Helensburgh Pier

Location type

Name and dates

Helensburgh Pier (1860-)

Station code: National Rail
Opened on the Piers, Slips and Staiths.


The history of piers at Helensburgh is long and complex. There have been numerous piers.

With the opening of the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway to Helensburgh in 1858 construction of a new pier began in 1859.

This steamer pier opened in 1860.

The pier is about a third of a mile from the station, a slow connection between train and steamer if by foot. This mattered as the North British Railway, in Helensburgh, and Caledonian Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway, in Greenock, were all competing for coastal traffic.

The Caledonian Railway^s Greenock terminus of 1841 was also inconvenient for the steamers and an extension to a new station at Gourock, closer to the steamer destinations was planned.

The Glasgow and South Western Railway^s Greenock Princes Pier [1st] was actually by the river and opened in 1869.

Clearly, the North British needed to do something.

The North British was frustrated in its efforts to build an extension to the pier. Instead it decided to build the Craigendoran station and Craigendoran Pier complex. This opened in 1882.

Following this Helensburgh Pier saw light use. From 1950 a triangular Greenock - Kilcreggan Pier - Helensburgh started, summertime only. This ceased to serve Helensburgh in 2012.

Craigendoran Pier closed in 1973. From 1978 on PS Waverley [IV] began to call at Helensburgh Pier.

Helensburgh pier still stands with a car and coach park which throng in summer, this built on a large area of reclaimed land on its east side.



External links

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


  /  /1866PS Meg Merrilies [I]
Sails from Helensburgh Pier to Rothesay Pier and through the Kyles of Bute to Ardrishaig Pier. Service withdrawn as not profitable.
  /  /1866PS Dandie Dinmont [I]
Sails from Helensburgh Pier to Rothesay Pier and through the Kyles of Bute to Ardrishaig Pier. In competition with Hutchison. Service withdrawn as not viable and due to finances of the North British Railway in general.
  /  /1869PS Dandie Dinmont [I]
Returns to Clyde in 1869 for the Helensburgh Pier to Dunoon Pier and Holy Loch service.
  /  /1869PS Carham
Relocated to the Clyde. Operated from Helensburgh Pier to piers on the Gareloch and Dunoon (when the PS Dandie Dinmont [I] was unavailable).
  /  /1872North British Steam Packet Co
PS Gareloch built by Henry Murray & Co (Kingston Works (Engineering & Shipbuilding) Port Glasgow). Engine by David Rowan and Co of Glasgow. Operated the Helensburgh Pier to Gareloch service.
  /  /1939Craigendoran Pier Deviation
Ferry services cut back (just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War). With the war, PS Lucy Ashton became the only vessel operating out of Craigendoran Pier to Helensburgh Pier, Kilcreggan Pier, Gourock Pier, Kirn Pier and Dunoon Pier.