / 55.4583°N 4.6258°W / 55.4583; -4.6258Coordinates: 55°27′30″N 4°37′33″W / 55.4583°N 4.6258°W / 55.4583; -4.6258
Grid reference NS340214
Station code AYR
Managed by Abellio ScotRail
Number of platforms 4
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2010/11 Increase 1.514 million
– Interchange  Increase 45,178
2011/12 Increase 1.523 million
– Interchange  Decrease 41,716
2012/13 Increase 1.540 million
– Interchange  Decrease 41,440
2013/14 Decrease 1.476 million
– Interchange  Increase 46,348
2014/15 Increase 1.572 million
– Interchange  Increase 50,474
Passenger Transport Executive
12 January 1886 Opened
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ayr from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Ayr railway station serves the town of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is situated in Smith Street, off Burns Statue Square. The station, which is managed by Abellio ScotRail, is on the Ayrshire Coast Line, 41.5 miles (66.8 km) south-west of Glasgow Central railway station.


The station was opened on 12 January 1886 by the Glasgow and South Western Railway.[1] This was the third station to be named 'Ayr' in the town: the original station, located on the former Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, opened in 1839. When the Ayr and Dalmellington Railway was opened in 1856, a station called Ayr Townhead was opened on the south side of the town. When the original Ayr station was closed on 1 July 1857,[1] Townhead station was renamed 'Ayr', however this second station closed the same day the current station opened.[1] The current station was built just 300 yards south of the previous station.[1] The Glasgow and South Western Railway became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923, passing on to the Scottish Region of British Railways during the nationalisation of 1948.

When sectorisation was introduced in the 1980s, the station was served by ScotRail until the privatisation of British Rail.

Station description

The automatic ticket barriers in 2007

Ayr station consists of two through platforms, and two bay platforms to the north.[2] The northbound platform station building is located on the ground floor of the four-storey hotel attached to the station, and the southbound platform has a large single storey sandstone building.[2] The glazed canopy that covers a small section of all four platforms and the waiting area was originally much larger than its current size.[2]

The station has one of eight remaining ticket offices on the Ayr to Glasgow Central line, the others being Prestwick Town, Troon, Irvine, Kilwinning, Johnstone, Paisley Gilmour Street and Glasgow Central. In December 2006, the station received automatic ticket barriers as part of ScotRail's revenue protection policy.[3]


The hotel attached to the station was originally opened by the Glasgow and South Western Railway in June 1866; and it become part of the British Transport Hotels (BTH) at Nationalisation.[4] It was sold by BTH in October 1951;[4] and has changed ownership a number of times, having been owned by Stakis Hotels, Quality, and presently Swallow Hotels.

The Station Hotel is currently the oldest and most famous hotel in Ayr. The hotel has retained almost all of its original features inside and out.



Class 318s at Ayr

Ayr used to have an Intercity twice-daily London Euston service (one daytime and one sleeping car train) which ran to/from Stranraer via Barassie to the Glasgow South Western Line, which ceased in the early 1990s. In the 1980s the Royal Scot started from Ayr. Following completion of the electrification of the Ayrshire Coast Line the train operated in push-pull mode with Class 87 or Class 90. In the early 1990s with the restructuring of British Rail the train ceased to start from Ayr.

This service is one of the busiest on the rail network in Scotland and can suffer from serious overcrowding at peak times. To alleviate this, in June 2005 ScotRail extended the length of trains departing Ayr between 0643 and 1813 on weekdays to six cars wherever possible. Between 2002 and 2011 the Glasgow - Ayr route were served by Class 334s and Class 318s.

May 2011

There are trains from Ayr to Glasgow Central every half hour daily, except for Sundays during the winter timetable (October–May), when the frequency is hourly. From May 2011, most services on Ayrshire and Inverclyde lines were operated by Class 380s. By the end of June 2011 Class 318 and 334 had been largely replaced, however on rare occasions they were still being used.

There are also less frequent services (operated by Class 156 DMUs) from Ayr to Girvan (roughly every two hours), Stranraer (six per day) and Kilmarnock (two-hourly). There is a limited service to Stranraer on Sundays (three trains only).

Ayr Railway Station, with Class 380 380006 at Platform 1 and Aviation Fuel tankers at Platform 3

December 2012

There are three trains per hour from Ayr to Glasgow Central during weekdays consisting of two limited stop services and one all stations service. On Sundays there is a half-hourly service to Glasgow.

There are also less frequent services (operated by Class 156 DMUs) from Ayr to Girvan (roughly every hour), Stranraer (six per day) and Kilmarnock (two-hourly). On Sundays there are three trains to Stranraer. As of early 2014, there are four daily services to Edinburgh Waverley direct, via Carstairs.

December 2015

The service frequency on the Glasgow line is now four trains per hour off peak (two fast & two stopping), with a limited number of through trains to Edinburgh. There is also an hourly service to Girvan and one every two hours to Kilmarnock, but there are now nine through services to Stranraer (one every two hours) rather than the previous six. On Sundays, there is a half-hourly service to Glasgow and five trains to Girvan & Stranraer but no service to Kilmarnock.[5]

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Ayrshire Coast Line
Maybole   Abellio ScotRail
Glasgow South Western Line
  Prestwick Town
Historical railways
Line and station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Maidens and Dunure Railway
  Connection with A&DR
at Alloway Junction
Maybole Junction
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Ayr and Dalmellington Railway
Line and station open
Connection with A&DR
at Hawkhill Junction
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Ayr to Mauchline Branch
Line open; station closed

Ferry Connections

Stena Line passengers travelling on through "Rail & Sail" tickets to Belfast are provided with a free coach service direct from Ayr station to Cairnryan. This departs from outside the main entrance.[6]

Passengers wishing to travel on the P&O Ferries service to Larne, or Stena Line passengers who do not possess a Rail & Sail ticket, can travel by train along the Glasgow South Western Line to Stranraer where McLeans bus service 350 connects Stranraer station to Cairnryan.

Until 2016, P&O Ferries also operated a service from Troon to Larne between the months of March and October. Rail passengers could connect to this via the Ayrshire Coast Line, and a twenty-five-minute walk from Troon railway station.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Cairnryan Harbour
(via connecting coach or Stranraer)
  Stena Line
or Great Victoria Street
(via Port of Belfast)
Cairnryan Harbour
(via Stranraer)
  P&O Ferries
  Larne Harbour




External links

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