This junction was formed in 1886 when the James Watt Dock and a goods line to the dock at Inchgreen were opened. The junction was with the 1869 Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway, part of the Glasgow and South Western Railway from 1872.
The junction was just west of Balwhirley Tunnel South and just east of Cartsburn Viaduct. The branch was double track and approached from the west. It passed through Balwhirley Tunnel North to the immediate east of the junction and ran downhill to the dock parallel and on the north side of the Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway. The signal box was on the north side of the line immediately east of the Cartsburn Viaduct and west of the bridge over Kilmacolm Road. To the west of the viaduct a siding on the north side, making a trailing connection, served the Ardgowan Distillery.
The branch closed in 1961 and the signal box closed.
The main line was singled and remained open for passengers until 1965 before closing in 1966. Cartsburn Junction to Greenock Princes Pier was retained and re-opened in 1971 from a connection made to the Greenock and Wemyss Bay Railway at Containerbase Junction, east of the Balwhirley Tunnel North (a short part of the branch re-opening).
The line officially closed in 1993 having seen no traffic since the 1980s.
Greenock Cathcart Street [1st]
Greenock Princes Pier [1st]
Greenock Princes Pier [2nd]
| Cartsburn Viaduct|
Cartsburn Tunnel South
Balwhirley Tunnel North
Balwhirley Tunnel South
Greenock Works and Shed
Greenock John Street Signal Box
Greenock Central Signal Box
|Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.|
|/ /1865||Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway|
Branch from Cartsburn Junction to Victoria Harbour authorised (where it would meet the Dellingburn Branch).
|01/06/1869||Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway|
Branch from Cartsburn Junction to Victoria Harbour opened. Proposed branch to Greenock Albert Harbour [Dock] abandoned.
|26/09/1966||Greenock and Ayrshire Railway|
Greenock Princes Pier to Kilmacolm (excluded) closed to freight. A single track from Greenock Princes Pier to Cartsburn Junction retained for possible re-instatement.
|07/06/1971||Greenock and Ayrshire Railway|
Greenock Container Port (formerly Princes Pier) to Cartsburn Junction to Garvel Dock Branch Junction re-opened to freight and a new portion from Garvel Dock Branch Junction to Containerbase Junction opened.
Legends of the Glasgow and South Western Railway in the L.M.S.Days
The Glasgow & South Western Railway a History