Glasgow's Railways

Welcome to a chronology of the railways of Glasgow and the surrounding area, compiled in conjunction with research for the Subterranean Glasgow website (which is temporarily unavailable).

This project, comprising entries compiled from secondary sources, was started when I lived near Glasgow. Since then, I have moved away from Scotland and sources of information are no longer as readily available to me. Please email me with any additions or corrections.

The chronology includes a few photographs of Glasgow, listed here, and also cross-referenced from the appropriate chronology entry.
There is also a short section on the North British Locomotive Company and its constituents.

March 1998


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early 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s
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1811 William Dixon's tramway opened from Govanhill to Port Eglinton, Ardrossan Canal basin (2)
05.1831 Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway (4' 6") started operating from Monklands coalfield to Townhead station with steam and horse haulage (3)
27.09.1831 Official opening of the Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway with steam haulage (3)
1836 Neilson & Co engineering works founded at Hyde Park Street, Finnieston (2)
03.04.1837 Paisley and Renfrew Railway (4' 6" gauge) opened from Hamilton Street Paisley to Renfrew Wharf with steam engines (2)
14.07.1840 Temporary Bridge Street Station opened, operated by Glasgow & Paisley Joint Line Committee (2)
21.07.1840 Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock & Ayr Railway opened between Howwood and Paisley Gilmour Street (3)
20.08.1840 GPK&A boat trains started from Glasgow to Ardrossan, connecting with steamers to Liverpool (3)
22.08.1840 Polloc and Govan Railway opened, linking Rutherglen and Windmillcroft Quay with Dixon's tramway (2)
1841 Cowlairs Works (Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway) opened
31.03.1841 Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (later absorbed by the Caledonian) opened from Glasgow Bridge Street to Greenock Cathcart Street, with Clyde steamer connections at Greenock (2)
06.04.1841 Bridge Street station permanent buildings opened (2)
18.02.1842 Queen Street station opened by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway
21.02.1842 Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway opened for public services between Queen Street and Haymarket (3)
03.1842 Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway extended to Coatbridge [Central]
04.04.1843 Glasgow & Paisley Joint line opened through to Kilmarnock (3)
01.07.1843 Moss Road station opened by G&PJ (3)
06.11.1843 Bellahouston station opened by G&PJ (3)
1844 Experimental use of banking engines started on Cowlairs incline (2)
07.1844 Garnkirk & Glasgow Railway renamed as Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway (3)
04.07.1844 North British Railway authorised by act of parliament (3)
1845 Glasgow & Paisley Joint stations at Bellahouston (later Ibrox) and Moss Road (later Cardonald) closed for lack of passengers (3)
31.07.1845 Caledonian Railway authorised by act of parliament (3)
1847 Glasgow, Garnkirk & Coatbridge and Wishaw & Coltness lines (the latter through Whifflet and Holytown) taken over by the Caledonian and regauged from 4' 6" to 4' 8.5" (2)
09.07.1847 GP&G absorbed by the Caledonian (2)
24.07.1847 Paisley and Renfrew Railway taken over by the GPK&A (2)
1848 End of experiment with banking locos on the Cowlairs incline (2)
15.02.1848 [Carlisle -] Beattock - Glasgow Caledonian line opened (3)
05.07.1848 E&G Campsie branch to Lennoxtown opened (3)
29.09.1848 Glasgow, Barrhead & Neilston Direct Railway opened from South Side station to Barrhead Arthurlie Street (2)
12.1848 General Terminus & Glasgow Harbour Railway opened between West Street and the Clyde (2)
01.06.1849 Clydesdale Junction Railway opened to new Caledonian terminus at South Side, linking it with Polmadie, Rutherglen, Uddingston and Motherwell (3)
01.11.1849 Buchanan Street station opened by Glasgow, Garnkirk & Coatbridge Railway; Townhead/St Rollox closed to passengers (2)
01.01.1850 Buchanan Street goods station opened (3)
15.07.1850 Caledonian and Dumbartonshire Railway (C&D) opened from Bowling to Balloch, with steamer connections at each end (3)
28.10.1850 Glasgow & South Western Railway (G&SW) formed by amalgamation of the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr (GPK&A) and Glasgow Dumfries and Carlisle Railways (3)
1854 Caledonian opened St Rollox works for the building and repair of locomotives, carriages and wagons
28.05.1858 Cowlairs - Maryhill - Dumbarton - Helensburgh line opened (GD&H). Services used Buchanan Street rather than Queen Street for the first month. Through trains also ran to Balloch over the C&D (3)
24.05.1860 Glasgow & Paisley Joint line opened to Girvan (3)
24.06.1861 Rutherglen - Dalmarnock goods line opened, including a bridge over the Clyde (3)
1862 Neilson & Co moved to Springburn (2)
14.08.1862 GD&H and C&D absorbed by the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway (3)
28.08.1863 Glasgow & Milngavie Junction Railway opened (3)
1864 Dübs opened Queen's Park Locomotive Works at Polmadie
20.06.1864 Line opened to Bridge of Weir (by the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway?)
15.05.1865 Line opened to Wemyss Bay by the Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway
01.08.1865 E&G absorbed by the North British (3)
01.01.1866 Busby Railway opened from Pollokshaws to Busby, primarily for transportation of stone (3)
08.01.1866 Rutherglen - Coatbridge line opened for passengers (2)
14.03.1867 Act authorising the lifting of the track between West Street and Windmillcroft
01.05.1868 Line opened to Govan from Paisley Joint line at Ibrox (3)
01.09.1868 Busby Railway extended to East Kilbride (3)
01.09.1869 Start of G&SW trains over Greenock & Ayrshire metals to Greenock Albert Harbour via Kilmacolm (3)
1870 Shields Road CGU station opened
02.06.1870 City of Glasgow Union Railway bridge over the Clyde at Hutchesontown
12.12.1870 Dunlop Street station opened by the CGU (3)
19.12.1870 Gallowgate CGU station opened, with trains from Coatbridge via Shettleston and Carntyne (3)
01.02.1871 College station opened as terminus by the Glasgow & Coatbridge Railway, with trains from Edinburgh Waverley. Coatbridge Sunnyside station opened (3)
01.03.1871 Ibrox (Glasgow & Paisley Joint) station reopened (3)
27.03.1871 Glasgow, Barrhead & Kilmarnock Joint Railway reached Stewarton (3)
01.06.1871 "Bus trains" started between Bellgrove and Shields Road (3)
01.01.1872 Main Street Gorbals station opened by CGU (3)
01.08.1872 Greenock & Ayrshire Railway vested in the G&SW (3)
19.08.1872 Glasgow Tramway & Omnibus Company started first horse-drawn service between St George's Cross and Eglinton Toll
01.09.1872 North British line to College station opened
1873 Glasgow & Milngavie Junction Railway absorbed by the NB
26.06.1873 Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Line (G&SW, Caledonian) opened to Kilmarnock (3)
20.10.1874 North British line opened to Queen's Dock, Stobcross from Maryhill; Caledonian given running powers (3)
27.10.1874 Whiteinch Railway from Jordanhill opened for goods traffic
1875 Polmadie loco shed opened
1875 Link to Knightswood pits and brickworks from the NB line
01.05.1875 Greenock Albert Harbour G&SW station renamed Princes Pier
16.08.1875 Bellgrove - Springburn CGU line opened (3)
17.10.1876 St Enoch station opened by CGU; Dunlop Street station closed
12.04.1877 London Road station opened for goods traffic (3)
01.09.1877 Gorbals station opened as a replacement for South Side (Glasgow, Barrhead & Kilmarnock Joint Railway) (3)
05.10.1877 Glasgow & Paisley Joint line to Stranraer opened
01.06.1878 Kelvin Valley Railway opened between Kilsyth and Birdston Junction (on the Campsie branch) (3)
01.10.1878 Bridge to Central station completed
1879 Queen Street station rebuilt
01.04.1879 Passenger services started between Rutherglen, Dalmarnock and London Road (Parkhead)
04.06.1879 Kelvin Valley Railway opened between Birdston Junction and Maryhill (3)
01.07.1879 South Side station closed (3)
12.07.1897 Reconstructed Bridge Street station opened
01.08.1879 Central station opened (3)


The chronology continues here