Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
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Alisdair
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:22 pm

Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by Alisdair »

John Paton's excellent article on Central as the initial chapter of his series on the GCR stations has certainly clarified my, previously vague, understanding of its development.
John raises the question of access to the platform on the north side between the siding and eastbound loop. Could it be that it was never the intention that this would be used as an operational platform? Was it possible that it was installed to prevent accidental demolition of one or more of the columns along its length, caused by derailment of rolling stock?
Alisdair
John Paton
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by John Paton »

Alisdair,
That is a good suggestion. We have been so focussed on trying to find any reference which would explain how the platform was used, that other reasons for the design were not thought about.

I see that there was a similar feature at Stobcross (see photo) - possibly also protecting heavy steelwork from damage by an errant locomotive or other heavy vehicle. (I suspect that carriages would be smashed to matchwood if they hit the pillars).

Thanks for the 'plaudits' for my article!

John
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80022 Stobcross 23-7-59 WACS.jpg
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Dave John
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:42 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by Dave John »

I also enjoyed reading that excellent article John.

The idea of a masonry "crash barrier" to protect the steelwork makes sense to me.
cardean
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:39 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by cardean »

Not sure if this is of any interest, but back in late 1969 I managed to access the old Low Level booking office and saved three
of the departing notices.
David C.
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Low Level Signs.jpg
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MIKEWILLIAMS
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

I like Alisdair's crash barrier suggestion too, but it doesn't solve the original problem - what were the sidings behind it used for?

Best

Mike
alastair
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 9:28 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by alastair »

Very much enjoyed John Paton's excellent article too- particularly the fascinating drawings of the short-lived Burnet station buildings. Oddly enough the next evening the Past Glasgow Facebook page posted a photo of the Central extension work in progress which gives a glimpse of them; there is a To Let notice in one of the arches. (The photo is credited to Glasgow Libraries.)
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neil57d
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by neil57d »

I too congratulate John Paton on his excellent article.

I recently discovered that the Signalling Record Society has this diagram showing temporary track and signalling alterations at Central Low Level in 1902, with the eastern end of the northern island platform out of use. I suggest this might be connected with the demolition of the "permanent" Burnet station building and the building of the extension to the High Level station.

Neil Dickson
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neil57d
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Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by neil57d »

The photo that Alistair has posted of the Argyle Street/Hope Street corner has also now been published on page 45 of The True Line 163, but I think there is some confusion at to what it shows. I think the building on the left is the row of shops that was built on Argyle Street between Wellington Street and Hope Street, and what we are seeing is that it was built in a style to match the Burnet station building, which was on the east side of Hope Street. The plans for the Burnet station building were published on pages 22 and 23 of The True Line 162, and show clearly that it was on the east side. These plans originally appeared in an article in Engineering 18 September 1896, which states that the building was under construction but not completed at the date of publication.

Neil Dickson
John Paton
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Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by John Paton »

My thinking is that the CR knew that the site on the east side of Hope Street would shortly be used to extend the High Level station westwards, and made the sensible decision to build the temporary stone station building on the same site as the temporary wooden building - on the west side of Hope Street. The CR already had drawings by Burnet for the shops between Wellington Street and Hope Street (see drawing on page 21 of TTL 162) which did not include a corner of the design shown in the photo referred to by Neil. The passageways under Hope Street had already been constructed for the temporary wooden building, and these could have been linked up with the High Level station until it was extended and a new entrance built.
I go through this with the photos below.
1 shows the sites that were cleared to build the LL station. No buildings survived between the HL station and Wellington Street.
2 looks from the HL station westwards, showing the LL station construction and Hope Street and Wellington Street.
3 is the temporary wooden building on the west side of Hope Street.
4 compares the stone building on the west side of Hope Street with the elevation drawing I included in my TTL 162 article.
It can be seen from 4 that the stone building is exactly the same as the drawing - all the details correspond. I cannot see why the CR would build two buildings of this design on each side of Hope Street. If they had, surely that on the west side - which would not have been the LL station entrance, would have had shopfronts all the way round, as envisaged in the Burnet drawing on p21 of TTL 162.
We see from the sign in the photo in 4 that the entrance to the LL station has already been moved into the extended HL station. Therefore the temporary stone building has ceased to be used as a station entrance - hence the 'To Let' sign. There also appears to be a shopfront pull-down canopy at the extreme left of the photo. I suggest that this is a shop already opened in the former station offices.
A question that I can't answer is how long did this building survive? At some time after 1909 (date of OS plan) the road junction was altered to align Hope Street with Oswald Street, and the building on the west side of Hope Street was removed to achieve this. Could the temporary stone building have been retained until these works took place? The replacement shops were built virtually to Burnet's original design (compare the Burnet drawing on p21 of TTL 162 with Stuart Rankin's photo on p33 of that issue.
I therefore remain of the opinion that the photo shows the temporary stone LL station entrance building, built in time for the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition. In the photo it has been replaced by the new LL entrance in the under-construction HL station extension, and is therefore being marketed for other uses.
John
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4 - comparison between completed building and drawing.jpg
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3 - the temporary wooden building.jpg
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2 - the cleared with LL station construction.jpg
2 - the cleared with LL station construction.jpg (1.56 MiB) Viewed 924 times
1 - map shows sites cleared for low-level station construction.jpg
1 - map shows sites cleared for low-level station construction.jpg (294.46 KiB) Viewed 924 times
neil57d
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by neil57d »

John Paton, in his post of 29 January 2024, gives a strong, well-argued case that the Central Low Level Station building was built on the west corner of Hope Street and Argyle Street. But doubts remain in my mind. Why? It's because there are two pieces of evidence that don't quite fit properly.

The first is that the Dundee Evening Telegraph report of the opening of the station (see TTL162 p24) states that the station has frontage 154 feet to Argyle Street and 123 feet to Hope Street, a glass roof and a restaurant 50 feet long that adjoins the distribution hall. This fits exactly with Burnet's plans for the station on the east corner of Hope Street and Argyle Street (TTL162, p23). I doubt that a building of that size could have been fitted onto the west corner site. Also the layout of stairs and passageways to the platforms on the west side of Hope Street seems to me to leave no room for the glass-roofed distribution hall and the restaurant. This suggests to me that the station building that is described was on the east side of Hope Street.

The second is the 1913 edition of the 25 inch Ordnance Survey map - an extract obtained from the National Library of Scotland is attached below. This shows that the building on the west corner of Hope Street and Argyle Street is angled at the corner, and it appears to be the size of a small shop. Immediately to the north of it on Hope Street is a larger building with a glass canopy above its entrance. This leads me back to my previous suggestion that the photograph posted by alastair shows a shop on the west corner built to match the station building on the east corner, and that the larger building to the north of it with the glass canopy was another entrance to the station.

This other entrance to the station would have enabled the station to remain open while the building on the east side was rebuilt in connection with the extension to the high level station. Perhaps this other entrance and the shop on the corner remained open until Hope Street was widened to align with Oswald Street, at which point the corner was remodelled so that the appearance of the shops on Argyle Street matched Burnet's original intention (TTL162, p21).

We really could do with more evidence to resolve these issues. I wonder if there are any more photographs or documents in libraries or archives that could help us.

Neil Dickson
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LanarkshireVI-10-1913extractCentralLowLevel.jpg
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Graham R
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:44 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by Graham R »

Hi Neil,
It's an interesting theory, but I am not sure it is supported by the Bartholomew town plans available on the NLS site, which show the changes year by year.
The changes in 1898, 1903 and 1911 are shown below. The building with the glass canopy on the west side of Hope Street seems to have been a bank, from before the start of the Low Level station construction until the Hope Street/Argyle Street junction was opened out. If there was a station entrance building on the west side of Hope Street, I would expect it to have been shown in darker hatching as for the other station premises. If it is was just an entrance to a stairway, though, maybe not ...
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I am staggered by the depth of research in John's series on Glasgow Central Railway stations, and am also enjoying your articles on Glasgow signalling in TTL 164 and NBRSG Journal 150. Many thanks to both of you. (I still get confused walking from Glasgow Central to Queen Street, so all guidance is welcome).
regards
Graham Roberts
neil57d
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 am

Re: Glasgow Central Low Level Station

Post by neil57d »

Hello Graham:

Thank you for your kind remarks about my signalling articles and for posting the Bartholemew town plans.

As you point out, Bartholemew produced a new plan each year. The plans state they are based on "Ordnance and Actual Surveys" but presumably they did not resurvey the whole area each year. I am wondering if they were a little slow in recording some of the changes. For example, the 1903-04 map shows the expanded Central High Level Station but the buildings to the west of Hope Street appear to be what was there prior to the building of the Low Level station which opened in 1896. It's only in the 1911-12 map that the buildings to the west of Hope Street were updated.

The bank to which you refer was labelled "Bank" on the 25 inch Ordnance Survey map as revised in 1893-94 and published in 1896 (extract from the National Library of Scotland attached below). The Ordnance Survey map that I attached to my post of 26 March states that it was revised in 1909 and published in 1913. The building on it on the west side of Hope Street with the glass canopy seems to me to be a larger building of a different shape to the bank, and is not labelled "Bank". So I suspect that the bank was demolished sometime between 1894 and 1909, and the building with the canopy built partly on its site.

It's all very intriguing and puzzling.

Neil Dickson
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LanarkshireVI-10-1896extractCentralLowLevel.jpg
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