The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This railway is closed. The line connected the railways on the south side of Glasgow at Dalmarnock with the north side at Germiston, and also provided sidings for the Parkhead Forge. The line made use of an earlier branch to the Blochairn Steel Works from Germiston and was formed of two portions. The connection to Germiston connected onto the approach to Buchanan Street.






Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Germiston to Blackhill

This was the junction between the Buchanan Street to Milton Junction line and the line to Balornock Junction with lines to Dumbarton Central, Robroyston West Junction and south to Rutherglen by The Switchback (Caledonian Railway). The link, and the line to Buchanan Street, closed in 1966.
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This was a four way double track junction. From here a line ran west to Germiston Junction Low (1886), south to Blackhill Junction (same line, 1886), north west to Possil Junction (1894, box opened) and east to Robroyston West Junction (1896).
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Pickersgill 0-6-0 57652 descends gently towards Balornock Junction from the Possil direction with a freight on 10 June 1961. [Ref query 6568] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 10/06/1961

At this junction the lines from Germiston Junction High and Germiston Junction Low met before running south as The Switchback (Caledonian Railway).
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Blochairn to Dalmarnock


BR Standard class 5 73063 heads down the Switchback past Kennyhill Goods on 28 May 1958 with a train of low loaders. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/05/1958
Ex-Caledonian 0-6-0 57557 propelling a brakevan north along the Switchback on 28 May 1958. The combination has just passed below the A80 in the ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/05/1958

This forge in Parkhead was built around 1837 for Reoch Brothers & Co. It grew under William Beardmore's ownership to become a large concern, manufacturing a broad range of products including armaments and heavy steel plate. It was associated with the Beardmore Ship Yard, Inchterf Proving Range and Inchinnan Airship Constructional Station. The larger portfolio extended to ...

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This was controlled by Parkhead Iron Works signal box. ...

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Looking up to Switchback Line...notice the plyon and flats in background. ...
Colin Harkins 29/08/2006
Bridge support carrying the Switchback line across Duke Sreet, Glasgow. ...
Colin Harkins 31/05/2006
If you look across the right of the picture you will find the route taken by the switchback line in years gone by... a head for heights was not ...
Colin Harkins 29/08/2006
Extract from Glasgow City Council plans for the East End Regeneration showing the proposed route over the former Switchback (Caledonian Railway) and ...
Colin Harkins /06/2008

Ex-Caledonian 'Jumbo' 0-6-0 57456 heading south down the Switchback on the approach to London Road Junction, Dalmarnock, on 2 June 1949. Celtic Park ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 02/06/1949