Location type


Names and dates

Govan (1868-1875)
Govan (1880-1899)
Govan (1902-1906)
Govan (1911-1921)

Opened on the Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway).


This was a single platform terminus on the south side of Govan Road. The platform was on the west side of a loop and there was a large goods yard on the east side.

The station was approached from the south, from Ibrox Junction. The platform had a long platform. The goods yard had a large goods shed and eight sets of sidings.

The signal box was at the south end of the passenger platform. Close to this was a turntable, on the east side of the passenger lines and with the goods lines flowing round its eastern side.

Ship yards

Between the passenger station and the goods station a siding ran north to join the tramway system by which the Fairfield Shipyard (still open and now better known as the Govan Shipyard) to the north west could be reached.

Just to the north was Harland and Wolff's Govan Shipyard [2nd]. This was formed by merging the sites of the Govan Ship Yard [1st] (Robert Napier), Middleton Shipyard and Govan Yard.

To the east are the Govan Graving Docks.

The Govan Tube Works and Glasgow Railway Engineering Works were to the west of the station. To the south were the Govan Foundry (of Harland & Wolff), British Polar Diesel Engine Works (still in business) and Moore Park Boiler Works.

Passenger openings and closures

Passenger trains were withdrawn between 1875 and 1880.

Regular trains, known as 'Bus Trains' ran from Springburn, Bellgrove and Gallowgate from 1887, using the City of Glasgow Union Railway line.

These trains were withdrawn with the electrification of the tram routes and their more regular (and much more direct) services. Also nearby was the new Govan [Subway] station with a very direct service to the city centre.

The Glasgow District Subway opened in 1896. Its Broomloan Depot [Subway] was opened alongside the Govan terminus, on the east side of the goods yard.

The station had a further series of openings and closing. It was closed between 1899 and 1902 and between 1906 and 1911. The railway struggled to compete with the tramway system which was electrified around 1901/2. Final closure to regular passengers was in 1921.

Later period

The goods yard remained busy. The signal box was dispensed with in 1933.

The turntable was removed and the goods yard was altered allowing the southern end of the sidings to be laid straight, rather than curving round the turntable.

The branch finally closed altogether in 1966. One of its last uses was the crane loading of Caledonian 123 onto road transport for the journey to the Glasgow Transport museum at Coplawhill Tram Depot.

Much of the trackbed to the south was used by the Subway for a test track.

To the east of the station site is Broomloan Depot [Subway], some of the surface sidings of which overlap the southern part of the former goods yard.


Terminus station

Chronology Dates

  /  /    Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway)
Locomotive shed, Govan Shed, opened at Govan.
  /  /1788William Dixon [Junior]
Born in Govan.
01/05/1868Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway)
Govan branch opened to goods from triangular junction at Ibrox.
02/12/1868Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway)
Opened to passengers with one station, Govan, at the terminus.
01/04/1871City of Glasgow Union Railway
Service from Dunlop Street to Govan commences. (Main Street Gorbals may have opened at this time.)
  /  /1876Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway)
Access to Fairfield Shipyard (from Govan) and Linthouse Shipyard (originally from Govan later from Shieldhall Goods) over the Vale of Clyde Tramways using locomotives approved - if approved by Board of Trade (it was approved).
01/12/1882Glasgow, Yoker and Clydebank Railway
Opened from Yoker Junction, Hyndland, to Clydebank [1st] (later Clydebank East). This line was used in conjunction with a ferry over the Clyde and the Stobcross Railway station at Partick for shipyard workers who lived in Govan to travel to the Clyde Bank Iron Shipyard [2nd] which had re-located from Govan. A line ran west from Clydebank [1st] into the shipyard over the Forth and Cart Canal. With the opening of the railway the Forth and Cart lost most of its business.
  /  /1890Dugald Drummond
Leaves the Caledonian Railway to set up the Glasgow Railway Engineering Co Ltd at Glasgow Railway Engineering Works, Helen Street, Govan.
  /  /1894Glasgow District Subway
Agreement between the Glasgow District Subway and the Caledonian Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway companies (owners of the Govan Branch (Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway)) over purchase of land for Broomloan Depot [Subway] by Govan station.
01/09/1904Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway
New service from Pontypridd (Tram Road) Halt on the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway, east of the Taff Vale Railway station, to Caerphilly started. Uses two steam railmotors built by the Glasgow Railway Engineering Works (Glasgow Railway and Engineering Company) of Govan. Seven halts opened on route.
  /  /1912Govan Shipbuilding Yard
Harland & Wolff takes over the Govan Shipyard [1st]. From west to east: the workshops were built by William Arrol and Co on the former Water Row Ship Yard, six slips were built on the Govan Shipyard [1st] and Middleton Shipbuilding Yard, a further slip and the fitting out basin on the Govan East Iron Shipbuilding Yard (Govan Yard). The rebuilt shipyard was now accessed directly by rail over Govan Road from Govan station.

News items

01/09/2023The Govan Drydocks have been named as a finalist in the prestigious National Maritime SME Awards [Scottish Business News]
26/05/2023Restoration work on historic TSS Queen Mary steamer set to begin at Govan docks [STV]
21/04/2023Glasgow active travel projects gain £3.6m boost [Scottish Construction Now]
23/02/2023BAE Systems new warship factory given the green light in Glasgow [The National]
06/02/2023Historic Govan Graving Docks secure restoration funding [BBC News]
28/10/2022No Subway services on Sunday 6 and 13 November [SPT]
03/08/2022'This is still a shipbuilding community': Govan museum brings Glasgow's famous industry to life [Glasgow Times]
28/07/2022Glasgow could get huge £200m 'frigate factory' at BAE Systems' Govan yard [GlasgowLive]
28/07/2022Govan-built HMS Glasgow to enter water for first time [Glasgow Evening Times]
12/06/2022The Govan museum keeping Glasgow's incredible shipbuilding heritage alive [GlasgowLive]


An Illustrated History of Glasgow's Railways