Greenock Central: In 1987, before refurbishment by Railtrack, Greenock Central still featured a large glazed roof over the circulating area. The Gourock Extension platforms had canopies over them but not an overall roof, this having been cut back at an earlier date. The photograph was taken from the end of what must be one of the shortest platforms in the country. The view looks west with the Gourock platforms on the far left. Before the opening of the Gourock Extension the terminal platforms continued to a station on Cathcart Street, serving transatlantic ships via East Quay Lane. The circulating area shown here is now a car park. The Greenock Railway's locomotive shed and works was originally located in the area occupied by the Gourock platforms, resulting in the establishment of Greenock Ladyburn shed as a replacement.
Ewan Crawford 19/09/1987

Greenock Central

Location type


Names and dates

Greenock Cathcart Street [2nd] (1889-1898)
Greenock Central (1898-)

Note: text in square brackets is added for clarity and was not part of the location's name.

Station code: GKC National Rail ScotRail
Where: Inverclyde, Scotland
Opened on the Gourock Extension Railway (Caledonian Railway).
Opened on the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway.
Open on the Inverclyde Lines.


This is the main station in Greenock. It replaced Greenock Cathcart Street [1st] which was the original terminus of the line. The original terminus line was located slightly to the north and the line was cut back to the new station on opening. In addition the new alignment was further north in general. To great local disappointment Greenock Mansion House was demolished as part of the works. The new station opened with extension of the line west to Gourock.

In 1898 it was renamed from 'Greenock Cathcart Street' to 'Greenock Central'.

The station, by James Miller, had a large glazed roof with castellated turrets at the ends of the supporting walls. It has two through platforms and a bay platform with two lines. The roof was partially restored after the Greenock Blitz over the circulating area but with canopies on the platforms.

To the immediate south of the station was Greenock Goods. This was enlarged with the opening of the new station, taking some of the land of the former station. On the north side was the mineral depot on a long dropping ramp and, by reversal, a line to the docks to the north. This replaced a previous mineral depot which was now partly used for the alignment through the station. The new mineral depot was a little to the north of the original.

The station had two boxes: Greenock Central Signal Box on the approach from the east and (until 1921) Greenock No2 at the west end.

During the Greenock Blitz in the Second World War the station was damaged, losing its overall roof. A smaller roof was retained. (Greenock Ladyburn Shed to the east was also badly damaged.)

The circulating area is now the station car park. The cut back roof and canopies were removed in the 1990s. The offices and waiting rooms were on the north and east sides of this area. Of the large former building the entry arches remain and the considerable side walls which once supported the roof. A much smaller, but modern, ticket office and waiting room has been built.




Greenock Cathcart Street

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

Chronology Dates

01/06/1889Gourock Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Opened from Greenock Central to Gourock via the Newton Street Tunnel. A new pier was built at Gourock. Stations opened; Gourock, Fort Matilda, Greenock West and Greenock re-built nearby as Greenock Central. Dellingburn Branch connection modified.
  /03/1998Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway
Greenock Central's overall roof and building largely demolished for station renovation.

News items

26/09/2022Disability access at railway stations in Inverclyde slammed [Greenock Telegraph]
01/02/2022Disabled campaigner joins fight to stop rail booking office closures across Inverclyde [Greenock Telegraph]
15/03/2012Six stations in a row for Greenock Landscape Co [Railscot]


Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay (Oakwood Library of Railway History)