Railway Steam Packet Company


This company was owned by the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway. In turn, it owned and operated steamers which provided onward connections from Greenock.

The company was created because existing steamer companies would not provide connections with the trains. The railway was, after all, in competition with the steamers between Glasgow and Greenock.

The company operated from 1841 to 1846 when it was wound up and the steamers sold to G & J Burns who would now provide the onward connections.

The railway connection with steamers was by no means over. In 1851 the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway was sold to the Caledonian Railway. The Railway Steamboat Company was to be formed, this was to be followed by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and, ultimately, Caledonian MacBrayne would be formed.


PS Royal Victoria, launched 01/03/1838, ran on the Greenock Customs House Quay to Helensburgh Pier service. (Sold on 1843.)

PS Pilot was launched 11/05/1844. On various services.

PS Pioneer [I], launched 18/06/1844, was to operate the service from Greenock Customs Quay to Gourock Pier, Kirn Pier, Dunoon Pier, Toward Point Pier and Rothesay Pier, a journey of 18 miles which took 1 hour and 6 minutes.

PS Petrel, launched approx 25/06/1845, operated from Greenock Customs House Quay to Largs Pier in 59 minutes.


  /  /1841Railway Steam Packet Company
The company is created for the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway to provide steamers for onward connections from Greenock.
  /  /1842Railway Steam Packet Company
Buys the PS Royal Victoria (built by Barr & MacNab at the Abercorn Shipbuilding Yard in 1838) to operate the Greenock to Helensburgh route.
  /  /1842Railway Steam Packet Company
Buys Bute Steam Packet Company^s steamers the PS Isle of Bute and Maid of Bute (both built 1835 by John Wood & Co).
  /  /1843Railway Steam Packet Company
Sells the PS Royal Victoria.
  /  /1844Railway Steam Packet Company
Two new ships delivered from the Abercorn Shipbuilding Yard of Barr & McNab: PS Pilot, PS Pioneer [I].
  /  /1845Railway Steam Packet Company
The new steamers met with such success that PS Petrel was ordered from the Abercorn Shipbuilding Yard of Barr & McNab.
  /  /1846Railway Steam Packet Company
Steamers sold to G & J Burns (Glasgow & Liverpool Steam Shipping Co), who undertake to provide the onward connections, and the packet company is wound up.