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iangr

Abandoned Central Low Level in 1967

This subject should interest many Glasgow folks as I've noticed a lot of questions on local forums being asked about the old steam days of the Central Low Level line, closed in 1964 under the Beeching cuts. People complain about a lack of a photographic record. A reply to this query came from an intelligent reader and it was that the stations were always badly lit. Furthermore they were permeated by smoke and steam, to such an extent, that it was not surprising that there were few historical photographs taken.
I explored this line in 1965 and then again in 1966, 1967 and 1969. I took some of my friends with me in 1967 and in 1969 as it was a spooky, unknown and lengthy walk in pitch darkness for most of the way. The line and stations through Glasgow are mostly in tunnel and we relied totally on a battery torch to light the way. Later we discovered an old carbide (acetylene) railway lamp on the station platform at Glasgow Cross station. My friend quickly refurbished it to get the item working again. We bought some Calcium Carbide from a local hardware store and pressed the lamp back into use, mainly for effect in the further explorations that took place in 1967. The pictures you are about to see were taken in 1967 and in 1969. In 1969 I had a Pentax SLR with an F1.8 lens. This was the camera that enabled me to extract the utmost detail out of the most challenging of subjects. The remaining railway architecture at that time was fascinating and demanded a record. When I first entered these low level stations, it was like going back in time, the smell of sulphur was still present in the air and the atmosphere felt decidedly Edwardian. There were a few dodgy occasions when we were forced to wade with rubber boots through a foot of floodwater. This water lay between the platforms in the Central low level underground station in 1967. I believe the flooding still continues today.

Enjoy.


Above: Rutherglen junction 1969. The Glasgow Central line is on the curve to the middle of the picture.     Photo: I Russell  


Looking south toward Rutherglen from Strathclyde street. 1969. Entrance to Glasgow Central line is on lower right of the picture.       Photo: I Russell


Looking north from Strathclyde Street to Dalmarnock 1969   Photo: I Russell


Dalmarnock station 1969   Photo: I Russell


Looking south on Dalmarnock station west platform 1969  Photo: I Russell


Looking south again from the west platform Dalmarnock station 1969  Photo: I Russell


Dalmarnock station platforms looking north toward Bridgeton Cross in 1969   Photo: I Russell


Bridgeton Cross low level station 1968   Photo: I Russell


Station area at Bridgeton X low level 1969. The platform on the right was for Parkhead Stadium.   Photo: I Russell


Explorers at Bridgeton Cross low level station 1967   Photo: I Russell


Bridgeton X tunnel portal goes westward toward Glasgow City Centre. The two wee boys just happened to be there and have their picture taken. 1969   Photo: I Russell


Glasgow Green station frontage 1969  Photo: I Russell


Looking east from Glasgow Green platforms 1969   Photo: I Russell


Glasgow Cross station building in 1969   Photo: I Russell


Author and co-explorer on Glasgow Cross station platform 1967   Photo: I Russell


My friend Brian at Glasgow Cross station in 1969  Photo: I Russell


Christmas time at Glasgow Cross station 1969    Photo: I Russell


The author on Glasgow Cross station platform in 1969   Photo: I Russell  


Shops in Argyle Street, above the low level station in 1969   Photo: I Russell


The space at Central low level station. I guess it was a must to let the smoke and steam out. The row of shops would be above left.   Photo: I Russell


Pumping out water at the Central low level station 1969   Photo: I Russell


The huge tunnel east portal to the station. Note the 'cut and cover' construction 1969. This felt like being inside an old church from ground level. Note: Drainage work in progress.  Photo: I Russell


Another view on the east portal looking toward the Central low level station 1969   Photo: I Russell


Back out into the light again at Stobcross junction 1967  Photo: I Russell


Stobcross signal cabin 1967. This was the first box to use miniature levers operated by hydraulic rams due to the limited space available.   Photo: I Russell


'Mad men' of railways inside the box 1967   Photo: I Russell


Stobcross station building 1969   Photo: I Russell


Detail of stonework at Stobcross station 1969   Photo: I Russell


Stobcross station platforms looking east 1967. This station is now called Exhibition Centre.   Photo: I Russell



Tunnel portal at Stobcross station 1967. This leads westward and splits a short distance inside toward Scotstoun on the left and on the right toward Kelvinbridge (on the Possil route via Botanic Gardens). The light in the tunnel is from the acetylene lamp held by my colleague.       Photo: I Russell


The author standing at a platform signboard in Glasgow Central low level station 1967.   Photo: I Russell
fastnet

Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks for sharing these.
Charlie Endell

Wow - fantastic set   .
theduke

Those are absolutely amazing. Many, many thanks for sharing!  
Hawick_1987

Literally give this guy a medal!    
Alex Glass

For a new member this is absolutely fantastic Ian

I know these photos will interest loads of people who visit Urban Glasgow. It is really great that you have chosen this site to share your photos.

Maybe if you have any more someone could think about making then an addition to the Urban Glasgow Collection. They are really too good for just posting in the main forum and will I am sure be appreciated more if included there.

Once again, thanks for letting us see your great collection of photos.
Beano

This is an important historical record of times gone by, once again thank you for posting on UG mate      
cybers

Please allow me to be perfectly blunt about these recent postings.

"fcuk me these are awesome   "
James

   

Many thanks for scanning these in and posting them Ian. These are real gold dust.


James H
dickyhart

wow!! just wow!!!
Charlie Endell

The over-bridge at Dalmarnock (quite recently removed)- could someone possibly advise which line it carried?
James

Charlie Endell wrote:
The over-bridge at Dalmarnock (quite recently removed)- could someone possibly advise which line it carried?

Originally it ran to London Road Goods station. Later, it was extended northwards
as The Switchback, heading up through Barmulloch, round the back of Stobhill
Hospital, passing over the main Glasgow - Edinburgh line at Eastfield and on towards
Possil Central and Maryhill Central.




James H
James

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:


The space at Central low level station. I guess it was a must to let the smoke and steam out. The row of shops would be above left.

That's the fabled second island platform.   It seems the Westergate Buildings foundations
have obliterated it's remains.


James H
Charlie Endell

Cheers James - great map as well   .

Interesting to see the old line from Kilsyth coming in via Summerston.
tombro

Great Photos !

I left Glasgow as a ten year old at the end of 1960, totally unaware that such a network of railways existed.  I'm loving finding out about them all now !

Tombro    
Glasgow Loon

What a wonderful set of pics.

 

5*
darrel

fantastic photos. as someone who has driven over the route many times it seems bizarre to see it without track. At least there was a happy ending with the line being reopened.
I wonder how much some of those old signs are worth now?
thanks for sharing these photos
kev

Wonderful.....I would hazard a guess that iangr explored more than just this one line...lets hope..
I mentioned it on another thread but anyone interested in the railways in and around Glasgow should take a vist to Kirkintiloch library.They have hundreds of pics of lines and stations no longer with us
stan63

An absolutely stunning set of photos. I never thought I would see a detailed account of what the line and stations looked like after closure.

Stan
Charlie Endell

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

james73 wrote:
iangr wrote:


The space at Central low level station. I guess it was a must to let the smoke and steam out. The row of shops would be above left.

That's the fabled second island platform.   It seems the Westergate Buildings foundations
have obliterated it's remains.


James H
Wonder if there was an entrance from Wellington Street?
Vinny the Mackem

Quite amazing!
iiisecondcreep

Amazing set, thank you for posting!
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

I was quite touched by the approvals to my recent posting on this subject. Having read other threads in UG, I was sure there would be an appetite for these pictures. I am pleased to say that I have more pictures on this topic that are sure to be of interest and I'll post them soon. I was thrilled by the whoops of delight indicated in the responses. Thank you very much indeed for your enthusiasm.
Back in 1967 I thought that I was slightly mad exploring these old places and thought no one other than myself would be interested in pictures of abandoned urban railways. I think I was quite sentimental in those days, even as a youngster and I still am. I think of all the men who drove these steam trains though this route from 1898 until 1964. How would you have liked to have been assigned to drive a locomotive from Possil to Rutherglen and back again as a job? I think one might have subsequently developed some sort of lung disease as a result of breathing in the thick sulphuric aether. Imagine shoveling coal from the bunker in the tunnel wall at Glasgow Central  low level station, one did exist. I saw it.
cell

Those are some of the best pictures I’ve seen for a long time, thanks you so much for taking the time to scan and post them. I think it’s great that you were interested and thought it was worth wile to record it at a time when I bet the term urban exploration hadn’t even been thought about. Bet you wish you had lifted that Dalmarnock totem, what other goodies must have been down there?

You must wonder what they were thinking of when they closed this line, I’m only relieved that British Rail and Strathclyde Transport had the foresight to reopen the Argyle line, if only some of the others could have been saved and modernised.

It only begs the question what else do you have? I’m sure it’s safe to say we are all waiting with baited breath!
sputnik

got to add my thanks for these gems.  
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

I thought, at the time, that closing this line was decidedly brutal to say the least. If you consider the value of a transport thoroughfare that takes you straight through the city centre without obstructing other traffic and consider the cost of digging one out if it wasn't there, why would you not retain and modernise the existing infrastructure? Truth is that Ernest Marples (the transport minister at that time) and private road haulage owner, got Dr Beeching (chairman of British Rail) to do an accountancy project that was certain to highlight a loss when it came to look at this particular line's returns. Why was there a loss? No British Railways vision for it, no previous Government investment or interest and no advertising that's why. After it was closed in October 1964 it lay derelict until our city fathers resurrected it in a modern form in 1979. They saw the value in it. During that time there were many proposals in local journals. I began to think it would never be used again. I could kick myself for not riding on a steam train on this line and taking some live photographs in 1961 or 1962. I forgot about it's existence.
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967


Author and co-explorer deep inside the tunnel between Glasgow Green and Glasgow Cross 1967. Note: The tunnel walls are thick with a deposit of soot.  Photo: I Russell
discominer

Truly outstanding set. As someone said already, a historical record, and worthy of a wider audience.
Alycidon

Gobsmacked!!!  Superb and unique archive of pictures.  Thanks for sharing these with us, I think in the coming weeks the "then and now" photos will appear (where possible).
I note that in the photograph of Stobcross junction 1967 there is track in the goods yard still in place, the connection from the NB line at Kelvinhaugh Junction not being closed until 15th July1968, I dont however see track on the old passenger formation to the right of the photo.  This is interesting as I remember going to the Kelvin Hall around 1966 (ish) and , threre still appeared to be a single line going east from Partick Central into the tunnel under Yorkill Hospital, and I have often wondered if it had been left in place as far as Stobcross to give an alternative access to the yard.  This appears not to have been the case, the track I saw probably ended just at the tunnel mouth.  Despite closing in 1964, the track and signaling through Central Low Level remained intact until August 1965 while the Clyderail report was being compiled, but such was the level of theft and vandalism that BR felt that they had no option but to remove it.
cybers

Is that a carbide lantern you have in your mitt there Ian ?
IBrown

Thanks very much for posting these photos. As a boy I used to come into the City Centre on this line, on a Saturdays only Lanark to Maryhill service which called at Bellshill, then non-stop to Glasgow Central LL via Newton, Carmyle and Parkhead. As others have said it was a smokey hole and nothing was visible after Bridgeton, except once when I came down for a nosey and there was a DMU in the platform, the place was smoke-free and there was natural daylight coming in from someplace above.

I'm confused by the Central Low Level photo that appears to show the 2 island platforms were staggered. I know there were 4 platforms, but cannot recall seeing them. But after the line re-opened, on a quiet Sunday I'd have a butchers on the other side of the westbound line, near the entrance / exit to the platform, and I thought what I found over there was the remains of the other island platform - there was a lit cavern over there but ankle deep in water so I couldn't spend long enough over there to be sure.

Is the view west toward Stobcross / Finnieston / Exhibition Centre? If so the platform on the left in the photo appears to be the one that was retained - and if so the other - if it is a platform - is almost at Anderston, and seems to me more likely to be part of the roof support?
James

IBrown - that picture is of the now abandoned platform. The current platform
is directly under the street whereas that picture shows the platform underneath
the row of single-storey shops that stood above. The bit in the distance is not
part of the platform - the girders above are just extended further as the trackbed
has begun to curve back towards the street. And yes, it is viewed looking west.

This diagram is viewed looking east.




James H
Alycidon

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Charlie Endell wrote:
james73 wrote:
iangr wrote:


The space at Central low level station. I guess it was a must to let the smoke and steam out. The row of shops would be above left.

That's the fabled second island platform.   It seems the Westergate Buildings foundations
have obliterated it's remains.


James H
Wonder if there was an entrance from Wellington Street?

I think that this photograph was taken from the fabled secondislan platform.  See this diagram taken from "the other place"

iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Yes the lamp I am holding is an old Carbide lamp.  My friend opposite me in the picture refurbished it by cleaning, rubbing it down,repainting and burnishing the brasswork. I then got an engineer friend to replace the water drip screw with a new one made from brass rod that he made on a lathe. We bought carbide from a hardware store and managed to get the lamp to work again. You could adjust the brightness with a valve once it was lit. However it wasn't as bright as a good battery operated bicycle lamp. Technology you see!

I think these lamps may have still been in use on the railway up to 1964.
Alycidon

Hah!! Great minds think alike, you and I posted the same diagram within seconds of each other.
ANother photo supporting the theory on the Scot-Rail site
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=32184
James

Alycidon wrote:
Hah!! Great minds think alike, you and I posted the same diagram within seconds of each other.
ANother photo supporting the theory on the Scot-Rail site
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=32184

And this image is looking in the same direction from above:

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=32162


I can't be certain but I think this image is also looking west along the now gone
platform. The open-air area would be on the right past the figure in the distance.




James H
James

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:

Stobcross station platforms looking east 1967. This station is now called Exhibition Centre.




James H
Alycidon

Alycidon wrote:
Gobsmacked!!!   I think in the coming weeks the "then and now" photos will appear (where possible).
.


Got that prediction right!!!!!  Nice one James


And that brings up my "Single Fish"
IBrown

james73 wrote:
IBrown - that picture is of the now abandoned platform. The current platform
is directly under the street whereas that picture shows the platform underneath
the row of single-storey shops that stood above. The bit in the distance is not
part of the platform - the girders above are just extended further as the trackbed
has begun to curve back towards the street. And yes, it is viewed looking west.

This diagram is viewed looking east.




James H


Thank you James, I see it now. I also had a look at old-maps.co.uk for Argyle Street in 1950s and 60's and it does show a space behind the single storey shops on the north side of the street, west of the High Level station, so it must have been a 'smoke hole' right enough, although the map attempts to show a rail line or a platform too.

Typo in my last post as to where the 'opening' in the north wall is - it is at the east end of the station (not west as I posted) on far side of the eastbound line, beyond the stairway. Old-maps also included the extent of the Low Level station 'chamber' - it is absolutely massive as the contributer tells us - and it is quite possible that much of the second island platform still exists behind that 'false' wall. And naw, I'm no goin' for a look!
kev

I can remember as a kid in the 70s the whole of Argyle St was a building site with piling being put in all the way along the length of the street obviously for the new line that runs there now.Is there any info about the original construction of the line as it must have been a major project...have had a wee search but couldnt find anything
Merlot

Fantastic............thank you.
Alycidon

kev wrote:
I can remember as a kid in the 70s the whole of Argyle St was a building site with piling being put in all the way along the length of the street obviously for the new line that runs there now.Is there any info about the original construction of the line as it must have been a major project...have had a wee search but couldnt find anything


What you saw was the excavation work for Argyle Street Station, this had to be opened up to create the station "box" on a site that was previously plain tunnnel. I remember this myself.

Jim
James




Central low level July 1976




James H
Mad Mac

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:


Above: Rutherglen junction 1969. The Glasgow Central line is on the curve to the middle of the picture.


Amazing find! That's Rutherglen Station box.
Alycidon

I stuck a link to this thread on the signalbox.org forum, as there is some great archive signalling stuff that they will be interested in.

Jim
Mad Mac

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:


Looking south toward Rutherglen from Strathclyde street. 1969. Entrance to the Glasgow Central line is on the lower right of the picture.


Strathclyde Junction box.
IBrown

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Mad Mac wrote:
iangr wrote:


Above: Rutherglen junction 1969. The Glasgow Central line is on the curve to the middle of the picture.


Amazing find! That's Rutherglen Station box.



Hi,

Didn't want to correct the original post as I thought the thread was mostly about the disused part of the line.

The box in this photo is Dalmarnock Junction, which sat at the east end of the 'old' Rutherglen station, and the lines sweeping north behind it are the existing Argyle lines -  the 'new' Rutherglen station would sit directly behind the box.

Rutherglen Station box sat at the west end of 'old' Rutherglen station - then a 4-platform station - on the northernmost platform between the Up Fast & Slow lines. There were also 2 lines sweeping north behind this box too (present day Rutherglen West Curve) meeting at Rutherglen North Junction with those from Dalmarnock Junction to form a triangle - and Rutherglen Glasgow Low Level lines station lay within this triangle, also controlled by Ritherglen North Junction.
IBrown

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Mad Mac wrote:
iangr wrote:


Looking south toward Rutherglen from Strathclyde street. 1969. Entrance to the Glasgow Central line is on the lower right of the picture.


Strathclyde Junction box.


This is a truly remarkable photo as it appears to show both bridges still intact over the River Clyde. Tracks have been removed on the extreme right side of the photo and the bridge that carried them was removed prior to Argyle line re-opening. The former bridge piers are visible from the train, left side travelling towards Dalmarnock station.
IBrown

james73 wrote:


The second photo showing Argyle Street station chamber is very misleading, as there is another deeper level under that. It was explained to me during construction of the line that this design had been adopted as Planning Authorities did not want an opening from the platform directly onto Argyle Street as it would disrupt the flow of road traffic. When that part of the road was closed to vehicles during construction, the resultant pedestrianisation became a winner with shoppers & shopowners alike - and they won the day - Hhowever it was too late to change station design. So after passengers disembark from the train onto the platform (level 1) to get up to street level, they must first go down (level 2) walk along a corridor and then go up to street level on a substantial escalator, and walk along another corridor before they are actually on Argyle Street..
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Here is a large scale 1950's map showing the LL station opening above the shops at the corner of Argyle St/Hope St. You can see that several tracks occupied the daylight space shown in my colour photograph. You can see a little set of steps from the platform going down to where these tracks used to be. I suspect this area was once used for shunting, watering or coaling of the engines, besides being a large air vent. The monochrome picture previously posted was described correctly in my opinion, as to orientation and the presence of this space, to be on the right of the picture where the figure is walking. I remember being on the far south platform in the fifties when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was on a day trip to Balloch with the Life Boys, the precursor to the Boy's Brigade. I remember the strange clock on the centre platform that you can see in the monochrome picture and I distinctly remember seeing the plain brick wall to the north of the opening where the daylight flooded in.
Mad Mac

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

IBrown wrote:


Didn't want to correct the original post as I thought the thread was mostly about the disused part of the line.

The box in this photo is Dalmarnock Junction, which sat at the east end of the 'old' Rutherglen station, and the lines sweeping north behind it are the existing Argyle lines -  the 'new' Rutherglen station would sit directly behind the box.

Rutherglen Station box sat at the west end of 'old' Rutherglen station - then a 4-platform station - on the northernmost platform between the Up Fast & Slow lines. There were also 2 lines sweeping north behind this box too (present day Rutherglen West Curve) meeting at Rutherglen North Junction with those from Dalmarnock Junction to form a triangle - and Rutherglen Glasgow Low Level lines station lay within this triangle, also controlled by Ritherglen North Junction.


You are, of course, absolutely correct, Sir. I had a dim recollection of the Station box being exactly where you describe it, but it didn't register at the time.
Marti


Glasgow Cross station building in 1969

Your Pictures are amazing...Many thanks for posting them...This pic, my fav.. ....good man...
joe90

Sensational photographs!! Always found the GCR an interesting topic. The sheer scale of engineering is amazing for 1890's!!

Thanks for posting these.  
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

In response to IBrown

Q:Is the view west toward Stobcross / Finnieston / Exhibition Centre? If so the platform on the left in the photo appears to be the one that was retained - and if so the other - if it is a platform - is almost at Anderston, and seems to me more likely to be part of the roof support?

Ans: The view is east towards Stobcross box, just beyond the overbridge in the distance. The platform from which the photograph was taken is the one at Exhibition Centre station which used to be Stobcross station. They obviously cleared away the roof and supports bridging this part of the station and the far platform is where the mural now is.

iangr
Stuball

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

It would be rude not to!

iangr wrote:


Looking south again from the west platform Dalmarnock station 1969


2008

Dalmarnock eastbound by stuballscramble, on Flickr
IBrown

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:
In response to IBrown

Q:Is the view west toward Stobcross / Finnieston / Exhibition Centre? If so the platform on the left in the photo appears to be the one that was retained - and if so the other - if it is a platform - is almost at Anderston, and seems to me more likely to be part of the roof support?

Ans: The view is west towards Stobcross box, just beyond the overbridge in the distance. The platform from which the photograph was taken is the one at Exhibition Centre station which used to be Stobcross station. They obviously cleared away the roof and supports bridging this part of the station and the far platform where the mural now is.

iangr


Hi Ian,

Firstly, well done on posting those photos.

This question was actually in connection with the following photo of Glasgow Central, Ian, and I basically lost my bearings - I thought that the roof support in the background was the start of the northernmost island platform, but one of the Moderators, Jim,  put me right on that score, and it's clear to me now that the platform in view is the northernmost one.

iangr wrote:


The space at Central low level station. I guess it was a must to let the smoke and steam out. The row of shops would be above left iangr


Next questions – fighting with my memory here – it’s late 1950’s and:-

(1) I remember walking down a spiral stone staircase (in the south west corner of the station next to the Hope Street entrance) which I think gave direct access to a low level platform. I think the line may already have been re-signalled by then with only one island platform remaining in use. Which one would that have been?
(2) When both island platforms were in use, how were they worked, was there an east- and westbound line at both islands, or was one island platform used for westbound trains and the other for eastbound?
Alycidon

A few links and pointers relevant to this thread.  There were three accidents on the low level route, all of which have reports on the railways archive site Between Dalmarnock and Bridgeton
http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/MoT_Dalmarnock1952.pdf
At Glasgow Green
http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/MoT_GlasgowCross1949.pdf
and at Stobcross
http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/MoT_Stobcross1951.pdf
All three gave as a partial cause the smokey atmosphere in the tunnels and in the last one at Stobcross the need for colour light signalling was highlighted.  This was introduced in 1956 between Partick Central and Strathclyde Junction, I have tried so far in vain to get a response on the signalbox.org website for siganlling plans and I do not know if the second platform was done away with at that time.  

Turning to Strathclyde Junction and Rutherglen
I did this map a while back


Some dates
01/06/1849 - Clydesdale Junction Railway opened between Motherwell and Rutherglen. The Caledonian Railway begins running trains to South Side station, Glasgow. First two platforms on the main line.
24/06/1861(?) - Rutherglen to Dalmarnock goods opened along with a bridge over the River Clyde. probably no extension to the platform facilities (This date is quoted on Ewan Crawford's Website but I cannot confirm it in any books and the old map of 1864 does not show the line)
01/08/1866 - Rutherglen to Coatbridge opened to passengers, possible date for the creation of the two island platforms
01/04/1879 - London Road opened for passengers. New platforms at Rutherglen on the East to North Curve , stations opened at Dalmarnock and London Road.
By 1892 the two island platforms on the main line and the through platforms on the East to North Curve can be seen on the town plan that can be found at http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/...ownplans/glasgow_2_southeast.html
01/11/1895 The Glasgow Central (low level) Railway,opened to passengers between Rutherglen and Glasgow Cross, the station was again extended to cope with the 260 services using this line and as Rutherglen was one of the Eastern Termini for these services the three terminal platforms were built, along with the two through platforms on the North to East Curve for services to Coatbridge, Airdrie and Motherwell.
The extra face to the eastbound slow line looks like it was built as a link platform connecting the terminal platforms with the through platforms.

There is an interesting photographic archive showing many Glasgow Views (including a derelict Bennie Monorail) at http://www.bluebell-railway-museu...k/archive/photos/jjs/sc/index.htm

start at the earliest date and work through.
Alycidon

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

IBrown wrote:
Next questions – fighting with my memory here – it’s late 1950’s and:-

(2) When both island platforms were in use, how were they worked, was there an east- and westbound line at both islands, or was one island platform used for westbound trains and the other for eastbound?


From the book "Glasgow Central - Central to Glasgow"

"The four platform faces of the two island platforms were identified as A, B, C and D.  On one Island A and B served Eastbound traffic while on the other island C and D served the westbound.  The idea was that all trains serving particular routes would use the same side of an island to help passenger flow."
Alfaman

What an amazing set of pictures, there is some difference from what it was to now. Outstanding.Gary
Stevie

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

these pics are simply stunning, i drive on that route & its really interesting to compare it to the old pics, theres still some remains of the old platform remaining at glasgow cross & at glasgow green, theres also air vents built into the side of the tunnels.
DavidMcD316

would love to have a wee look around Glasgow Cross station.
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Unfortunately the platform at Glasgow Cross station has been removed and it is no more than a stepped concrete plinth, a bit like the ones in the opening at the old Glasgow Green station site. Anyway the line is now live so access is out of the question.
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Here is another picture of myself in the east tunnel near Glasgow Central Low Level station taken in a 1969 visit. Using a small battery cycle lamp I came across a sign mounted on the southern tunnel wall on the left hand side going west towards the station. I think there were several of these signs denoting the locus of street junctions above. Because it was abandoned, the tunnels were relatively quiet, apart from the crunching of my shoes on the ballast. If you stopped and listened, you could hear dull swishing noises as traffic passed overhead. When I approached the Central station, a noise of a compressor could be heard pumping out the water that collects there. This equipment was on the southernmost platform and lit by a row of tungsten bulbs hanging from the roof.



Photo: I Russell
Vinny the Mackem

Fantastic! There are still signs that denote street names along that tunnel.  The train has to be going slow enough for you to spot them properly! Oddly enough, I can't recall if there's an equivalent for the Queen Street-Charing Cross-Partick tunnel.
James

Vinny the Mackem wrote:
Fantastic! There are still signs that denote street names along that tunnel.  The train has to be going slow enough for you to spot them properly! Oddly enough, I can't recall if there's an equivalent for the Queen Street-Charing Cross-Partick tunnel.

There is but they're a lot smaller than that St Enoch one above.


James H
Vinny the Mackem

I think my memory might be returning. I seem to recall a one for Holland Street, but I could be talking mince.
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

Here is another picture of my friend Brian at Glasgow Cross taken in 1969        Photo: I Russell

iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

This picture at Glasgow Cross in 1969 illustrates just how this station must have looked to passengers travelling on the line before October 1964. Can you imagine standing waiting for a train in winter here with only a few tungsten lights above your head to prevent you from falling onto the rails? Especially if you were meeting someone further up the line and dressed in your best suit?

I think I read on one of the rail accident report links, earlier in the thread that the users were predominantly workmen travelling to the shipyards in Scotstoun.

I find this line and everything about it so utterly compelling.
Doog Doog

  Many thanks for posting Ian,these are just excellent!

darrel wrote:
I wonder how much some of those old signs are worth now?
thanks for sharing these photos


I had an old totem sign for Corkerhill that I bought for £40 at the Ayr
Depot open day back in the '80's. Sold it to a dealer at Model Rail 6
years ago for £150. If you had one from say,Stobhill or Glasgow Green,
you could treble that.
IBrown

Hi Ian. Talk of Glasgow Cross and St Enoch sparked a memory of a smoke ventilation shaft that I thought would lie within this area of the tunnel. It was operated by electric fans and vented through a huge chimney located behind Lewis’s department store, right next to St Enoch station - as these photos clearly show:-

GCR Smoke vent
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/imagecomplete.php?id=21539

GCR Smoke vent - image 6
http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/s...details/glasgow+st+enoch+station/

Did you come across this ‘smoke hole’ in the tunnel wall? Can you say where it lay?
IBrown

Alycidon wrote:
...... the need for colour light signalling was highlighted.  This was introduced in 1956 between Partick Central and Strathclyde Junction, I have tried so far in vain to get a response on the signalbox.org website for siganlling plans and I do not know if the second platform was done away with at that time.  


The resignalling of the line on Stobcross Jn and Bridgeton Cross Jn boxes meant Glasgow Central Low Level station was reduced to 2 platforms.

The signalling panel shows the track layout of the area controlled by Bridgeton Cross box :-

http://www.signalbox.org/forum/vi...;t=3677&hilit=bridgeton+cross

Glasgow Central station is extreme left side of the panel [the name lies immediately above the eastbound line] .. clearly only 2 lines through the station now..

This raises a further question - which island platform remained in use?
James

IBrown wrote:
This raises a further question - which island platform remained in use?

The current (southern) one. There was a video on YouTube (now removed) of
a DMU driving along the line and you could see it was on the southern side of
the low level. Some poor quality screen grabs I took from the video.

From the train looking to the north wall


The northern most track has already been lifted


Colour signal at Stobcross


Heading into the Merkland Street tunnel, the Queen Street line passes high above


Approaching Scotstoun East station




James H
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

These screen grabs are fantastic! I never thought anybody had filmed this route. Although you say the YouTube video has been removed, it must exist out there somewhere. One can only hope that the person responsible for it sees our threads, takes pity on our appetite and responds. We can all but hope. As someone has previously indicated you never know what is out there and what might turn up on the site.

Here is a photograph I took of Scotstoun East Station in 1967, where your DMU was heading to. The view is looking east. Barclay Curle's is ahead, right.

Photo: I Russell
Catnip

These pictures are outstanding, Ian!  
Especially happy to see pics of Glasgow Cross and Glasgow Green. Was just at Scotstoun East this past weekend as well, nice to get some scope on just what it used to be like, thank you!
IBrown

james73 wrote:
IBrown wrote:
This raises a further question - which island platform remained in use?

The current (southern) one.....James H


Thanks again James.

Recalling some of the specifications for the 1979 re-opening as the Argyle Line, one of which was that the southernmost island platform was to be used  with a bay platform provided (I think they called it the most westerly platform! So I wasn’t alone in losing my bearings down there) Having seen the photos on here, I’m now puzzled by the reason given for non-provision of that bay platform - ‘it was not possible due to position of pillars’ (I suppose these were the roof supports). When I see the space that was available, I now question why any new office building wasn’t ‘built on stilts’ just like at Maryhill Central?

The other interesting and very understandable one was the specification for stations – material had to be bright coloured and durable, and lighting on platforms was to be by fluorescent tube. If one of the tubes expired, all of them were to be replaced at same time.

Having said that, a comment was made that the tunnels were in remarkably good condition, although covered in soot, the steelwork had been well protected.
iangr

IBrown wrote:
Hi Ian. Talk of Glasgow Cross and St Enoch sparked a memory of a smoke ventilation shaft that I thought would lie within this area of the tunnel. It was operated by electric fans and vented through a huge chimney located behind Lewis’s department store, right next to St Enoch station

I though about this for a while as it was 45 years ago. I can't remember seeing anything on the south wall of the tunnel going west toward GC or anything above me. However I do remember stopping at a huge opening on the north wall a short distance from GC. This would probably be, now that I think of it, near the locus of the chimney but being on the north wall makes it difficult to understand how it could be related. The opening was about five or six feet up and I mistook it for a coal bunker where a man could shovel coal onto an engine tender on that side. It was a huge black cave with an arched top. There were structures further along from it that looked a bit like window framing (fan supports maybe?). A mysterious dark place it was too. These spaces looked a bit disorganised with luggage barrows lying around and detritis filling corners. What we need to see are the original engineering drawings. Iangr
Alycidon

The video footage James has taken the screen grabs from can be found on this DVD
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Railways-...F8&qid=1354738626&sr=8-12  I have it on VHS.
I have never heard about the idea of a bay platform at Glasgow Central, it does not feature in the original Clyderail Report, I would think that the Finniston turnback siding provides that purpose.
James

Does the Finniston turnback siding see any use? I dont know if any services
terminate at Central/Anderston.


James H
Alycidon

james73 wrote:
Does the Finniston turnback siding see any use? I dont know if any services
terminate at Central/Anderston.


James H


The 16:22 17:02 and 17:34 Anderston to Lanark and two peak hour trains in the morning terminate at Anderson, I would imagine that at least one of these if not all uses the turnback siding.

Jim
IBrown

james73 wrote:
Does the Finniston turnback siding see any use? I dont know if any services
terminate at Central/Anderston.


James H


It was used originally by only 2 services, going from memory 0746 Lanark Anderston, EE to Finnieston siding & stable; then EE to Anderston for 17xx Anderston to Lanark. I'm not sure if it is still in use.

Again, in the original service, there was an 0808 Helensburgh to Argyle Street which ran EE to Rutherglen West Curve to reverse and run EE to Hyndland Depot or Bridgeton CS. There was a return service which came back EE to turn on the West Curve and form an 17xx Argyle Street to Helensburgh.

So a bay platform would have saved a lot of EE running.
iangr

Alycidon

Many thanks for the info on the DVD featuring the screen grabs. Iv'e ordered it. If I hadn't posted my photographs here I would never have come across this gem. I am really chuffed about it.  iangr
Catnip

Any chance, when you get it, you could upload a couple of higher res screencaps of the scenes James posted? :)
Almost tempted to get a copy myself, come to think of it...
Hawick_1987

I've only been away a few days and eh PAGE 9? I think you have entered into UG folklore Ian  
IBrown

iangr wrote:
IBrown wrote:
Hi Ian. Talk of Glasgow Cross and St Enoch sparked a memory of a smoke ventilation shaft that I thought would lie within this area of the tunnel. It was operated by electric fans and vented through a huge chimney located behind Lewis’s department store, right next to St Enoch station

I though about this for a while as it was 45 years ago. I can't remember seeing anything on the south wall of the tunnel going west toward GC or anything above me. However I do remember stopping at a huge opening on the north wall a short distance from GC. This would probably be, now that I think of it, near the locus of the chimney but being on the north wall makes it difficult to understand how it could be related. The opening was about five or six feet up and I mistook it for a coal bunker where a man could shovel coal onto an engine tender on that side. It was a huge black cave with an arched top. There were structures further along from it that looked a bit like window framing (fan supports maybe?). A mysterious dark place it was too. These spaces looked a bit disorganised with luggage barrows lying around and detritis filling corners. What we need to see are the original engineering drawings. Iangr


I'm not sure that this would be it, it sounds too far west, the west corner of Lewis's is opposite the Queen Street / Argyle Street road junction, so I expected the shaft to lie between Glasgow Cross and the St Enoch tunnel marker (in your photo) it may be that the construction of the new Argyle Street station obliterated it in modern times, but it should have been there still when you were?

In modern times after the line re-opened, an opening of the type you describe can be seen in two places - (1) Finnieston burrowing tunnel - it can be seen from trains running from Partick to Exhibition Centre station - on right hand side of tunnel about top of train window level, shortly before arrival at Exhibition Centre station. It comes out on the retaining wall between  Exhibition Centre station and Finnieston East junction, and can be seen below train window level on the right side from trains climbing up to the North Electric line. (2) much smaller, and half-moon shape, about top of train window level on north tunnel wall, just after exiting Glasgow Cross station chamber on a Bridgeton-bound service. Best seen in daylight, there is a gate or railing at the far end of it.

Back to the chimney and Glasgow Cross - In modern times after the line re-opened - and best seen in daylight, there was a huge cavern visible on the south wall just prior to exiting Glasgow Cross station chamber on an Argyle Street-bound service. It ran diagonally away from the railway and the gable end of Tron Church? Tron Theatre? was visible.

Did on-line search of National Archives catalogue last night, no specific mention of plans for this chimney ventilator, the one at Central Low Level is mentioned 3 times, and there is 1 general one showing all ventilator points on the line. Also, a track diagram of Central Low level - but from experience of past visits to NAS, there is no guarantee that what was planned actually happened on the ground, nor is there usually any script explaining what is on the plan. Doubt if I can visit them before early next year.
DavidMcD316

Hawick_1987 wrote:
I've only been away a few days and eh PAGE 9? I think you have entered into UG folklore Ian  


tis a terrific thread
iangr

Abandoned Central low level 1967

IBrown

I do recall that we took the left tunnel fork after Stobcross on one visit, heading west. We came across an opening on the south tunnel wall about five feet up. It was a fanlight shape, semi-circular and was open directly to the daylight. It had metal bars like a prison window which is exactly as you described. I had a look from the roadway outside some time later and spotted it on the side of a retaining wall. At one time the area outside it would all be railway yard at Pointhouse Road.

Back to the chimney at Argyle St. It's perfectly possible that I missed an opening before the St. Enoch sign on the south wall of the tunnel as it was so dark. I did come across an opening on the south wall near Glasgow Cross but I thought it was just before Glasgow Cross station. I could be mistaken. Anyway I took a photo of it with my colleagues standing in the recess. There was a faint light coming from above. Maybe this is it. Anyway I'll look for the slide and post it soon as pssible.  Ian
James

Re: Abandoned Central low level 1967

iangr wrote:
IBrown

I do recall that we took the left tunnel fork after Stobcross on one visit, heading west. We came across an opening on the south tunnel wall about five feet up. It was a fanlight shape, semi-circular and was open directly to the daylight. It had metal bars like a prison window which is exactly as you described. I had a look from the roadway outside some time later and spotted it on the side of a retaining wall. At one time the area outside it would all be railway yard at Pointhouse Road.

You can see this vent when you are travelling on a train in either direction
between Partick and SECC. I mind one time travelling west and seeing a train
in the tunnel heading for the SECC.




James H
AlanM

WOW!!!

That is all
Mad Mac

There was a tale recounted somewhere about Stobcross a while ago. About a year after closure, a supervisor was out looking at what condition the place was in, and noticed lights on in the box. On investigating, he found a signalman there who hadn't been given any instructions on reporting elsewhere after closure, so kept turning up for duty and collecting his pay! Apparently, this tale is completely true.
iangr

Abandoned Glasgow Central low level 1967

That's a fascinating tale. I can believe that  story without difficulty. British Rail would have been in chaos after the implementation of the closures and it must have done in morale to an enormous extent. It's not the signalman's fault if he wasn't given instructions. I hope he wasn't already redundant at that time. That would be a nasty situation indeed.
iangr

Abandoned Glasgow Central low level 1967

Re:Catnip's request. When I get the DVD I'll post the bits you mentioned. Ian
iangr

Abandoned Glasgow Central low level 1967

When I got out of the tunnel after passing the Pointhouse road air vent you showed in the aerial shot, I arrived at Kelvin Hall station. The totems were still present on the platform lighting poles. This station was formerly named Partick Central but the building on the platform looked to be derelict. This would be some time in 1968. There were still goods wagons parked in the sidings so I left thinking it would be live BR property. Now, after some research, think the site was operated by a contractor at that particular time.
IBrown

Re: Abandoned Glasgow Central low level 1967

iangr wrote:
When I got out of the tunnel after passing the Pointhouse road air vent you showed in the aerial shot, I arrived at Kelvin Hall station. The totems were still present on the platform lighting poles. This station was formerly named Partick Central but the building on the platform looked to be derelict. This would be some time in 1968. There were still goods wagons parked in the sidings so I left thinking it would be live BR property. Now, after some research, think the site was operated by a contractor at that particular time.


I really garbled my original post here. I've redone it and I hope it makes more sense now!!! .......

A large part of the line remained open between Partick and Old Kilpatrick for frieght – the Kelvin Hall / Partick Central site remained open until the roof of the tunnel carrying the Caley under the North Electric line was broken around 1977/78, and the tunnel filled in.

This frieght-only line was worked as two portions (from Yoker yard) and what you saw would probably be Sprotts? Depot on Kelvin Hall / Partick Central to Scotstoun West portion, built on the old station site at Partick – tank wagons of home heating oil (from Esso, Bowling), Sprotts was on the right looking towards Scotstoun - while on the left - on the banks of the Kelvin, a siding served a scrap yard in which rail wagons were cut up. This could be seen just east of Partick station from any train on the North Electric line. The scrap yard eventually took over the whole site.

Alycidon wrote:
Gobsmacked!!!  Superb and unique archive of pictures.  Thanks for sharing these with us, I think in the coming weeks the "then and now" photos will appear (where possible).
I note that in the photograph of Stobcross junction 1967 there is track in the goods yard still in place, the connection from the NB line at Kelvinhaugh Junction not being closed until 15th July1968, I dont however see track on the old passenger formation to the right of the photo.  This is interesting as I remember going to the Kelvin Hall around 1966 (ish) and , threre still appeared to be a single line going east from Partick Central into the tunnel under Yorkill Hospital, and I have often wondered if it had been left in place as far as Stobcross to give an alternative access to the yard.  This appears not to have been the case, the track I saw probably ended just at the tunnel mouth.  Despite closing in 1964, the track and signaling through Central Low Level remained intact until August 1965 while the Clyderail report was being compiled, but such was the level of theft and vandalism that BR felt that they had no option but to remove it.



Ian, you can maybe answer the question asked above about the head shunt at the Stobcross end of Kelvin Hall / Partick Central site? Where was the line buffer ended - before the bridge over the Kelvin, or after it within the tunnel?
Rod

This thread is so good I had to register just to say how awesome it is  

I travelled to Uni on that line for 5 years and am fascinated by whats underneath Central. Great stuff.
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

This photograph I took in 1967 coming out of the tunnel from Anderston shows a figure, my colleague walking along a piece of track toward Stobcross signal box on his right. The track here ended in the tunnel to Anderston where it previously joined the lines going to Stobcross station (shown lifted). In other words the rails would be cut where the points used to be on the main line. The lines were lifted in the right dark area of the photo. Ian

Photo: I Russell
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

IBrown  Re: Chimney next to Lewis's department store. Here is a picture I took of my friends in 1967 standing in the tunnel recess I thought to be just before Glasgow Cross coming from Glasgow Green. This opening was on the south wall of the tunnel. By the light entering from above I would say that it couldn't be the chimney as it looks too 'immediate' if that's the right description. It's more likely to be an opening of the type often seen at street level, with a five foot stone wall and edge coping on top.

Photo: I Russell
iangr

Abandoned Central low level in 1967

IBrown Many thanks for the detail on Kelvin Hall station and its subsequent operations. I found that to be most interesting.

Re: Chimney at Lewis's again. I'm sorry to say that I don't recall seeing any opening on the south wall on the stretch between Glasgow Cross and Glasgow Central. I've traversed it at least four times from late 1966 until 1969 and I'm sure I would have remembered such a feature, especially if it had contained machinery like huge fans or had been a dark corridor going off at right angles. As I remember the walls were just vertical with workmen's refuges at intervals. The chimney is a mystery I'm afraid. Ian
Catnip

Re: Abandoned Central low level 1967

james73 wrote:

You can see this vent when you are travelling on a train in either direction
between Partick and SECC. I mind one time travelling west and seeing a train
in the tunnel heading for the SECC.


You can just about make it out on Google Maps as well, were it not for the trees!
IBrown

Re: Abandoned Central low level in 1967

iangr wrote:
IBrown Many thanks for the detail on Kelvin Hall station and its subsequent operations. I found that to be most interesting.

Re: Chimney at Lewis's again. I'm sorry to say that I don't recall seeing any opening on the south wall on the stretch between Glasgow Cross and Glasgow Central. I've traversed it at least four times from late 1966 until 1969 and I'm sure I would have remembered such a feature, especially if it had contained machinery like huge fans or had been a dark corridor going off at right angles. As I remember the walls were just vertical with workmen refuges at intervals. The chimney is a mystery I'm afraid. Ian


I hope this works. I took the first photo off  the National Archives site record for St Enoch station.





It’s very hard to reconcile buildings and streets with present day, but I’ve captioned:-

The back of Lewis’s store on Argyle Street.
V - The corner of Argyle Street and Virginia Street
S - The corner of Stockwell Street and present day Osborne Street that runs in front of St Enoch shopping Centre,
parallel to Argyle Street.
Ch - The huge ventilation chimney  that lies between Lewis’s, V and S.  



On the National Archive map, Argyle Street station lies in front of the white store to left of ‘V’.
The station entrances on Argyle Street and Osborne Street lie roughly on the same line as the chimney.

Now look at this:-


On the Google map, the station entrances on Argyle Street and Osborne Street lie roughly in line with the ‘Au’ in Au Natural (Argyle Street),
the BR logo, and the little square at ‘Trutex Schoolwear’ (Osborne St). The chimney is obviously gone, but what is that big ‘extraction’ fan
for on top of the Argos building at the corner of Stockwell Street and Osborne Street? Is it to ventilate Argyle Street station which lies wholly
underground? Through a duct – maybe part of the original ventilation system?

Well it didn't work!!!! ................. but if you do google map for Osborne Street, Glasgow and follow the instructions above you'll see roughly where the chimney was . When I saw that extraction fan on top of the building, and the size of it, I wondered if the tunnel fans were in the chimney itself? The duct would have been hard to see as there would be no light behind it. I can't find anything on this on the web at all. Pure mystery!
iangr

Yep! I spotted that duct yesterday when I was looking at Google. The same train of thought hit me as it has with yourself. From the street it looks so unlikely as it is a new building with a metallic material build but from above with it's circular faceted shape it's got to be a duct and it would make sense if it were connected to the new station at Argyle St using part of the old venting system. I guess I must have passed a grille, vent space or something on the tunnel wall back in 1967 without noticing it. A pity, as I would have investigated it further at the time. T'wil aye' be a mystery noo!
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