General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway
|General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway|
The General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway was authorised on 3 July 1846 and it opened, in part, in December 1848.
It linked the Polloc and Govan Railway with the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway, the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway and the Clydesdale Junction Railway.
In the 1921 Railway Grouping it became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS).
From its terminus at the River Clyde, the General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway proceeded to Scotland Street Junction, where one branch crossed under the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway to join the City Union Line at Port Eglinton Junction. The other branch crossed under both the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway and the Paisley Canal Line; before splitting at Terminus Junction. One branch joined the Glasgow, Barrhead and Neilson Direct Railway and the Cathcart District Railway at Muirhouse Central Junction, the other branch passed through one of the Eglinton Street Tunnels and joined the Polloc and Govan Railway.
Expansion under British Railways
In 1954, as part of their development of their Ravenscraig steelworks, near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Colvilles Ltd and British Railways began installing new wharfage and facilities at General Terminus Quay. This was to allow the simultaneously unloading of two large ships carrying bulk iron ore. The ships were designed to hold 12,000 tons (12,200 metric tonnes) of iron ore.
Iron ore was to be transported, in bulk, by railway, from the River Clyde to the Lanarkshire steel works at, Motherwell. In March 1949, forward plans by Colvilles suggested that the General Terminus Quay ore handling facility would be handling two million tons of basic iron ore per year. 1,020,000 tons per year for the Clyde Iron Works and 980,000 tons for Ravenscraig steelworks. In 1954, Scotland imported 1,436,000 tons (1,460,000 metric tonnes) of iron ore, mainly from Sweden, North Africa, and Newfoundland.
Run down and redevelopment
The opening of the deep water Hunterston Ore Terminal, near West Kilbride, in the early 1970s led to The General Terminus Quay ceasing to handle this traffic and the ore handling equipment was demolished in the early 1980s.
A large area of the river frontage, including part of Windmillcroft Quay, Springfield Quay, General Terminus Quay, Mavisbank Quay and Princes Dock, was cleared in the early 1980s. Mavisbank Quay and the mostly infilled Princes Dock area was used to host the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. The former Glasgow Garden Festival site was relatively quickly redeveloped after the end of the six month festival; however the General Terminus Quay site was left vacant. It has since been used for housing and nearly all traces of the railway line have been removed between the River Clyde and its passage under the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway.
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