Glasgow and South Western Railway
|Glasgow and South Western Railway|
|Dates of operation||1850–1923|
|Predecessor||Glasgow, Paisley Kilmarnock and Ayr and Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railways|
|Successor||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
|Length||1,128 miles (1,815 km)|
The Glasgow and South Western Railway (G&SWR) was a railway company in Scotland. It served a triangular area of south-west Scotland between Glasgow, Stranraer and Carlisle. It took its name after a merger in 1850.1 In the 1923 grouping of Britain's railways the G&SWR became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
The main line ran from Glasgow along the west coast and to Gretna. The G&SWR also served Paisley, Greenock, Ardrossan, Troon and the ports on the west coast, between which it ran scheduled steamship services. It also owned the harbours at Troon and Ayr. Its headquarters were at Glasgow St Enoch station and its main locomotive works was at Kilmarnock. In 1921 the G&SWR had 1,128 miles (1,815 km) of line and the company’s capital was about £19 million.1
The G&SWR, in association with the Midland Railway, provided a third Anglo-Scottish rail route, the first two being the West Coast and East Coast main lines. It was as a result of involvement with the Midland that the design of Glasgow St Enoch station was heavily influenced by London St Pancras.
- The first railway in Scotland authorised by Act of Parliament was the Kilmarnock and Troon Railway; built to carry coal. The Act was passed on 27 May 1808 and the line opened in 6 July 1812. The G&SWR took it over in July 1899.
- The G&SWR main line between Glasgow and Carlisle was opened in stages:
- 12 August 1840 — Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway (GPK&AR) opened between Glasgow and Ayr, with a branch to Kilmarnock. The eastern end the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway was jointly owned with the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway.2
- 4 April 1843 — Dalry – Kilmarnock.
- May 1848 — Irvine – Crosshouse
- 8 August 1848 — Kilmarnock – Muirkirk.
- 9 August 1848 — Kilmarnock – Galston.
- 23 August 1848 — Dumfries – Gretna Junction.
- 20 May 1850 — Auchinleck – New Cumnock.
- 28 October 1850 — New Cumnock – Closeburn (Dumfries).
- Proposed railway/tramway from Seamill to Fairlie via Portencross and Hunterston in 1899 3
In 1850 the GPK&AR merged with the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway (GD&CR) to form what became the Glasgow and South Western Railway. Services could now run between Glasgow Bridge Street and Carlisle.
- Ardrossan: The Ardrossan Railway was built by the Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal Company. The canal, opened in 1810, was intended to connect Glasgow to Ardrossan by canal, but linked Glasgow and Paisley only as far as Johnstone.4 The final link was to be made by the canal-owned Ardrossan to Johnstone Railway, incorporated on 14 June 1827. Work started at Ardrossan but in 1831, when it had got only as far as Kilwinning, the company ran out of money. In 1840 the railway was separated from canal company ownership and on 20 August 1840 it reopened as a standard gauge, double-track, line connected to the GPK&AR at Kilwinning. Ardrossan henceforth developed as a shipping port; later the line was extended to Largs.
- Paisley Canal Line: The G&SWR bought the Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal in 1869. In 1881 an Act of Parliament authorised closure of the canal and much of the route was used to build the Paisley Canal Line.
- Renfrew: in 1847 the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway bought the 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm) gauge Paisley and Renfrew Railway and regauged it to standard gauge. It was then linked to the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway at Arkleston Junction, but the G&SWR retained ownership.
- The Dalry and North Johnstone Line was built to add more capacity between Elderslie and Dalry.
- The Ayr main line was extended southwards as follows:
- The Firth of Clyde line, consisting of two lines: the Bridge of Weir Railway and the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway were opened in 1869 to meet demand for connections to Clyde steamers. The G&SWR built its lines via Kilmacolm, to Greenock (Princes Pier), where it built a large and imposing terminus. Later this quay was extended, providing a landing-stage nearly 1,400 feet (430 m) long.5
- Direct railway via Kilmarnock: the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway, opened on 26 June 1873, and worked as a joint line with the Caledonian Railway (CR); it had been the Glasgow, Barrhead and Neilson Direct Railway, with a Kilmarnock extension.2
- Glasgow St Enoch was opened by the City of Glasgow Union Railway in 1876.2 On 29 June 1883 the G&SWR took it over and made St Enoch Station the G&SWR headquarters.2 The St Enoch Hotel was opened in 1879.
- Later lines opened:
- 1902: Paisley – Barrhead
- 1903: the Catrine branch
- 1903: the Glasgow & Renfrew District Railway; nominally owned by the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway.
- 1 March 1905: the Cairn Valley Light Railway to Moniaive. The LMS closed the line to passenger traffic on 3 May 1943.
- 1906: the Maidens and Dunure Light Railway via Turnberry. The golf links and the G&SWR hotel were also opened. The LMS closed the line to passenger traffic on 1 December 1930.
The G&SWR ran a fleet of passenger steamships on scheduled and excursion services from its various piers and harbours. In 1872 the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway Co bought the second-hand paddle steamer PS Marquis of Bute, dating from 1868.6 In 1891 the G&SWR took her over and bought five more second-hand steamers. Three of them came from the fleet of Captain Alexander Williamson: PS Sultan (launched in 1861);7 PS Sultana (launched in 1868)8 and PS Viceroy (launched in 1875).9 The others were PS Chancellor and PS Scotia (both launched in 1880).1011
Thereafter the G&SWR had various Clyde shipyards build new steamers to order. PS Glen Sannox was launched in 1892.12 PS Neptune and PS Mercury, who were sisters, were also launched that year.1314 PS Minerva (1893) and her near-sister PS Glen Rosa were launched in 1893.1516 With the delivery of the new ships the company sold Sultan in 18927 and Scotia in 1893.11 PS Jupiter was launched in 1896,17 the company sold Sultana in 18978 and PS Juno was launched in 189818 The company sold Chancellor in 190110 and PS Mars was launched in 190219 In 1904 the company bought a second-hand paddle-steamer, PS Vulcan (launched in 1897)20 and sold Marquis of Bute.6
In 1901 the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company, shipbuilder William Denny and Brothers and passenger steamer operator Captain John Williamson formed the Turbine Steamer Syndicate. The G&SWR supported Williamson by guaranteeing his overdraft. The syndicate introduced the World's first turbine steamer, TS King Edward, which was launched that year. Denny built her, Parsons supplied her machinery and Williamson operated her on the River Clyde and Firth of Clyde. Despite this early involvement, it was not until 1906 that the G&SWR got a turbine steamer of its own, TS Atalanta, launched that year by John Brown and Company.21 After that the G&SWR sold Viceroy in 190722 and sold Vulcan back to her previous owner in 1908.20
In the First World War, paddle steamers were found suitable for service as auxiliary minesweepers so the Admiralty requisitioned most of the G&SWR's fleet for war service. The steamers' names were changed because the Royal Navy already had warships bearing many of their original names. In 1917 two were lost on active service. In April Neptune, serving as HMS Nepaulin, was sunk by a mine13 and in November Mars, serving as HMS Marsa, sank as a result of a collision off Harwich.19 Minerva survived the war but did not return to the G&SWR. She remained with the Admiralty until April 1920 and was sold to new owners in Turkey in 1924.15
St Enoch station no longer exists. British Railways (BR) closed it in 1966 and it was turned into a car park. The roof was demolished in 1975. The site was redeveloped as the St Enoch Centre, which was opened in May 1989.
BR closed the Bridge of Weir Railway and the Greenock and Ayrshire Railway to Greenock Princes Pier between Princes Pier and Kilmacolm in 1966. However, in 1971 the Princes Pier stub was connected to the Inverclyde Line at Cartsburn Junction in order to serve the Clyde Port Authority container terminal.
BR closed the Paisley Canal Line completely in January 1983, and the original Paisley Canal station, on the east side of Causeyside Street, was converted into a steak house. In the 1980s and 1990s the course of the line beyond Paisley was made into a footpath and cycle path. This links Lady Octavia Park in Greenock, through upper Port Glasgow, Kilmacolm and past Quarrier's Village to Paisley. It is part of the Sustrans National Cycle Route linking Edinburgh and Gourock.23
In June 1965 BR closed the G&SWR Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway and the joint G&SWR and CR line between Castle Douglas and Challoch Junction (between Dunragit and Glenluce). BR withdrew the local passenger service from the Dalry Junction — Kilmarnock part of the Carlisle main line in 1966 and closed it completely in October 1973 after completion of the West Coast Main Line electrification. Thereafter all services to Glasgow ran over the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock Joint Railway via Stewarton.
Various lines of the G&SWR still operate today out of the former Caledonian Railway's Glasgow Central station. They are the Paisley Canal Line (now truncated at Paisley Canal) and SPT's Ayrshire Coast Lines; the Glasgow South Western Line to Dumfries and Carlisle; and to Stranraer.
- Hammerton, 1921
- Thomas, 1971
- "Proposed Railway". NAS.
- Robertson, 1983
- "Greenock". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911.
- "PS Marquis of Bute". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Sultan". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Sultana". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Viceroy (1875)". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Chancellor". Clyde Built Database. Clydesite. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "SS Scotia". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Glen Sannox". Clyde Built Database. Clydesite. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Neptune". Clyde Built Database. Clydesite. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Mercury". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "SS Minerva". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Glen Rosa". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Jupiter". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Juno". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Mars". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "P.S. Kylemore (ex - Vulcan, ex - Britannia, ex - Kylemore)". Paddlesteamers.info. Tramscape. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "TS Atalanta". Clyde Built Database. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "PS Rhos Colwyn ( ex - Viceroy)". Paddlesteamers.info. Tramscape. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Leisure - Sports". Inverclyde Council.
- Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063.
- Robertson, C.J.A. (1983). The Origins of the Scottish Railway System: 1722-1844 (1st ed.). Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-8597-6088-X.
- Hammerton, John Alexander (1920). Harmsworth's universal encyclopedia (1st Edition ed.). London: Educational Book Co. OCLC 52464434.
- Hammerton, John Alexander (1925). Harmsworth's universal encyclopedia (Revised Edition ed.). London: Educational Book Co. OCLC 219858827.
- Thomas, John (1971). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (1st ed.). Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5408-6. OCLC 16198685.
- Thomas, John; Paterson, Rev A. J. S. (1984). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume VI Scotland: The Lowlands and the Borders (2nd ed.). Newton Abbott, Devon: David & Charles. ISBN 0-9465-3712-7. OCLC 12521072.
- The Glasgow & South Western Railway Association
- RAILSCOT on Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway: map and historical notes
- RAILSCOT on Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway: map and historical notes
- RAILSCOT on Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway: map and historical notes
- History of Paisley section of the Paisley Canal line
- History of Paisley to Barrhead branch