Former Glasgow St Enoch to Greenock Princes Pier railway

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2009, Thomas Nugent; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Overview

A journey by foot, train and bike along what remains of the former Glasgow & South Western Railway line from St Enoch in Glasgow to Princes Pier in Greenock. The line ran inland to Paisley, following the valley of White Cart Water and the site of the former Glasgow to Ardrossan canal for much of the way. It then ran through the rolling Renfrewshire countryside to Linwood, Bridge of Weir and along the course of the River Gryffe to Kilmacolm before dropping downhill to the industrial towns of Port Glasgow and Greenock.

From 1959, the line closed to passengers in stages from the Greenock end, but a passenger service to Kilmacolm ran from Glasgow Central (after St Enoch closed in 1966) to Kilmacolm until 1983. The track was then lifted from Kilmacolm to Paisley where the line still served a fuel depot for Glasgow Airport. At the Greenock end, Princes Pier became Greenock Container Terminal (now Greenock Ocean Terminal) and part of the line was re-opened in 1971 for container trains, joining the Glasgow-Wemyss Bay line at Cartsburn East Junction in the east end of Greenock. That section of line is now disused and overgrown, but the track is still in place although the points at Cartsburn have been removed.

A Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger service to Paisley Canal was reinstated in 1990. The line was electrified in late 2012. Most of the remainder of the line now forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 75.

Glasgow St Enoch station (closed)

This once grand railway station and hotel closed in June 1966. A shopping mall of the same name now stands on the site. Unfortunately there are no photos of the station on geograph, but some evidence of the elevated tracks which led to the City Union Railway line survive to the east.
NS5964 : St Enoch (shopping centre), Glasgow by GaryReggae NS5964 : St Enoch Shopping Centre by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : Osborne Street railway arches by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : Converted railway arches by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : Bridgegate by Thomas Nugent

The elevated approaches to the station can be seen in these two 1967 views of Stockwell Street.
NS5964 : British Trolleybuses - Glasgow by Alan Murray-Rust NS5964 : British Trolleybuses - Glasgow by Alan Murray-Rust

Crossing The Clyde

The City Union line is still in use today, but is used infrequently. After passing above Paddy's Market, the line crosses the River Clyde by means of the City Union Railway bridge to The Gorbals.

There has been much talk about using this bridge to create a "crossrail" link between the north and south (effectively Queen Street and Glasgow Central) passenger lines, but it has never progressed beyond talk. Perhaps the new Glasgow Airport Rail Link, due to open in 2011, will help bring this to fruition (note: GARL was abandoned in 2009). Such a link would also improve links between Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen and the towns south and west of Glasgow.
NS5964 : Paddy's Market by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : City Union Railway bridge by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : City Union Railway bridge by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : City Union Railway bridge by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : City Union Railway bridge by Thomas Nugent

The Gorbals Area

After crossing the Clyde, the line makes a sweeping, elevated right turn through The Gorbals, passing through Main Street and Cumberland Street stations on the way to Shields Junction where it turns left to the Paisley Canal section of the line which is still in use for passenger services today.
NS5964 : Ballater Street by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : Railway bridge in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5964 : City Union Railway line by Thomas Nugent NS5864 : Railway bridges in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5864 : Railway bridge in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5864 : Railway bridges in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5864 : Gorbals tower blocks by Thomas Nugent NS5864 : Railway bridge in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent

Main Street station (closed)

Main Street station opened in 1872 and had a very short life, closing in 1900 when nearby Cumberland Street station opened.
NS5864 : Railway bridge in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5863 : Gorbals railway arches by Thomas Nugent

Cumberland Street station (closed)

Opened as Eglington Street station in 1901, the station building still stands today but is disused and looking pretty derelict. It has been closed since 1966.
NS5863 : Railway bridge in The Gorbals by Thomas Nugent NS5863 : Cumberland Street Station by Thomas Nugent NS5863 : Cumberland Street Station by Thomas Nugent NS5863 : Cumberland Street Station by Thomas Nugent

Bellahouston station (closed)

Bellahouston stood slightly northeast of the present Dumbreck station. It closed to passengers in 1954 and to goods in 1964.
NS5663 : Bellahouston Station by Ben Brooksbank

Dumbreck Station

Opened in 1990, close to the site of the original Bellahouston station which closed in 1954.
NS5663 : Dumbreck Station by Richard Webb NS5663 : Dumbreck railway station by Thomas Nugent NS5663 : Dumbreck railway station by Thomas Nugent NS5663 : Dumbreck railway station by Thomas Nugent

Corkerhill Depot

The passenger service is diesel only, but the line from Shields Depot to Corkerhill Depot is electrified.
NS5462 : Corkerhill Depot by Thomas Nugent NS5462 : Corkerhill Depot by Thomas Nugent

Corkerhill station

The station is still in use today.
NS5362 : Corkerhill station by Stephen Sweeney NS5362 : Corkerhill railway station by Thomas Nugent NS5362 : Corkerhill railway station by Thomas Nugent NS5362 : Corkerhill railway station by Thomas Nugent NS5362 : Corkerhill railway station by Thomas Nugent

Mosspark Station

A station opened here in 1938 to serve the Empire Exhibition at nearby Bellahouston Park. The station is still in use today.
NS5363 : Mosspark railway station, looking WNW by Andrew Reid NS5363 : Mosspark railway station, looking ESE by Andrew Reid

Look out for Crookston Castle which is just across the river, south of the station.
NS5262 : Crookston Castle by Lairich Rig NS5263 : White Cart Water Near Mosspark Station by Iain Thompson


Crookston station

The station is still in use today.
NS5263 : Crookston railway station by Thomas Nugent

KML

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