Craigendoran Pier

Location type


Name and dates

Craigendoran Pier (1882-1972)

Opened on the Craigendoran Pier Deviation.
Opened on the North British Steam Packet Company.


Craigendoran Pier was a pair of piers of unequal length served by a terminus single platform station directly alongside the main Craigendoran station. The northern pier was the longer and the southern was rail served with a single goods siding. The station had a long curving single platform on the north side of a run round loop.

The pier was in competition with the Caledonian Railway^s Greenock (opened 1841 and not convenient for the steamers) and the Glasgow and South Western Railway^s Greenock Princes Pier [1st] (opened 1869 and located on a steamer pier), both of which were on the south bank. The south bank companies improved their positions. The Caledonian Railway opened a new extension to Gourock in 1889 which hugely improved their position. To counter this the Glasgow and South Western Railway rebuilt their station as Greenock Princes Pier [2nd]. It was difficult for Craigendoran to compete with these new facilities.

With the establishment of the steamer pier and station at Craigendoran the North British Railway needed to arrange a source of water for locomotives and paddle steamers at the station. Railway Glen was one of the sources of water, another being the Woodhead Dam above Woodhead Cottage. Both sites were on the Camis Eskan Estate.

The pier platform was the starting point for the push-pull local service to Arrochar (reversal at Craigendoran Junction). These ran around four to five times a day and served the intermediate stations which were not always served by all the longer distance trains; Rhu, Shandon, Garelochhead, Whistlefield. The local service was withdrawn in 1964. Using the pier platform kept the main Helensburgh line and West Highland clear.

With electrification of the Helensburgh line the pier line was electrified, reduced to one track only and the line was lifted from the southern pier.

The piers and platform were closed in 1972. After several years of private use for small craft and fishing boats the piers became dangerous and were partly demolished making them inaccessible for safety.



External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


  /  /1879Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Combined Craigendoran Pier and Craigendoran authorised on a new loop, Craigendoran Pier Deviation, on the south side of the line, east of Helensburgh station. Original alignment abandoned.
  /  /1882PS Sheila
Bought by the North British Steam Packet Company to be used from the new Craigendoran Pier when it opened in 1882. Operated the Craigendoran Pier to Rothesay Pier service.
15/05/1882Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Craigendoran Pier and station opened. There was a double track station on the Helensburgh line, and a long curved single platform which ran onto the pier. PS Gareloch transferred to the new pier. PS Sheila bought.
  /  /1939Craigendoran Pier Deviation
Ferry services cut back (just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War). With the war, PS Lucy Ashton became the only vessel operating out of Craigendoran Pier to Helensburgh Pier, Kilcreggan Pier, Gourock Pier, Kirn Pier and Dunoon Pier.
16/06/1947London and North Eastern Railway
PS Waverley [IV]^s maiden voyage. Based at Craigendoran Pier she operated to Lochgoilhead Pier on Loch Goil and Arrochar Pier on Loch Long.
  /  /1970Blairmore Pier
Ceases to be a call on the Craigendoran Pier - Arrochar Pier route.
25/09/1972Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
Craigendoran Pier closed to vessels (Use of the pier was then given over to small craft for a number of years).