The Argyle Line is a suburban railway located in West Central Scotland. The line serves the commercial and shopping districts of Glasgow's central area, and connects towns from West Dunbartonshire to South Lanarkshire. Named for Glasgow's Argyle Street, the line uses the earlier cut-and-cover tunnel running beneath that thoroughfare.

Argyle Line
Kelvinhaugh Tunnel (geograph 6200150).jpg
Eastern portal of the Kelvinhaugh Tunnel, 2019.
Overview
StatusOperational
OwnerNetwork Rail
Locale
Stations48
Service
TypeHeavy rail
SystemNational Rail
Rolling stock
History
Opened1979
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC
Route map

Dalmuir
Clydebank
Singer
Drumry
Drumchapel
Yoker
Milngavie
Hillfoot
Bearsden
Garscadden
Westerton
Scotstounhill
Jordanhill
Anniesland
(for Maryhill Line)
Hyndland
Partick Glasgow Subway
Finnieston West Jn
Finnieston East Jn
Exhibition Centre
Anderston
Glasgow Central
Argyle Street
Bridgeton
Dalmarnock
Rutherglen
Cambuslang
Newton
Uddingston
Blantyre
Bellshill
Hamilton West
Coatbridge Central
Hamilton Central
Whifflet
Airbles
Motherwell
(for WCML & ECML)
Chatelherault
Holytown
Merryton
Shieldmuir
Larkhall
Wishaw
Carluke
Lanark
Carstairs
Glasgow–Edinburgh
via Carstairs line

The term "Argyle Line" is commonly used to describe:

  • the extensive urban passenger train service that connects the towns and suburbs of North Clyde with Motherwell, Larkhall, and Lanark, to the southeast. Of the 48 stations, 4 are in West Dunbartonshire, 4 in East Dunbartonshire, 17 in Glasgow City, 10 in North Lanarkshire, and 13 in South Lanarkshire.[1]
  • the central portion of railway infrastructure encompassing less than 5 miles (8 km).

HistoryEdit

Prior to 1964Edit

The Glasgow Central Railway (GCR) under central Glasgow opened in 1886, connecting the Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway at Maryhill Central and Stobcross Railway at Stobcross to the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway near Kirkhill, Rutherglen and Coatbridge Railway at Carmyle, Clydesdale Junction Railway and Polloc and Govan Railway at Rutherglen, and Clydesdale Junction Railway at Newton. The line closed in 1964 as a result of the Beeching Axe.[2]

Overview 1979 openingEdit

On 1 November 1979, the Queen officially opened the Argyle Line, with services commencing four days later.[3][4] This joint venture between British Rail and the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive (SPTE)[5] comprised a tunnel diversion and reopening the 4.5-mile (7.2 km) Stobcross–Rutherglen low-level line. However, the Argyle name later applied to the combined DalmuirLanark routes.[6][7]

InfrastructureEdit

The former Caledonian Railway (CR) line via Whiteinch, Partick West, and Partick Central (Kelvin Hall) remained abandoned. The new connection with the original North British Railway route via Hyndland and a rebuilt Partick[8] also incorporated a grade-separated junction with the Queen Street Low Level route. The already electrified North Clyde Line northwest of Partick and West Coast Main Line (WCML) southeast of Rutherglen were linked by laying double tracks and installing overhead electrical wiring along the disused section that had separated these networks. At Rutherglen, a new platform was built and the main line ones abandoned.[9]

Finnieston West Junction–Dalmarnock is sub-surface:

  • Brickwork was power washed and repaired.[6]
  • Concrete slabs superseded ballast.[10]
  • Former GCR stations at Glasgow Green and Glasgow Cross remained disused. The frontage of Glasgow Green station[11] was demolished in March 2012,[12] and the entrance to Glasgow Cross station (adjacent to the Tollbooth) has been turned into ventilation ducts, visible from the traffic island between Trongate and London Road.[13]
  • Argyle Street became a new station 0.2 miles (0.3 km) west of the former Glasgow Cross.[14]
  • Exhibition Centre (called Finnieston until 1986) was rebuilt. Slightly to the west of the original GCR Stobcross station, the only commonality between the two is the location of much of the eastbound platform (which was originally the westbound one). A new siding enabled westbound trains to stable and turn back.[10]
  • Tunnel lengths are Kelvinhaugh (Finnieston West Junction–Exhibition Centre) 968 yards (885 m), Stobcross (Exhibition Centre–Anderston) 500 or 640 yards (460 or 590 m), Anderston (Anderston–Glasgow Green) 2,800 yards (2,600 m), Canning St (Glasgow Green–Bridgeton) 460 or 510 yards (420 or 470 m), and Dalmarnock Rd (Bridgeton–Dalmarnock) 766 yards (700 m).[15]

FloodingEdit

In Spring 1994, the River Kelvin breached its banks releasing a deluge into the Exhibition Centre–Argyle Street section to a depth of more than 3 metres (10 ft), trapping two trains, and resulting in a nine-month closure.[16][17] Dalmarnock has been flooded several times.

ExtensionsEdit

The Larkhall Line was opened as an extension to Argyle Line services in December 2005 by First Minister Jack McConnell. Formerly the CR Coalburn Branch, the rebuilt/new stations are Chatelherault, Merryton, and the Larkhall terminus.[5][18] The branch is single line throughout, with a crossing loop at Allanton. Milngavie, formerly a North Clyde service, became a destination.[19]

The Whifflet Line service that reopened in October 1993[20] received electrification of the Rutherglen–Whifflet section in December 2014.[21] This enabled a rerouting through Glasgow Central Low Level to the western suburbs, increased frequency on the route, reduced WCML usage conflict, and created a diversionary path for long distance WCML services.[22] At the same time, Lanark services switched to Glasgow Central High Level.

Service patternsEdit

Prior versions
Passenger trains per hour (Nov 1979 opening)
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat Sun
Motherwell Bellshill Dumbarton Central
1
Motherwell Blantyre Dumbarton Central
1
Motherwell Bellshill Partick
2
Motherwell Blantyre Partick
2
Milngavie limited stops Lanark
1
Passenger trains per hour (1982–83)[19][23]
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat Sun
Motherwell Bellshill Dumbarton Central
1
Motherwell Blantyre Dumbarton Central
1
Motherwell Hamilton Central Dalmuir
2
Motherwell Bellshill Dalmuir
2
Lanark limited stops Anderston
1
Passenger trains per hour (2002–03) [19][23]
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat Sun
Motherwell Dalmuir
3
Lanark Dalmuir
1
Passenger trains per hour (2003-04) [24][25][26]
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat (off peak) Sun
Lanark Holytown, Hamilton Central, Singer Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Hamilton Central, Singer Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Hamilton Central, Yoker Balloch
2
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill Milngavie
1
Motherwell Bellshill Milngavie
1
Passenger trains per hour (2006–07)
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat Sun
Lanark Holytown, Blantyre Milngavie
1
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill Milngavie
1
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Larkhall Singer (limited stops) Dalmuir
2
Motherwell Blantyre Milngavie
1
Motherwell Bellshill Milngavie
1
Motherwell Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Blantyre, Yoker Balloch
2
Passenger trains per hour (2007–08)
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat Sun
Lanark Holytown, Blantyre Milngavie
1
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill Milngavie
1
Lanark Shieldmuir, Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Larkhall Singer (limited stops) Dalmuir
2
Larkhall (limited stops) Partick
1
Motherwell Blantyre Milngavie
1
Motherwell Bellshill Milngavie
1
Motherwell Bellshill, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Blantyre, Yoker Balloch
2
Passenger trains (2014–15) Direction/Frequency per hour
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat (off peak) Sun (from 8:20am)
Cumbernauld Motherwell, Hamilton Central, Yoker Dalmuir
NW/1
Dalmuir Singer, Whifflet Motherwell
SE/1
Dalmuir Singer Whifflet
SE/1
Dalmuir Yoker Larkhall
SE/2
Milngavie Hamilton Central Motherwell
SE/1
both/2
Milngavie Hamilton Central, Motherwell Cumbernauld
SE/1
Glasgow Central Bellshill, Shieldmuir Lanark
both/2
both/1
Larkhall Singer Dalmuir
NW/2
Larkhall Yoker Balloch
both/1
Motherwell Hamilton Central, Yoker Dalmuir
NW/1
Motherwell Whifflet Milngavie
NW/1
Motherwell Whifflet Balloch
both/1
Motherwell Bellshill Glasgow Central
both/1
Whifflet Milngavie
NW/1
Passenger trains per hour (2016–17)
Terminus Via Terminus Mon–Sat (off peak) Sun
Cumbernauld Blantyre, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Lanark Bellshill Glasgow Central
2
1
Larkhall Milngavie
2
Motherwell Blantyre, Yoker Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Whifflet, Singer Dalmuir
1
Motherwell Whifflet, Yoker Balloch
1
Motherwell Blantyre Milngavie
2
Motherwell Bellshill Glasgow Central
1
Milngavie Blantyre Cumbernauld
1
Whifflet Singer Dalmuir
1

ServicesEdit

RoutesEdit

At Dalmuir Park Junction, southeastwards enters the Yoker line, before rejoining at Hyndland East Junction,[27] and eastwards remains on the North Clyde (officially North Electric Main Line) via Singer and Westerton Junction,[28] where the 3.2-mile (5.1 km) Milngavie Branch[29] joins. This route continues via Knightswood North and South junctions,[30] and Hyndland.[31]

Eastbound trains enter the Kelvinhaugh Tunnel[6] immediately to the west of Sandyford Street. This tunnel joins the original section on the Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway from Partick Central, just south of Kelvinhaugh Street; finally meeting the disused GCR Stobcross Depot Tunnel, just inside the common southeast portal of these two tunnels. The mouth of the Stobcross Depot Tunnel can be seen from the eastbound platform of Exhibition Centre.

Westbound trains ascend to join the North Clyde line[6] from Queen Street station. This steep incline originally gave access to the sidings at Queen's Dock from the Stobcross Railway.

The WCML is accessed after Rutherglen. At Rutherglen East Junction, the Whifflet line emerges eastwards, and the route later passes east of Bellshill. At Newton Junction, eastwards follows the WCML via Uddingston, and southeastwards is the Hamilton Circle. At Haughhead Junction, 1.2 miles (1.9 km) east of Hamilton Central,[32] a 3-mile (4.8 km)[33] branch leads to Larkhall. The Hamilton Circle terminates at Motherwell.

Bellshill is 2.3 miles (3.7 km)[34] after leaving the WCML at Uddingston Junction. Beyond the station, the route joins the line south from Whifflet, returning to the WCML at Motherwell. Southeast 13.3 miles (21.4 km) at Lanark Junction,[35][36] the 2.5-mile (4.0 km)[37] single-track branch serves Lanark, the southeastern extremity.

 
Class 318s are a common sight on the Argyle Line. 318257 is pictured at Motherwell.
 
Class 318s and Class 320s work the bulk of Argyle Line services. 318254 and 320313 stand side by side at Partick.

FrequencyEdit

Passenger trains per hour (2020/21)[38]
Terminus Via West of Mon–Sat (off peak) Sun (from 8:10am)
Dalmuir Yoker Glasgow Central Low Level 4
Dalmuir Singer Glasgow Central Low Level 2
Milngavie Glasgow Central Low Level 2
Balloch Glasgow Central Low Level 2
Passenger trains per hour (2020/21)[39]
Terminus Via East of Mon–Sat (off peak) Sun (from 8:20am)
Larkhall Hamilton Central Glasgow Central Low Level 2 1
Motherwell Whifflet Glasgow Central Low Level 1 1
Motherwell Hamilton Central Glasgow Central Low Level 1 2
Cumbernauld Motherwell, Hamilton Central Glasgow Central Low Level 1
Whifflet Glasgow Central Low Level 1

Rolling stockEdit

At its opening, the rolling stock on the Argyle Line was Class 314 electric multiple units, which were then new.[40] These were accompanied by a number of the older Class 303[41] "Blue Train" sets from the North Clyde route. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Class 311 trains also operated on this route. After the 303s were retired in 2002, the route was operated by a mixture of new Class 334 Alstom "Juniper" units,[42] alongside a small number of 1980s vintage Class 318[43] trains cascaded from the Ayrshire routes, with the original Class 314 sets transferred to the Cathcart Circle.

The Argyle Line is operated by Class 320s[44] and Class 318s with the occasional Class 334[45] appearing and Class 385s covering Lanark services that now run into Glasgow Central. Class 380s used to operate the line from 2014 to 2019 covering Lanark services when they first ran into Central High Level.

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "Argyle Line". www.scottish-places.info.
  2. ^ Cobb, Col. M.H. (2003). The Railways of Great Britain – a Historical Atlas, Volume 2. Ian Allan Publishing Ltd.
  3. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 3, 7th page.
  4. ^ Skillen, Brian S. (December 1979). "The Once and Future Railway". Scottish Transport. Scottish Tramway Museum Society (33): 13–19.
  5. ^ a b Railway Renaissance: Britain's Railways after Beeching , p. PT214, at Google Books
  6. ^ a b c d Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 4, 10th page.
  7. ^ "Railway line names". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  8. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 4, 9th page.
  9. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 3, 8th page.
  10. ^ a b Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 4, 11th page.
  11. ^ "Glasgow Green station, 2009". www.google.co.uk.
  12. ^ "BBC News, 20 Mar 2012". www.bbc.co.uk.
  13. ^ "Glasgow Cross station, 2008". www.google.co.uk.
  14. ^ "ARG2 Strathclyde Junction to Finnieston Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  15. ^ "Railway tunnel lengths". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  16. ^ The Railways of Glasgow, Post-Beeching , p. PT62, at Google Books
  17. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 4, 17th page.
  18. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 2, 19th–20th pages.
  19. ^ a b c Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 8, 4th page.
  20. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 3, 10th page.
  21. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 3, 16th page.
  22. ^ Railway Renaissance: Britain's Railways after Beeching , p. PT216, at Google Books
  23. ^ a b The Railways of Glasgow, Post-Beeching , p. PT121, at Google Books
  24. ^ "Class 303 EMU: 2003 News - Sec.6.1.03 (October 2009 Geocities Page Archive)". Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Scotrail: Route 24 Timetable (2003)" (PDF). www.scotrail.co.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 December 2003. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Scotrail: Route 22 Timetable (2003)" (PDF). www.scotrail.co.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 December 2003. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  27. ^ "YKR Yoker Line". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  28. ^ "NEM5 Knightswood North Junction to Bowling". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  29. ^ "MGE Milngavie Branch". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  30. ^ "NEM4 Knightswood South Junction to Knightswood North Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  31. ^ "NEM3 High Street to Knightswood South Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  32. ^ "HMN2 Newton to Ross Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  33. ^ "LRK Larkhall Branch". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  34. ^ "EGS1 Uddingston Junction to Mossend East Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  35. ^ "WCM1 Carlisle to Law Junction". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  36. ^ "WCM2 Law Junction to Glasgow". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  37. ^ "LNK Lanark Branch". www.railwaycodes.org.uk.
  38. ^ "May 2020 NRT: Table 226". www.networkrail.co.uk.
  39. ^ "May 2020 NRT: Table 225". www.networkrail.co.uk.
  40. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 19th page.
  41. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 15th page.
  42. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 32nd page.
  43. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 26th page.
  44. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 28th page.
  45. ^ Webster 2014, p. ebook Ch. 7, 33rd page.

ReferencesEdit

  • Webster, Gordon D. (2014). The Railways of Glasgow, post-Beeching. The History Press. ISBN 9780752499079.