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Bolt from the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, 1820s-30s
This bolt was used in the early Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway, opened in 1826. It was found on an old stone block railway sleeper and possibly originated in the Faskine-Palacecraig section or in a connected mineral railway in that area.
The Railway was originally built to link coal and ironstone mines in the Monklands with the Forth and Clyde Canal at Kirkintilloch, which would allow transportation either westwards to Glasgow (as a competitor to the Monkland Canal) or eastwards toward Falkirk and the Forth.
Before rails with wooden sleepers became standard, there was experimentation with rails set into square stone blocks. This fell out of favour as it was found that the blocks tended to be pushed apart over time, whilst wooden sleepers kept the rails at a consistent width.