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Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway

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Paisley and Barrhead District Railway
Glasgow and Renfrew District Railway
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Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway

This line is open. The line was built as a double track railway shared between the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (later the Caledonian Railway) and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway (later the Glasgow and South Western Railway).

Traffic levels increased and the line was quadrupled. When the line was quadrupled the tunnel at Arkleston, to the east of paisley, was opened out into a cutting. The line was converted back to double track when it was electrified. There are now capacity problems on the line and some or all may be quadrupled again.

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Act 1837
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Opened 1840
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Clickable map of the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway

Local area 

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This line runs west from Glasgow to Paisley. It starts by running through the south of Glasgow in the Shields Road area (lots of industrial estates) to Ibrox (housing and football stadium) and on to Cardonald (more housing) and Hillington (industrial estates) before crossing a short area of countryside and entering Paisley. The line is shaddowed and regularly crossed by the M8 motorway.

Chronology 

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Description of route 

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From Paisley Gilmour Street to Bridge Street, Glasgow.

Paisley Gilmour Street

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This is the principal station in Paisley. It has four platforms and is the meeting point of two lines; the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. These approach from the north west and south west respectively before running east to Glasgow. The photograph shows the under-pass between the platforms. A new passenger lift has been installed at the station.

Greenlaw Goods

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This goods yard was located to the north of the line and to the east of Gilmour Street station. IT was located in the 'V' of the Arkleston Junction and was one of the principal goods yards in Paisley. Today a single siding remains for a track maintenance machine. This was also the site of the short lived Greenlaw Junction.

Arkleston Junction

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This was the east facing junction with the former Paisley and Renfrew Railway. This line ran south from Renfrew to the junction with the main line. The lines of the branch ran parallel with the main line until nearly as far as the former Arkleston tunnel before joining the main line. The original junction was located further west closer to Greenlaw Goods Yard. The branch line and junction were lifted around 1986/1987 and a large area of former trackbed now exists to the north of the existing main lines.

To the south here the Paisley and Barrhead District Railway approached the main line from the south. As this line approach it split the intention being that there be a west facing and east facing junction with that line here. The connection were never put in - the approaching tracks stopped just short of the main line.

To the south of the main line today there are some long sidings used by track maintenance trains. To the east of the site was the former Arkleston tunnel, opened out when the line was quadrupled.

Hillington West

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This two platform station was opened to serve the Hillington Industrial estate. The platforms were built on either side of the quadruple track. The two central tracks were lifted during electrification.

Hillington East

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This two platform station was opened to serve the Hillington Industrial estate. The platforms were built on either side of the quadruple track. The two central tracks were lifted during electrification.

Cardonald Junction

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This is an east facing junction where the former Glasgow and Renfrew District Railway joined the line from the north west. A short section of this line remains open to freight today to serve the Deanside Transit depot.

Cardonald

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This is a two platform station. The platforms were built on either side of the quadruple track. The two central tracks were lifted during electrification. To the west of the station can be seen Cardonald Junction.

Ibrox West Junction

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This former west facing junction was for the Govan Branch. The formation is barely visible today. (Well now - is this an imaginary junction on my part and really just the trackbed of the line to the council rubbish site?)

Ibrox East Junction

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This former east facing junction was for the Govan Branch. The formation is still visible.

Ibrox

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This was a two platform station. The platforms were built on either side of the quadruple track. The two central tracks were lifted during electrification and the platforms here demolished.

Shields Road

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To the west of the former Shields Road station and describing from west to east we have;

- to the south the former Paisley Canal Line meets the line at an east facing junction.
- to the south of the lines is the Shields Road Depot for Electric Multiple Units and electric locomotives. (Built on the closed and lifted Paisley Canal Line to City of Glasgow Union Railway alignment.
- to the south the former General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway branches off to the south to run parallel to the railway but at a lower level.
- to the south the former City of Glasgow Union Railway branches off to the south, (before turning north to run to High Street), from a west facing junction.

The former Shields Road station had two platforms on the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway and two platforms, slightly further south on the former City of Glasgow Union Railway. Below the four platforms and running from south east to north was the former General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway line to General Terminus which had an east facing junction on its system immediately south of (and at a lower level to) Shields Road station. Further south still was the Shields station on the closed and lifted Paisley Canal Line to City of Glasgow Union Railway alignment.

Smithy Lye

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To the east of Shields Road station, on the east side of a large road bridge over the site, are the electrified Smithy Lye sidings. These somewhat decrepit sidings have been used in recent years for storing redundant stock, in particular after the electrification of the railway to Ayr the old Diesel Multiple Units were stored here.

Here a connection ran from an east facing junction with the City of Glasgow Union Railway, passed under the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway and on to a north facing junction with the General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway line to General Terminus. Little remains of this alignment. It was over this connection that the North British Railway was to gain access to General Terminus despite the fact it did not own any lines to this area - although it was a part owner of the Princes Dock Joint Railway which ran from General Terminus to Princes Dock and on to the Govan Branch in Govan.

West Street / Cook Street

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Here was the original eastern terminus of the line and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway's (later the Glasgow and South Western Railway) Glasgow locomotive workshops before they were re-located first to St Enoch's and later to Corkerhill. Nothing remains of the terminus today.

Salkeld Street Parcels

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Not far from the site of West Street is the now closed and largely lifted Salkeld Street Parcels depot shown above. The photograph was taken from a train heading towards Glasgow Central and coming from Paisley. Some of the yard here is now in use as a maintenance depot.

Bridge Street

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The line was extended from the West Street terminus to a better one at Bridge Street where it was met by the lines from Strathbungo and Gushetfaulds. Bridge Street was shared by the Caledonian Railway and the Glasgow and South Western Railway. It was an uneasy alliance. Following the opening of the City of Glasgow Union Railway the Glasgow and South Western Railway largely stopped using Bridge Street although it retained the right to use the station. The Caledonian Railway extended the line north over the River Clyde to Glasgow Central Station.

Today there is no station at Bridge Street and only some imposing office buildings remain to the eastern extreme of the site which is chiefly now a junction to the south of Glasgow Central.


Page created on 11/03/1997
Page last edited on: 11/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford