Glasgow Central Railway Station

(Glasgow Central, Glaschu Mheadhain)

Glasgow Central Station
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Glasgow Central Station

Opened in 1879 by the Caledonian Railway Company as a terminus for southbound passenger trains, Glasgow Central Station (Gael: Glaschu Mheadhain) originally had nine platforms. A low-level station opened in 1896 with two further platforms, but with an increase in passenger numbers, the original station was extended and expanded by four more platforms during the period 1901-05. The result was a stylish Edwardian station, probably the grandest in Scotland and certainly now the busiest, with 32 million passengers per annum, the second busiest outside London (2017). The low-level station closed in 1964, but due to an increase in services was brought into use once again in 1979. Central Station now has a total of 17 platforms.

Today, Glasgow Central serves as the northern terminus of the West Coast Main Line, which extends north from Euston Station in London. Central Station is also the terminus of the Glasgow South Western Line, the Ayrshire Coast Line, the Inverclyde Line, the Paisley Canal Line, the Shotts Line, the Whifflet Line and the Cathcart Circle Line. The low-level station provides services on the Argyle Line, located between Argyle Street Station and Anderston Station.

The Category-A listed building has an immense glass roof extending to 5.7 sq. km (2.2 sq. miles) and comprising 48,000 panes. The station has some of Glasgow's best-loved landmarks associated with it. The Shell, a First World War artillery shell which was converted into a charity bowl, is a well-known meeting point, while another is the Heilander's Umbrella, the area beneath the railway bridge which crossed Argyle Street and was frequented by travellers from the Highlands and Islands. There is also a piano, available for the public to use. The station was the focus of the BBC documentary Inside Central Station (2019).

Unlike Queen Street Station, Central Station is one of only twenty British railway stations directly managed by Network Rail.

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