Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway

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Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway
Locale Scotland
Dates of operation September 1840 – 31 December 1922
Successor London Midland and Scottish Railway
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Glasgow Central
River Clyde
parts of former station reused as carriage sidings
Glasgow Bridge Street
Eglinton Street Goods Station
Cook Street Mineral Station (G&SWR)
Polloc and Govan Railway, Cathcart District Railway
Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway
West Street (Cook Street)
City of Glasgow Union Railway
General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway
Shields Road
Shields Junction (simplified)
Paisley Canal Line
Princes Dock Joint Railway
Ibrox East and West Junctions
Cardonald Junction
Glasgow and Renfrew District Railway
Arkleston Junction
Paisley and Renfrew Railway
Paisley Greenlaw Goods
Wallneuk Junction
Paisley Gilmour Street
Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway

The Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway company was formed in 1837 to provide a railway link between Glasgow and Paisley, Scotland. It was promoted jointly by the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.

With the passing of the Railways Act 1921 (Grouping Act) the line, together with the Caledonian and Glasgow and South Western railways, became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The line is still in use today as the eastern end of the Inverclyde Line and the Ayrshire Coast Line.


Both the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (GP&G) (later to become part of the Caledonian Railway company) and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway (GPK&A) (later to become part of the Glasgow and South Western Railway company) wished to run their respective railways between Glasgow and Paisley. However, they were told that the necessary Acts of Parliament to build the lines could only gained by forming a joint company to run the line between Glasgow and Paisley. The anticipated problem was obtaining the necessary agreement from the land owners.

The GP&G and the GPK&A both received their respective Acts on 15 July 1837. 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.

The GPK&A was the first line to open, in September 1840, and GP&G opened in March 1841, due to the difficulties of cutting a tunnel through whinstone at Bishopton.

The Joint Railway line ran from Glasgow Bridge Street railway station on the south of the River Clyde to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station. At Gilmour Street, the GP&G and the GPK&A continued on their separate ways.

Glasgow extensions and service redirections[edit]

  • Central station: Some thirty years later, on 31 July 1879, the Caledonian Railway opened their new Glasgow terminus at Glasgow Central; the line having been extended across the Clyde via a four-track bridge built by Sir William Arrol & Co.. Bridge Street station was also refurbished to include two new through platforms leading to Central Station and four bay platforms: two for the Caledonian and two for the Glasgow and South Western.
  • St Enoch station: Three years earlier, on 1 May 1876, the City of Glasgow Union Railway opened their new Glasgow terminus at St Enoch railway station. It used a different crossing over the Clyde. Their new line left the Joint Railway near Shields Junction and continued along the City of Glasgow Union Railway, through the Gorbals, and crossed the Clyde at Hutchesontown to St Enoch station; construction of the line having taken 11 years. In 1883, St Enoch railway station became the headquarters of the Glasgow and South Western Railway, by then the owner of the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, and it moved all its passenger services to St Enoch.
  • Closure of Bridge Street station: Whilst the Caledonian Railway redirected their London services through Bridge Street station into Central Station, Bridge Street remained the terminus for the Clyde coast services for another twenty five years. After Central Station was refurbished and extended (1901–1905) and an additional, eight-track, bridge built over the Clyde, Bridge Street station was closed in 1905 and its remaining services redirected to Central Station. The vacant site of the Bridge Street station bay platforms were used as carriage sidings for Central Station; and the site of the through platforms used for running lines for Central station.

Govan and Princes Dock branches[edit]

Connections to other lines[edit]

Quadruple tracks[edit]

In the 1890s, or later, the original double track line between Bridge Street station and Paisley Gilmour Street station was increased to quadruple tracks.[2]

They were reduced to double tracks between Shields Junction and Arkleston Junction during the mid 1960s railway electrification of what is now known as the Inverclyde Line services between Glasgow Central and Gourock and Wemyss Bay, and the slow lines were removed between Arkleston Junction and Wallneuk Junction during the 1980s electrification of the Ayrshire Coast Line.

As part of the now abandoned Glasgow Airport Rail Link, work started in Autumn 2007 to reinstate a third track between Shields Junction and Arkleston Junction and four passenger lines between Arkleston Junction and Wallneuk Junction. These new tracks were opened to traffic in early 2012.

Present day: Inverclyde and Ayrshire Coast Lines[edit]

The Joint Railway line, between Glasgow Central Station and Paisley Gilmour Street, is still in use today as part of the Inverclyde Line and the Ayrshire Coast Line; although Central station is the only one of the three (mentioned above) Glasgow stations still in existence.

The Inverclyde Line was electrified in 1967; with electric Class 311 electric multiple unit (EMUs) rolling stock specially built for the line in 1967, although Class 303 EMUs were also used. During electrification the line lost its quadruple tracks between Shields Junction and Arkleston Junction, the two middle lines were removed.[2]

The Ayrshire Coast Line was electrified later in 1985. British Rail Class 318 EMUs were introduced on the Ayrshire Coast Line, replacing the elderly British Rail Class 101, Class 107 and Class 126 diesel multiple units. As part of these works, the Slow Lines between Arkleston Junction and Paisley Gilmour Street were taken out of use.


There was an accident[3][4] to the west side of Shields Junction on 30 August 1973 when an Inverclyde Line service from Wemyss Bay to Glasgow Central crashed into the rear of an Ayrshire Coast Line service from Ayr which was just starting away from a signal.

The western end of the line was the scene of a railway accident, on 16 April 1979, when an Inverclyde Line service from Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay crossed from the Down Fast Line to the Down Gourock Line at Wallneuk Junction, immediately to the east of Paisley Gilmour Street railway station.[5] It collided head-on with an Ayrshire Coast Line special service from Ayr, which had left Platform 2 against a red signal.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Casserley (1968)
  2. ^ a b Smith (n/d)
  3. ^ accident
  4. ^ "Report on the Collision that occurred on 30th August 1973 at Shields Junction in the Scottish Region British Railways" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 1977. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Hall, Chapter 6


  • Thomas, John (Introduction) (n.d.) [post-1977 and pre-1982]. Smith, W. A. C. (compiler), ed. Rails Around Glasgow. Paisley: Scottish Steam Railtours Group. ISBN 0-9506-9090-2. 

External links[edit]