Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This line, now closed, provided Glasgow with a new superior and better located terminus Glasgow Buchanan Street. It opened just after the Caledonian Railway main line was completed becoming the terminus for trains from England as well as local services.

The station replaced the Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway's Glasgow (Townhead) terminus station which was inconveniently located outside Glasgow up a hill. For trains from England it replaced the South Side [CR] terminus located on the south side of the River Clyde.

It was built by the Caledonian Railway. There was an approach line and terminus at the top (north) end of Buchanan Street for locations such as English destinations, Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee West, Stirling and, later, Oban.

Services which previously ran to this station were diverted to Glasgow Queen Street High Level on closure. There were very extensive goods yards at this station which have also closed.

The very large site of the former passenger and goods stations are now occupied by the Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotrail house, a number of carparks and some vacant land. The southern portal of the tunnel which passed under the Monkland Canal still exists - the canal now being replaced by the M8 motorway. The approach to the station was double track and there were four passenger platforms. The platforms were canopied - the canopies being taken from the rambling Ardrossan North station when Buchanan Street station was re-built.

The Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway had attempted to extend its line as a rope-worked incline to central Glasgow via a viaduct but this was considered too high an approach to Glasgow by the Caledonian Railway when it took over - so this alignment was abandoned and the Buchanan Street line planned.

A stub of line remains, serving the St Rollox Works.

Also known as Crofthead Extension (Caledonian Railway).






Dates

  /  /1847Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
New better sited Glasgow terminus in Buchanan Street authorised. Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway proposed line abandoned. Proposed Garscube Road line abandoned.
01/11/1849Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Buchanan Street opened on a new extension which branched off at Milton Junction and ran parallel to the original line before passing under it and the Monkland Canal in a tunnel. English trains via the Caledonian Railway main line are diverted from South Side [CR] to the new more suitable station.
01/01/1850Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Buchanan Street Goods station opened.
  /  /1853Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Authorisation to build Buchanan Street Station Hotel.
  /  /1853Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Sighthill branch authorised. Sighthill West Junction [1st] and Sighthill East Junction [1st] authorised to be formed with the Buchanan Street line.
  /  /1854Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway
The Caledonian Railway opens the St Rollox Works between the original line's alignment and the new Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway). The works built and maintained locomotives and rolling stock. (Alternative date 1856.) Greenock Works and Shed on the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway - workshops abandoned.
28/05/1858Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Opened as single track from Cowlairs Junction to Bowling and Dalreoch Junction to Helensburgh. Due to a disagreement over station access charges between the company and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway the first trains ran to Buchanan Street using the Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) and a connection at St Rollox (Sighthill West Junction) with the Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway) line. The disagreement was resolved a month later.
  /  /1865Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Authorisation to enlarge and improve the Glasgow Buchanan Street terminus.
20/06/1869 Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Sighthill East Junction [1st] ready for opening.
01/01/1870Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Completion of expansion works at Glasgow Buchanan Street. The station begins to handle traffic from the north, which had previously used Glasgow Queen Street High Level where the Caledonian Railway had a ticket office. (Another improvement, the Hayhill Branch (Caledonian Railway), giving direct access to the north without reversal at Coatbridge [CR], had opened in 1866.)
04/05/1871Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Sighthill West Junction [1st] laid in and prepared for opening (not opened).
  /  /1883Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway) Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Sighthill West Junction [1st] points taken out.
01/08/1883Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
St Rollox station opened.
02/08/1886The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Extension from Parkhead Junction [CR] to Blochairn Junction opened. Blackhill Junction to Germiston Junction Low (Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)) also opened.
  /09/1887Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
St Rollox Goods ceased to forward mineral traffic.
  /  /1892Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Enlargement of Buchanan Street Goods completed. (Alternative date 1893.)
  /  /1896Caledonian Railway
The Caledonian Railway is granted access to the Atlas Works [2nd], Springburn, from the Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway) via Sighthill East Junction [1st] and Sighthill Junction.
  /  /1900Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Authorisation to expand Buchanan Street Goods.
  /  /1900Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Authorisation to lengthen the Dobbies Loan Bridge (crossing the throat of Buchanan Street station and Buchanan Street Goods).
  /  /1900Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Purchase of Glasgow City Poorhouse, east of Buchanan Street station, for expansion of Buchanan Street Goods.
  /  /1902Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Expansion of Buchanan Street passenger station approved.
  /  /1902Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
The tunnel mouth and area around Buchanan Street Tunnel West Signal Box was to be opened up to allow considerable expansion of Buchanan Street Goods. A portion of Pulteney Street was authorised to be stopped up (in fact the road was removed entirely). This road was to the south of the tunnel's west entrance.
  /  /1905Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time to authorisation to lengthen the Dobbies Loan Bridge at Buchanan Street Goods.
  /  /1907Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time until 06/08/1910 to authorisation to lengthen the Dobbies Loan Bridge at Buchanan Street Goods.
14/06/1909Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
New goods shed opened at Buchanan Street Goods. The yard is greatly expanded and a new girder bridge crosses over the new lines at Dobbies Loan.
  /  /1913Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time allowed to rebuild Buchanan Street Goods.
29/06/1914Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Authorisation to build Balornock Shed between Germiston Junction Low and Milton Junction [Glasgow]. Sometimes known as St Rollox for the shed it replaced.
13/11/1916Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Balornock Shed opened.
  /  /1932Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Buchanan Street station re-built. Reconditioned canopies from Ardrossan North (which had just closed), on the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway,were erected.
  /  /1962Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
A4 Pacifics introduced on the Aberdeen to Glasgow Buchanan Street 3 hour Grampian run.
02/08/1962Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Buchanan Street Goods closed.
05/11/1962Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
St Rollox station closed.
03/09/1966Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
A4 Pacifics from Aberdeen to Glasgow Buchanan Street withdrawn.
07/11/1966Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Buchanan Street station closed; Buchanan Street to Sighthill East Junction closed. Where possible trains are diverted to Glasgow Queen Street High Level. A local shuttle to Cumbernauld commences from Springburn.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Buchanan Street to Milton Junction

This was a major terminus in Glasgow. It was located at the north end of Buchanan Street. This was the station for the north with destinations such as Stirling, Oban, Dundee West and Aberdeen. It is particularly associated with the 3 hour expresses to Aberdeen hauled by A4 Pacifics in the 1960s.
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On a wet evening at Glasgow Buchanan Street in June 1966, Standard Caprotti 5MT 4-6-0 73149 slips as it starts the 5.35pm service to Dunblane. ...
Robin McGregor 17/06/1966
A4 60009 'Union of South Africa,' in BR service, seen at Buchanan Street platform end in the early 1960s. ...
Aitken Scott //
Class 5MT 44718 at Buchanan St station with 0750 Glasgow-Oban service in 1961. ...
David Murray-Smith 20/03/1961
Standard Caprotti Class 5 73146 loses its footing as it leaves Glasgow Buchanan St with the 4.25pm to Inverness on 13th September 1963. ...
Robin McGregor 13/09/1963
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This signal box, originally Buchanan Street North Signal Box, was renamed from North to West, a more geographically correct name. It was at the western end of Buchanan Street Tunnel where the lines emerged and fanned out to approach Buchanan Street station, Buchanan Street Goods and Buchanan Street Shed.
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The PW team stands aside at Buchanan Street on 25 July 1955 as the Saint Mungo arrives from Aberdeen. Locomotive carrying the headboard on this ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1955
45443 about to enter Buchanan Street station on 25 July 1955 with a train from Oban. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1955
The 'Bon Accord' leaving Buchanan Street for Aberdeen on 25 July 1955. Locomotive is Perth based Standard class 5 4-6-0 no 73005. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 25/07/1955
Black 5 44997 arriving at Buchanan Street on 20 June 1957 with an express from Aberdeen. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 20/06/1957
4 of 10 images. more


This was a double track tunnel which ran west under the Monkland Canal (now the M8) to Pinkston Road. There was an airshaft just to the north of the St Rollox [1st] depot.
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This photo is of the mouth at the country end of the tunnel from Buchanan Street behind student flats off Dobbies Loan. ...
John Yellowlees 02/06/2018
Sneaky look inside the access chamber at the North portal of Buchanan street tunnel. ...
Martin MacGuire 19/05/2016
Another view of the Queen Street tunnel support arch. ...
Colin Harkins 22/11/2007
Closer view of the supporting arch for Queen Street tunnel. Slippery stairs bottom left of photograph. ...
Colin Harkins 22/11/2007
4 of 14 images. more


This signal box, originally called Buchanan Street Tunnel South, was east of Buchanan Street Tunnel. It was renamed from South to East, a more geographically correct name.
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73149 emerging from the Buchanan St tunnel on the 15.15 Glasgow - Dundee. 44874 descends to Buchanan St with empty stock. 27/8/65 ...
Robin McGregor 27/08/1965
73120 leaving Buchanan Street tunnel on 10.00 Highland train. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 21/08/1957
2 of 2 images.


This was a two platform station opened with the major expansion of the St Rollox Works. It was located in a cutting to the north of the works.
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This was the short lived connection between the Glasgow Buchanan Street to Milton Junction [Glasgow] alignment and the Sighthill Branch (Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway).
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The long single carriageway tunnel which takes Darnick Street under the railway from Spingburn to Cumbernauld is quite intimidating for pedestrians ...
Colin McDonald 07/03/2019
The long single carriageway tunnel which currently takes Darnick Street under the railway from Spingburn to Cumbernauld, but in the past burrowed ...
Colin McDonald 07/03/2019
2 of 2 images.


This was the junction between the Buchanan Street to Milton Junction line and the line to Balornock Junction with lines to Dumbarton Central, Robroyston West Junction and south to Rutherglen by The Switchback (Caledonian Railway). The link, and the line to Buchanan Street, closed in 1966.
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See also
The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)


This 14 road shed replaced the cramped sheds at St Rollox Works and Buchanan Street. It was known as Balornock Shed in Caley and LMS days and St Rollox by British Railways.
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Black 5 4-6-0 no 45163 in the shed yard at Balornock in the summer of 1961. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 10/06/1961
Last of the 'Bens'. Drummond ex-Highland Railway 'Small Ben' class 4-4-0 no 54398 Ben Alder, built by Dubs & Co in 1898, photographed on St ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 01/11/1950
BR Standard class 5 4-6-0 no 73120 climbs past Balornock shed with the down Granite City, shortly after leaving Buchanan Street on 5 May 1956. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 05/05/1956
Pickersgill ex-Caledonian 4-4-0 no 54475 passing Balornock shed on 1 November 1950 with empty stock for Buchanan Street. [Ref query 12 August 2018] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 01/11/1950
4 of 26 images. more


At this junction the lines from the original Glasgow terminus of the 1831 Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway at St Rollox [1st] was met by the later (1849) line to the more suitable terminus at Glasgow Buchanan Street. The former, the southern pair of lines, also served the St Rollox Works. The latter, the northern pair of lines, also served Balornock Shed. After the opening of ...

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See also
Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway
45084 on the 13.00 Glasgow-Stirling, passing Milton Junction. 18/3/66. The line from Balornock Junction was in a deep cutting behind the box. ...
Robin McGregor 18/03/1966
'Ahhh would you look at that Ted - some eejit's gone and dumped an old bridge in that field...' Not what it seems.. view of the the bridge ...
John Furnevel 01/04/2007
The Warren Truss bridge carrying the G&G line over the M80 motorway between Balornock and Robroyston, Glasgow. Looking north on a quiet Sunday morning ...
John Furnevel 18/04/2010
3 of 3 images.





St Rollox Works

The long single carriageway tunnel which takes Darnick Street under the railway from Spingburn to Cumbernauld is quite intimidating for pedestrians ...
Colin McDonald 07/03/2019
The long single carriageway tunnel which currently takes Darnick Street under the railway from Spingburn to Cumbernauld, but in the past burrowed ...
Colin McDonald 07/03/2019
2 of 2 images.


This goods yard was to the south of the Buchanan Street line and north of the line serving St Rollox Works This yard had cattle sheds, sidings, pens and a group of holding sidings at the east end. The western end was just south of St Rollox station. To some extent it competed with the much larger Sighthill Goods to the north of that station.
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This locomotive shed opened at the St Rollox Works to augment the smaller shed at Buchanan Street Shed which was in a very constrained site. It also allowed all of the St Rollox Works to be dedicated to heavier repairs and continued locomotive maintenance during the complete reconstruction of the works site.. The much larger Balornock Shed (also known as St Rollox although over a ...

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This is a railway works located in Springburn, north of Glasgow. It can 'carry out service, maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrades on all train types'. Traditionally it has been called 'The Caley' after the company who built it. 3,000 to 3,500 people worked there at its height.
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The three daughters of James Kennedy with the Lord Provost during the unveiling of a plaque to his memory. James Kennedy died during a robbery at the ...
John Yellowlees 21/12/2017
The text of a plaque unveiled to the memory of James Kennedy.

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John Yellowlees 21/12/2017
Commemorative plaque at St Rollox, June 2012. ...
Veronica Clibbery 01/06/2012
Gates at Railcare, St Rollox, on 1 June 2012 evoking memories of British Rail Engineering Ltd. ...
Veronica Clibbery 01/06/2012
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