Paisley Gilmour Street railway station

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Paisley Gilmour Street

Scottish Gaelic: Sràid GhilleMhoire Phàislig[1]
National Rail
2012 at Paisley Gilmour Street station - main entrance.jpg
Paisley Gilmour Street from County Square
LocationPaisley, Renfrewshire
Coordinates55°50′51″N 4°25′27″W / 55.8474°N 4.4242°W / 55.8474; -4.4242Coordinates: 55°50′51″N 4°25′27″W / 55.8474°N 4.4242°W / 55.8474; -4.4242
Grid referenceNS482642
Owned byNetwork Rail
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Transit authoritySPT
Other information
Station codePYG
Original companyGlasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway & Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway
Pre-groupingCR & G&SWR
Key dates
14 July 1840Opened: 2 platforms and 2 lines[2]
1880Expanded to 4 lines and 4 platforms
2016/17Decrease 4.115 million
2017/18Increase 4.152 million
2018/19Decrease 4.028 million
2019/20Decrease 3.904 million
2020/21Decrease 0.983 million
 Interchange 18,619
Listed Building – Category B
Designated27 March 1985
Reference no.LB38950[3]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Paisley Gilmour Street railway station is the largest of the four stations serving the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland (the others being Paisley St. James, Paisley Canal and Hawkhead), and acts as the town's principal railway station. The station is managed by Abellio ScotRail and serves the Ayrshire Coast Line and Inverclyde Line, 7+14 miles (11.7 km) west of Glasgow Central. The station is protected as a category B listed building.[3]


Railway Clearing House diagram of lines through Paisley in 1908

The station was opened on 14 July 1840 on the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway (GPK&AR).[2] The station was used jointly by the GPK&AR and the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (GP&GR). However, the GP&GR did not run services until March 1841 due to construction difficulties at Bishopton.[4]

It was originally built with only two through platforms, with the GPK&R and the GP&GR lines separating to the west of the station. The station was later expanded to four platforms, two for the GPK&R and two for the GP&GR, with the lines separating to the east of the station.[5]

The section between Glasgow Bridge Street railway station and Paisley Gilmour Street station was a joint line: the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway.

Twentieth century[edit]

The station was electrified as part of the 1967 Inverclyde Line. Ayrshire Coast Line platforms (then numbered 1 and 2) were wired, however the wires finished a short distance west of the station. These were extended as part of the Ayrshire Line electrification by British Rail in 1986. This 1986 work coincided with the renumbering of the platforms with the Glasgow bound platforms numbered 1 (Inverclyde) and 3 (Ayrshire), and the outbound platforms numbers 2 (Inverclyde) and 4 (Ayrshire).

Following extensive works,[when?] Paisley Gilmour Street now has step-free access to all platforms, and the main access onto County Square, has been joined by a re-opened back access onto Back Sneddon Street. The access was originally built along with the station, but had closed and had been converted into a model shop for a number of years. Despite this conversion the shop retained the steps up to stations lower concourse, however it has been bricked up to prevent access. When the shop owner retired, it was decided to purchase the unit and convert it back as part of the step free access works for disabled people, as it would increase space within the station, and the works were fairly simple since the original stairs were retained. After re-opening it was signed as a dedicated exit to the station for those wishing to use the bus link to the airport, as the buses stop directly outside the door and the airport cycle route which passes outside.

A collision occurred between two trains at the eastern end of the station on Easter Monday 1979 which resulted in the deaths of seven people.


A Class 380 on an Inverclyde Line service to Glasgow Central in 2012

Paisley Gilmour Street is the busiest of the four Paisley stations. It has four platforms, with trains running on the Inverclyde and Ayrshire Coast lines. It is the fourth busiest railway station in Scotland, after Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley, and Glasgow Queen Street.[6]

Connecting buses from this station also serve nearby Glasgow Airport (GLA) which is approximately 2 km away. It is possible to buy a railway ticket to and from the airport, which includes not only the train journey but also the journey on McGill's 757 service. The Glasgow Airport Rail Link would have replaced this bus service with a direct train, but the project was cancelled in September 2009 due to public spending cuts.[7] It is also possible to cycle from the station to the Airport using the Airport Cycle Route.

It is an important interchange, not only for the airport bus link, but also for many local buses which depart from the area surrounding the town centre running to destinations throughout the town of Paisley, Renfrew and to the out of town shopping centre, Braehead. It is expected that Braehead will get a dedicated bus link in the future, possibly utilising Hillington East.

The British Transport Police (BTP) maintain a small office here on Platform 1


A Class 311 departs for Gourock in 1981

In the early 1980s up to the electrification of the Ayrshire Coast Line the station was served by:

  • Glasgow - Ayr (DMU): 2 trains per hour (some extended to Girvan)
  • Glasgow - Largs (DMU): 1 train per hour
  • Glasgow - Gourock (EMU): 3 trains per hour
  • Glasgow - Wemyss Bay (EMU): 1 train per hour
  • Glasgow - Ardrossan Winton Pier (DMU): to connect with ferry to Brodick
  • Glasgow - Stranraer Harbour (Loco hauled): to connect with ferry to Larne


A Class 318 heading towards Glasgow in 2001.

As of 2016 the station is served by:[8]

  • Glasgow - Ayr (EMU): 2 trains per hour
    • 3 trains per day continue from Glasgow to Edinburgh via Carstairs (2 on Saturdays)
  • Glasgow - Largs (EMU): 1 train per hour
  • Glasgow - Ardrossan Harbour (EMU): 1 train per hour (5 trains per day on Sundays)
  • Glasgow - Gourock (EMU): 4 trains per hour (1 on Sundays)
  • Glasgow - Wemyss Bay (EMU): 1 train per hour
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Johnstone   Abellio ScotRail
Ayrshire Coast Line
  Glasgow Central
Paisley St James   Abellio ScotRail
Inverclyde Line
  Hillington West
  Historical railways  
Paisley St James   Caledonian Railway
Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway
  Connection with
Connections with
  Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western Railways
Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway
Line open; station closed
  Glasgow and South Western Railway
Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway
  Connection with

Rail & Sea Connections[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Trains connect Ayr along the Glasgow South Western Line to Stranraer where a bus link runs, route 350 operated by McLeans (except Sundays) to Cairnryan.[9] for onward ferries to the Port of Belfast by Stena Line and Larne Harbour by P&O Ferries.

Former connection closed in 2016: along the Ayrshire Coast Line to Troon for the P&O Ferries service to Larne Harbour.

Argyll and Bute[edit]

Trains run from Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay station, connecting with Caledonian MacBrayne's service to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and to Gourock, connecting with Argyll Ferries' service to Dunoon and various Caledonian MacBrayne emergency relief routes

Isle of Arran[edit]

Trains also connect along the Ayrshire Coast Line to Ardrossan Harbour for the Caledonian MacBrayne service to Brodick.



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 180.
  3. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "County Square, Gilmour Street Railway Station (Category B Listed Building) (LB38950)". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  4. ^ Thomas 1971, p. 155.
  5. ^ Thomas 1971, p. 52, has an 1888 photograph of the station with two through platforms; and the two lines separating to the west of the station.
  6. ^ The usage information (Station Entries and Station Exits) is based on ticket sales in the financial year 2004/05 and covers all National Rail stations. Continued usage notes Archived 3 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, and Excel format table for all stations Archived 3 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine available.
  7. ^ "Ministers scrap airport rail plan". BBC News. 17 September 2009. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2009. Scottish Government has scrapped the £120m Glasgow Airport Rail Link amid public spending cut concerns.
  8. ^ Table 219 & 221 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  9. ^ "350 Stranraer - Railway Station - Cairnryan Ferry Ports". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.


  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • 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 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • 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 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
  • Thomas, John (1971). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (1st ed.). Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5408-6. OCLC 16198685.
  • Thomas, John; Paterson, Rev A.J.S. (1984). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (2nd ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-9465-3712-7. OCLC 12521072.

External links[edit]