Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway

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Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway
Locale Scotland
Dates of operation 15 July 1837 – 9 July 1847
Successor Caledonian Railway
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Fort Matilda
Greenock Princes Pier(G&AR)
Newton Street Tunnel
Greenock West
Greenock Central
Greenock and Ayrshire Railway
Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway
Port Glasgow (Inch Green) Goods(G&AR)
Port Glasgow
Bishopton Tunnel
Walkinshaw North & South Junctions
Paisley St James
Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Paisley and Barrhead District Railway
Paisley Gilmour Street
Wallneuk Junction
Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway

The Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway was an early railway, which merged with the Caledonian Railway. It was created to provide train services between Greenock and Glasgow.


The railway company was formed by Act of Parliament on 15 July 1837; and the line opened on 31 March 1841, having been delayed from the previous year after difficulties constructing a tunnel at Bishopton.[1] The contract for the first seven miles of the railway was agreed in 1839, the engineer being Joseph Locke and the contractor Thomas Brassey.[2][3] This was to be the first work of Locke in Scotland; and Brassey's fourth contract.[3]

The first Secretary to the railway appointed in 1837 was Captain Mark Huish who at that time was new to railway management. He later went on to become the General Manager of the London & North Western Railway Company.[4]

The company was set up to provide through train services between Greenock and Glasgow. Its line originally ran from Greenock to Paisley, where it joined the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway: a line it jointly owned with the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.[1] Both companies received their Act of Parliament on the same day, and had been advised that the necessary Acts of Parliament to build their lines between Glasgow and Paisley could only gained by forming a joint company to build and run that portion.[1] The anticipated problem was obtaining the necessary agreement from the land owners.[1] Due to the failure of the Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal to be completed beyond Johnstone, both railway companies were required to start work from both ends of their respective lines.[1]

The Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway merged with the Caledonian Railway in 1847.[1]

Extension to Gourock[edit]

The Caledonian Railway bought Gourock Pier and the surrounding land in 1869; and obtained an Act of Parliament on 21 March 1878 to build a railway line and a quay.[1] It built an extension to the existing line, which was opened on 1 January 1889. The line provided several new stations from Greenock to Gourock, and allowed the Caledonian Railway to have their own rail-connected steamer pier in the area, directly competing with the Glasgow and South Western Railway's Princes Pier.

Connections to other lines[edit]

Current operations[edit]

Today, this line together with the former Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway is fully operational as the Inverclyde Line; with Georgetown/Houston station on the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway, and various stations on the Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway, having closed.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas (1971), Chapter VII: The River Clyde and Loch Lomond
  2. ^ Helps, Arthur [1872] (2006). The Life and Works of Mr Brassey. Republished Nonsuch, 2006, page 106. ISBN 1-84588-011-0
  3. ^ a b Webster
  4. ^ Gourvish, Terry (1972). Mark Huish and the London and North Western Railway, A Study of Management. Leicester: Leicester University Press.


  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. 
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Robertson, C.J.A. (1983). The Origins of the Scottish Railway System: 1722-1844. Edinburgh: John Donald (Publishers). ISBN 0-85976-088.
  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. OCLC 22311137. 
  • Thomas, John (1971). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume 6 Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5408-6.
  • Webster, N.W. (1970). Joseph Locke: Railway Revolutionary. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. ISBN 0-04-385055-3.

External links[edit]