Glasgow Central railway station :: Shared Description

Glasgow Central is the biggest and busiest railway station in Scotland and is the second busiest station in the UK outside of London (after Birmingham New Street) based on 2010-2011 data. 98,000 people use the station each day, which is close to 34 million people per year.

The station was opened by the Caledonian Railway Company on 1st August 1879. The architect was Sir Robert Rowand Anderson LinkExternal link of Edinburgh who also designed Central Station Hotel which is an integral part of the station.

The roof of the original station was added in 1882 and was designed by Edinburgh Engineers Blyth and Cunningham. It is a longitudinal ridge and furrow design measuring 213ft wide by 560ft long, which made it one of the largest single span covered spaces in the world at that time.

The station was extended in 1905 by architect James Miller LinkExternal link and Donald Mathieson LinkExternal link who was Engineer-in-Chief and General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Co. The extension roof (a two transverse ridge and furrow design) was also by Blyth and Cunningham. Miller also extended Central Station Hotel at the same time.

The original station extends from Platform 1 to Platform 9 (Platform 9 was added in 1882), with Miller's 1905 extension stretching from Platform 10 to Platform 15. A dual line of pillars between Platforms 9 and 10 marks the boundary between the two main phases of the station.

Platforms 1 to 15 are terminal platforms and are located "upstairs". Glasgow Central Low Level station has two through platforms (16 and 17) which run under ground, at right angles to the other platforms. The low level station closed on 5 October 1964 but reopened on 5 November 1979.

The station has the largest glazed roof in the world; consisting of 48,000 panes of glass, it covers an area of approx 6.8 acres. Here is a LinkExternal link to a stunning 360 degree panoramic photo of the roof.

Sir Robert Rowand Anderson took inspiration from Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Bristol Temple Meads station in Bristol (which Brunel described as "a cathedral to the iron horse") by incorporating cathedral-like windows in the design of the station. Miller and Mathieson did likewise when they designed the 1905 extension NS5865 : Central Station "cathedral window".

Although this station is on the north bank of the River Clyde, the terminal station serves only stations south of the Clyde. This consists mostly of local commuter lines, including Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Largs, Ardrosan, Ayr, Kilmarnock, Stranraer, Neilston, Paisley Canal Street, East Kilbride, the Cathcart Circle, Newton and Edinburgh.

Services to England include Carlisle, London Euston (including the Caledonian Sleeper), London Kings Cross, Manchester Airport, Birmingham and Plymouth.

Glasgow Central Low Level services serve mostly the north side of the Clyde, including Helensburgh, Balloch, Dalmuir, Milngavie, Lanark, Larkhall, Motherwell and Coatbridge Central.

The following short videos by Paul Lyons on youtube provide a fascinating insight to the history of the station.

LinkExternal link to video 1, about the construction of the station.
LinkExternal link to video 2, about some of the famous people with connections to the station.
LinkExternal link to video 3, about the labyrinth of tunnels under the station.
LinkExternal link to video 4, some anecdotes about Central Station Hotel.
by Thomas Nugent
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NS5865 : Glasgow Central railway station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : New platforms at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central Low Level Station by Thomas Nugent
NS5864 : Glasgow Central railway station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : The railway and World War I by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Virgin Pendolino train at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5864 : Glasgow Central Station - 8 April 2014 (2) by The Carlisle Kid
NS5865 : Social distancing floor markers by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : New train mock-up at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Recycling bins and water fountain, Glasgow Central Station by Stephen Craven
NS5865 : Gordon Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : The Royal Scot train at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central railway station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Argyle Street by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central Station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : The Caledonian Sleeper at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Scotrail Class 380 train by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow rooftops by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central railway station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central railway station poppies by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : The Caledonian Sleeper at Glasgow Central by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central Station - 8 April 2014 (1) by The Carlisle Kid
NS5865 : The Caledonian Sleeper at Glasgow Central station by Thomas Nugent
NS5865 : Glasgow Central railway station by Thomas Nugent

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Created: Sun, 17 Feb 2013, Updated: Wed, 16 Oct 2013

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