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Cowlairs West Jct. - Sighthill West Jct. (Springburn*)

Date Closed to Passenger Services

19 May 2014

Mileage Closed

0m 32c*

Stations Closed


Services Operated

6 36 am Milngavie - Glasgow (Queen St. Low Level) - Springburn - Milngavie a. 7 59 am

Services to/from the West Highland line

Glasgow (Queen St.) - Cumbernauld 


Timetable Reference

BR (ScR) 12 Sep 60 - 11 Jun 61 Table 19 ; BR(ScR) 11 Sep 61 - 17 Jun 62 Table 19; BR(ScR) 09 Sep 63 - 14 Jun 64 Table19

Cobb Atlas Reference

529 60 68 - 60 67

Present Status



RCH Glasgow Coatbridge & Paisley 1932

Further Notes

This short section of line appears to have been largely overlooked in respect of closure dates. The only reference identified to date is in PNM 1980 p33 which gives Cowlairs Jct. - Springburn ACD - 02/03/1964. This was actually the date unadvertised workmens' trains were withdrawn, regular timetabled public trains having ceased, according to the timetable, from 12/06/1961. The line was subsequently used by services to/from the West Highland line, principally overnight, as well as Motorail, services. Latterly the line was used by a newly introduced Glasgow (Queen St.) - Cumbernauld service via Springburn.

The following dates and services have been gleaned from various sources, primarily BLN and PSUL. Many hours work for 42c* of line!

B Aug 1887 360 'Glasgow City and District' table shows an hourly Maryhill - Springburn - Queen St. (LL) - Yorkhill - Maryhill and v.v. service. By B921 Apr 1910 824 the service had been modified to a Milngavie - Maryhill - Springburn - Queen St. (LL) - Yorkhill - Victoria Park and v.v. service. This service appears to have ceased during WW1, presumably from 01/01/1917 when Lochburn and Possilpark stations (between Cowlairs Jct. and Maryhill), were closed. The Springburn Story J. Thomas D&C 1974 p203 asserts "The disintegration of this complex service followed immediately on the introduction of the electric tram". 

Henceforth, a very restricted service operated, comprising a 0641 (minor retimings ensued) Milngavie - Westerton - Queen St. (LL) - Springburn - Maryhill - Milngavie train. Subsequently, additional trains, an afternoon Blanefield - Hyndland via Springburn and return and an afternoon SO Lennoxtown - Queen St. (LL) via Springburn, were introduced. 

This pattern continued until the mid-1950s, by which time the service was down to the morning Milngavie - Springburn - Milngavie train. This last appeared in BR (ScR) 12 Sep 60 - 11 Jun 61 Table 19. This coincided with the full implemetation of the revised 'Blue Train' electric service from Mon 12/06/1961.

The line continued to be used by unadvertised workmens' trains between Duke St./Springburn and Singer Works until withdrawal from Monday 02/03/1964 - PSUL 1963 summer amendments p17.

No services over this line, RTS or SDS, appear to have been operated until Mon 13/06/1966 - PSUL 1966-7 amendments p7 - when the dated 1725 Fort William - Edinburgh commenced traversing this route. 

From Sun 10/05/1970 the line was back in RTS use when the 2130 SO Euston - Inverness and two Motorail trains commenced using this line - BLN 149 p27

From Sun 07/01/1973 (officially - in practice from "Oct 1972") the (by then) 2035 SO Euston – Inverness was rerouted and ceased to use this line. The SDS 1725 Fort William - Euston continued to use this line - PSUL 1972-3 amendments p6BLN 217 p1.

From Mon 03/05/1976 the line was again back in RTS use when the 2150 SX & SUN Euston - Fort William was routed this way - PSUL 1976-7 p21  and PSUL 1976-7 amendments p6.

This pattern of service maintained largely unaltered until Mon 20/01/1986 when a new Glasgow (Queen St.) - Springburn - Cumbernauld DMU service was introduced. This entailed a reversal at Cowlairs North Jct., a temporary arrangement pending the construction of the 'Cowlairs Chord' allowing direct access to/from the Springburn line - BLN 534 p94/86-69.

From Mon 04/10/1993 the 'Cowlairs Chord' was opened, creating  new junctions at Sighthill West Jct. on this line and Cowlairs South Jct. on the Edinburgh - Glasgow line. The Queen St. - Cumbernauld trains were rerouted accordingly - BLN 717 p327/93-58.

However, all was not lost for this plucky little piece of track. The 2105 FSX, 1955 SUN Euston - Fort William continued to ply this line. And so it continued until 2014, by which time the sole service using this route was the 0450 SuX Edinburgh - Fort William. Alas, from Mon 19/05/2014 this train was rerouted - PSUL 2014 p27 - "Route withdrawn from 19 May 2014 - Edinburgh to Fort William train diverted via Airdrie and Glasgow Queen Street low level".

So there we have it! I see now why this line has been overlooked!

Seriously, it would appear that it was an 'illegal' closure in 1961, somehow evading the eagle-eye of authority, perhaps because of the continued use by unadvertised workmens' trains.   

*All the events prior to the opening of the Cowlairs Chord apply to the section of line from Cowlairs West Jct. - Springburn (excl.), a total distance of 0m 42c.


Page updated: 07/04/2022