Gourock railway station

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Gourock National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Gurraig[1]
Gourock Railway Station concourse Mar 2019.jpg
Concourse, with walkway to Ferry Terminal
Local authorityInverclyde
Coordinates55°57′43″N 4°48′57″W / 55.9619°N 4.8158°W / 55.9619; -4.8158Coordinates: 55°57′43″N 4°48′57″W / 55.9619°N 4.8158°W / 55.9619; -4.8158
Grid referenceNS243779
Station codeGRK
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms3
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.483 million
2014/15Increase 0.535 million
2015/16Increase 0.563 million
2016/17Decrease 0.510 million
2017/18Increase 0.512 million
1 June 1889Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Gourock from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Gourock railway station is a terminus of the Inverclyde Line, located at Gourock pierhead, Scotland, and serving the town as well as the ferry services it was originally built for.


The Caledonian Railway found that their service to Greenock Central station, which was an inconvenient walk away from the quay, was losing Clyde steamer trade to the new Glasgow and South Western Railway terminal at Prince's Pier in Greenock. The Caledonian Railway extended their line through a new tunnel to the small fishing village of Gourock, with the railway running on the seaward side of Shore Street to the terminal which opened on 1 June 1889[2] and subsequently based the headquarters of their steamer fleet there. The station was designed by the architect James Miller and engineer-in-chief, George Graham.[3] The initial services laid on in 1889 were from Glasgow to Gourock with 26 trains daily, with one additional one on Saturdays. The fastest journey time was 40 minutes and each train could carry 604 passengers, 224 of them in 1st class accommodation, the rest in 3rd class.[2]

Inspector Halliday from the western district of the Caledonian Railway was appointed stationmaster, and Mr Anderson, assistant stationmaster at Cathcart Street Station, Greenock, was appointed as assistant stationmaster at Gourock.[4]

The station was built to take large numbers of passengers boarding the steamers. Originally the curving station had 17 canopy bays each side over three railway lines, three bays full width then the westmost 19 bays covered one line which continued on, and a central concourse with adjacent offices and stores etc. fronting the pier.

On 16 June 1935 a holiday train overran the platform and collided with the buffers. Three people were hospitalised.[5]

On 12 December 1957 a fire broke out in the station building. The refreshment room and waiting rooms were badly damaged.[6]

Class 314 train leaving the pierhead while a ferry sets off for Dunoon

The line from Glasgow was electrified as part of the Inverclyde Line electrification scheme by British Rail. The 25 kV A.C system was used with electric operation commencing in September 1967.

In the 1980s the westernmost end of the station was cut back by 18 bays, and in the 1990s the adjacent timber quay was demolished. More recently the remaining glazed canopies over the platforms have been taken down, leaving only the cast iron supporting structure and the slate roofs and glazed canopies over a section incorporating a ticket office and a waiting room. The adjacent Bay Hotel was also demolished in the 1990s with its site being grassed over and in 2006 a portable ticket office was put in place at the end wall which had been erected when the station was cut back and the old ticket office was closed.

Landscaped approach from Shore Street to Gourock railway station, with MV Argyle and MV Coruisk heading to and from the Ferry Terminal.

Approval was given in 1999 for plans initiated by Inverclyde Council, Caledonian MacBrayne and Railtrack, which involved shortening the railway tracks and constructing a new station adjacent to Caledonian MacBrayne's headquarters. This formed part of a major development scheme, with the space formerly occupied by the station together with the grassed area which had been the site of the Bay Hotel providing space for two major supermarkets and housing. Alexander George was appointed preferred developer, but Network Rail was slow to come to an agreement on relocating the station. The work involved in shortening the tracks would have involved considerable expense and meant closing the station for 18 months. The delay left the station looking rather neglected. Then, near the end of September 2006, new plans were announced following intervention by the transport minister Tavish Scott. A considerable saving is to be made by not moving the station so far, so that the work involved is reduced and it will only have to be closed for four or five weeks. Only one supermarket is now proposed, with 580 houses being constructed in blocks facing out onto the Clyde.[7]

In the interim, the station was renovated at a predicted cost of £630,000 to provide a new entrance, glass roof and toilets, and improved waiting facilities. David Simpson, route director for Network Rail in Scotland, advised that they needed to carry out essential work to make the station more comfortable for the 400,000 passengers using it every year, while continuing to "explore the longer-term options for the station with our industry partners".[8]

The new ticket office in November 2010

A new station building was designed by IDP Architects[9] and by the end of 2010 it was in use, and work on demolishing the existing canopies and providing new shelters on platforms proceeded through 2011. The new station building was officially opened on 1 August 2012 by Alex Neil MSP, with all works having cost £8m.[10]

As part of a new one way system completed in 2016, the station approach has been reorganised, with new car parking and a promenade along past Kempock Point.

The station is fully staffed throughout the hours of service, seven days per week. There are three active platforms in use.[11]


Station buildings seen from platform 1, with Class 385 train in service.

There is a regular service (4 trains per hour) to and from Glasgow Central via Paisley Gilmour Street on weekdays & Saturdays. Of these, two operate as limited stop expresses beyond Greenock Central, whilst the other pair stop at all intermediate stations. In the evening (after 18:30), 2tph operate (one semi-fast & one stopper) whilst on Sundays there is an hourly service calling at all intermediate stations.[12]

The nearby Ferry Terminus is the headquarters of Caledonian MacBrayne who run a passenger ferry to Dunoon from the pier. These ferries are currently in Argyll Ferries livery, but are to be rebranded in CalMac livery. The pier also serves Clyde Marine passenger ferries to Kilcreggan.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Inverclyde Line
  Fort Matilda
"boat icon" Ferry services
Dunoon   Caledonian MacBrayne
Cowal Ferry
Kilcreggan   Kilcreggan Ferry
Rosneath Ferry
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Caledonian Railway
Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway
  Fort Matilda



  1. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. "Gaelic/English Station Index". Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  2. ^ a b "Opening of New Railway to Gourock". Glasgow Herald. England. 3 June 1889. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ "James Miller". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Historic Scotland. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Railway Appointments at Gourock". Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette. England. 4 May 1889. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Buffer Crash at Gourock". Aberdeen Press and Journal. England. 17 June 1935. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Blaze at Rail Station". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 12 December 1957. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ Greenock Telegraph 28 September 2006
  8. ^ Greenock Telegraph 12 October 2006
  9. ^ "Gourock Station". IDP Architects. IDP Architects. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Cabinet Secretary officially opens new £8m Station". Global Railway Review. Russell Publishing Ltd. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Railscot - Gourock Extension (Caledonian Railway)" Railscot; Retrieved 2 September 2016
  12. ^ Table 219 National Rail timetable, May 2016

External links[edit]

Media related to Gourock railway station at Wikimedia Commons

Media related to Trains at Gourock railway station at Wikimedia Commons