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Argyle Line

A network of suburban railways serving the Greater Glasgow conurbation, the Argyle Line was formally created in 1979 as a joint venture between British Rail and the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive. It takes its name from Argyle Street in Glasgow, under which a central section of the line runs in a tunnel. The core of the network is the former Glasgow Central Railway, which opened in 1886. This line closed in 1964, a victim of railway rationalisation, but sections were electrified and re-opened to provide a commuter service.

The rejuvenated Argyle Line has the Low Level station at Glasgow Central as its hub, and this central section passes through shallow tunnels constructed using the cut-and-cover method between Finnieston in the west and Dalmarnock in the east. In 1994 and 2002 the western section of this tunnel network was flooded when the River Kelvin burst its banks following torrential rain. The Argyle Line was closed for ten months while repairs were undertaken.

The western section of the Argyle Line network comprises a pair of lines which connect Finnieston Junction with Dalmuir, together with the Milngavie Branch, infrastructure which is all shared with the North Clyde Line. These lines represent the former Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway via Westerton and Drumchapel, which opened in 1858 and the former Glasgow, Yoker and Clydebank Railway via Garscadden, which opened in 1882. The Milngavie Branch opened as the Glasgow and Milngavie Junction Railway in 1863.

To east, the Argyle Line includes parts of the former Cleland and Midcalder Line (opened 1879), the Clydesdale Junction Railway (opened 1849) and sections of the West Coast Main Line (opened 1849) to Carluke, Lanark and Carstairs. The Argyle Line was extended with the opening of the Larkhall Line in 2005. The Whifflet Line, which represents the former Rutherglen and Coatbridge Railway, was designated as part of the Argyle Line in 2014, following its electrification.

In total, the line connects forty-eight stations; thirteen in South Lanarkshire, ten in North Lanarkshire, four in East Dunbartonshire, four in West Dunbartonshire, and seventeen in Glasgow City.


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