The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)

Introduction

This railway is closed. The line connected the railways on the south side of Glasgow at Dalmarnock with the north side at Germiston, and also provided sidings for the Parkhead Forge. The line made use of an earlier branch to the Blochairn Steel Works from Germiston and was formed of two portions. The connection to Germiston connected onto the approach to Buchanan Street.

Authorised as the 'Glasgow Lines'. Known as 'The Switchback' by the drivers.






Dates

  /  /1880Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway) The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Extension authorised - the 'Glasgow Lines' or further 'Dalmarnock Branch Extension', colloquially known as 'The Switchback' by the drivers.
  /  /1882The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Lines: London Road Junction [Glasgow] to Germiston Junction Low authorised. Rutherglen West Junction to Clyde Junction [CR] authorised.
17/08/1885Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway)
London Road [Glasgow] goods station approach replaced, with The Switchback (Caledonian Railway) opening.
17/08/1885The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
London Road Junction [Glasgow] to Parkhead Forge 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.
  /  /1887The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Extension of time to build Rutherglen West Junction to Clyde Junction [CR].
17/05/1887Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway)
London Road [Glasgow] passenger station approach replaced, with The Switchback (Caledonian Railway) opening in 1885.
17/05/1887The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Lines: London Road Junction [Glasgow] to Germiston Junction Low opened for passengers.
02/07/1888The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Kennyhill Goods opened,
02/05/1892The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Rutherglen West Junction to Clyde Junction [CR] opened.
01/10/1897The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Rutherglen [3rd] opened. Rutherglen West Junction to Clyde Junction [CR] opened to passengers.
13/06/1960The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Rutherglen West Junction to Clyde Junction [CR] closed to passengers. Rutherglen [3rd] north to west platforms closed.
07/09/1964The Switchback (Caledonian Railway)
Balornock Junction to London Road Junction [Glasgow] closed.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Germiston to Blackhill

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
Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)


This was a four way double track junction. From here a line ran west to Germiston Junction Low (1886), south to Blackhill Junction (same line, 1886), north west to Possil Junction (1894, box opened) and east to Robroyston West Junction (1896).
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See also
Hamiltonhill Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Robroyston Marshalling Yard and Colliery Branches (Caledonian Railway)
Pickersgill 0-6-0 57652 descends gently towards Balornock Junction from the Possil direction with a freight on 10 June 1961. [Ref query 6568] ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 10/06/1961
1 of 1 images.







Blochairn to Dalmarnock

This junction opened in 1886 when the 1884 Blochairn Branch (Caledonian Railway) was extended south by the The Switchback (Caledonian Railway) to London Road Junction [Glasgow] to meet the 1877 Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway). The Switchback not only connected the Caledonian Railway's northern and southern systems in Glasgow but also served the [[Parkhead Iron ...

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See also
Blochairn Steel Works Branch (Caledonian Railway)


This goods yard was on the west side of the goods only The Switchback (Caledonian Railway). The sidings were approached from the north. It was a goods and mineral depot.
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BR Standard class 5 73063 heads down the Switchback past Kennyhill Goods on 28 May 1958 with a train of low loaders. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/05/1958
Ex-Caledonian 0-6-0 57557 propelling a brakevan north along the Switchback on 28 May 1958. The combination has just passed below the A80 in the ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 28/05/1958
2 of 2 images.


This forge in Parkhead was built around 1837 for Reoch Brothers & Co. The oldest part was on the south side of New Road by the junction with Old Edinburgh Road. In 1841 David Napier took over the Parkhead Forge.
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See also
Glasgow and Coatbridge Branch (North British Railway)


This junction was controlled by Parkhead Iron Works signal box, the box and sidings opening with the line.
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Looking up to Switchback Line...notice the plyon and flats in background. ...
Colin Harkins 29/08/2006
Bridge support carrying the Switchback line across Duke Sreet, Glasgow. ...
Colin Harkins 31/05/2006
If you look across the right of the picture you will find the route taken by the switchback line in years gone by... a head for heights was not ...
Colin Harkins 29/08/2006
Extract from Glasgow City Council plans for the East End Regeneration showing the proposed route over the former Switchback (Caledonian Railway) and ...
Colin Harkins /06/2008
4 of 4 images.


This junction was at the south end of London Road [Glasgow] passenger (1879) and goods (1877) stations and was where The Switchback (Caledonian Railway) of 1885 extended the Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway) of 1877.
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See also
Dalmarnock Branch Extension (Caledonian Railway)
Ex-Caledonian 'Jumbo' 0-6-0 57456 heading south down the Switchback on the approach to London Road Junction, Dalmarnock, on 2 June 1949. Celtic Park ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 02/06/1949
1 of 1 images.





Rutherglen West Curve

This junction was replaced by the present Rutherglen North Junction, the present junction being south of the former Clydebridge Junction (the original Rutherglen North Junction [1st] was further south).
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See also
Dalmarnock Branch (Caledonian Railway)
Glasgow Central Railway
Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway
42243 approaching Rutherglen station on 17 May 1957 with a terminating service from Balloch. ...
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 17/05/1957
1 of 1 images.


This was a large station on two sides of a triangular junction with six platforms - four on the west to east main line and two on the west to north curve.
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See also
Clydesdale Junction Railway
Rutherglen West Junction looking to Glasgow. The closed mainline station is in the foreground. ...
Ewan Crawford //1988
Coal empties westbound through Rutherglen on 15 August 2006 on their way back to Hunterston. (Taken through the cleanest window of the station's ...
John Furnevel 15/08/2006
View west over Rutherglen West Junction - and the remains of Rutherglen's mainline platforms (abandoned in 1979) on 1 June 2009. ...
David Panton 01/06/2009
Rutherglen, closed mainline station, looking east. Near here the Polloc and Govan Railway and Clydesdale Junction Railway connected. Building on left ...
Ewan Crawford //1988
4 of 10 images. more


This junction opened in 1892, the western end of a curve which ran north to Clyde Junction [CR]. It was named for the new Rutherglen [3rd] station which opened with two platforms on the new curve and four platforms on the main line east.
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See also
Clydesdale Junction Railway
Rutherglen West Junction looking at the west to north curve. ...
Ewan Crawford //1988
In 1989 there was still one locomotive hauled daylight service from Glasgow to Fort William. In the morning this ran south to Glasgow Central which ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
2 of 2 images.