Railways in Jordanhill

 

1       General history

2       The railways around Crow Road

3       The gate lodges of Jordanhill House

4       Accident on the railway 1898

5       Murray’s ABC Time-table

 

 

1  General History

 

From an examination of old drawings and records. it is apparent that the the first railway in Jordanhill was the goods line to Whiteinch which connected with the Hyndland to Anniesland line near what is now Jordanhill Station (see point D on the map below).  It was built and operating before any decision was made to create the Yoker and Clydebank line which still runs east-west through Jordanhill, the present electrified line.    The Whiteinch Railway Company had opened the goods line to Dumbarton Road in 1874 and in 1891 the North British Railway Company bought the line and introduced passenger services to Whiteinch in 1897.     See the section below for details of the lines around Crow Road.

 

Passenger services on the Whiteinch line ceased in 1951 but  the goods line continued to serve the Whiteinch coal yards, where coal from distant mines was loaded into sacks for delivery to local houses,  until 1965. .   The bridge carrying Danes Drive over the goods line was built between 1895 and 1913 (from inspection of successive Ordnance Survey maps)  The abandoned track bed now forms the Victoria Park Walkway behind the houses in Westland Drive between Westbrae Drive and the Expressway.  Part of the coal yards were absorbed into the land required for the construction of the Expressway but the remainder are now retained as a large kick-about area north of the Expressway and west of Westland Drive

 

On 4 July 1878,  The Glasgow, Yoker and Clydebank Railway got an Act to build a line from the Stobcross branch to serve the new shipyards at Clydebank (leter known as John Brown’s).    The new line opened as a single track on 1 December 1882 and included the new bridge carrying it over Crow Road. 

 

I have a copy of the financial transactions relating to the acquisition of land for the railway and Mrs Susan Emma Parker Smith was well recompensed.    Most of the land was sold for £1200 per acre and the railway company had to provide a new 15 foot wide driveway and new lodge house.   See the more detailed description of the lodge replacement saga which is given in the text following the plan below..        

 

Very shortly after the single line was built negotiations started for the construction of the link up to Anniesland and this resulted in the provision of a further driveway diversion and the building of a new lodge together with a further new bridge over Crow Road.

 

Within a year of opening the line, the Singer Manufacturing Company of New Jersey built a 46 acre factory for the manufacture of sewing machines adjoining Kilbowie station on the Helensburgh line thus increasing passenger demand between Glasgow and Clydebank.

 

Under an Act of 1893 the line was doubled to twin track and extended to join the Helensburgh line at Dalmuir.    The line through Jordanhill became virtually a loop line to Helensburgh.

 

The 1913 edition of the Ordnance maps show a “Show Yard Station” built to serve the “Glasgow Agricultural Society Show Ground”  which at that time had a full stadium track and a large grandstand on its northern flank.  The station was located behind what are now the Lawrence houses in “the dip” on Southbrae Drive and had platforms on both sides with a pedestrian overbridge.     However by the 1932 edition of the Ordnance Survey map the station had disappeared.

 

The bridge over the railway at Westbrae Drive was built in 1928 and spanned both the passenger line and the goods line to Whiteinch.    Photographs of the construction of the bridge can be found on the Mitchell Library site at http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/cgi-bin/vm/main.plx?srcpage=advancedsearch&street=Southbrae+Dr     Apparently the bridge was not brought into use until 1930 due to a delay in completing the construction of the embankments on both sides of the new structure.

 

I should be pleased to hear from any railway expert who can supply firm dates and details relating to the above.

 

 

2  The railways around Crow Road

 

 

This extract from the 1913 Ordnance Survey map shows a lot of interesting information.

 

Crow Road is carried by a bridge over the goods line to Whiteinch at A with the line shown in a deep cutting (shaded green). It appears that at the time this map was being made, the connection to the main north-south line at C has been cut at B.   This goods line to Whiteinch had existed since 1874, long before the present east/west passenger line through the Jordanhill lands opened in 1882 and originally connected with the Partick to Maryhill line (the present Hyndland to Anniesland line) at a point about 200 yards east of C   After the passenger line had been built, with the new bridge carrying the track over Crow Road, it can be seen that a new junction has been formed to link the Whiteinch goods line to the recently opened east-west line further west at D   The new arrangement permitted the removal of the road-over-rail bridge at C.    This map therefore depicts the interim stages in the changeover process. The Scout hut beside Jordanhill Station is situated in what was the former railway cutting but all the rest of the cutting had been filled in, and built on, by the time of the next Ordnance Survey map appeared in 1932.

 

After the Whiteinch goods line was connected to the passenger line at D, it was doubled and became a passenger/goods line to Whiteinch Station.  Passenger services to Whiteinch were withdrawn in 1951 but the line was retained for the coalyards north of Dumbarton Road.    The whole line was abandoned in 1966/67.

 

 

 3  The gate lodges of Jordanhill House

 

This map can also be used to show the problems Jordanhill Estate had as a result of the railway line being laid through their grounds.    Since time immemorial the main gatehouse (lodge) for Jordanhill Mansion had stood beside Crow Road at E and the driveway headed northwest (to the top left corner) towards the big house. When the first railway line was built it resulted in the lodge being on the wrong (south) side  of the raiway embankment.     The railway company was required to build a new lodge at F and the driveway was slightly diverted

 

However within a few years the railway developers decided to build the link line to Anniesland and they promptly built a third lodge at G as a replacement for the one at F. Very shortly after building the third lodge the Smiths of Jordanhill decided to feu large areas of their lands for housing so the third lodge was demolished and the houses on Southbrae Drive were built. The second lodge (at F) remained until around 1980 when it was demolished as part of the Crow Road Improvements and a photograph of it is available on http://www.wsmclean.com/bygones.htm  (photo No 12)

 

Over the years I have heard a fascinating story, from a number of reliable sources,  that when the lodge at G was demolished, it was carefully taken apart with each stone numbered and it was then rebuilt north of the canal.   There is a small single-storey house on the west side of Bearsden Road just north of the railway bridge at Temple Road which looks like a lodge house.     However when I called on the present owner recently to inspect the house more closely,  I discovered that the walls are built of random rubble so it is highly unlikely that it came from Lodge No 3 which presumably was formed from dressed stone like Lodge No 2.      Examination of old maps and aerial photographs of the canal area has not produced evidence of any other building which would fit the story.     Alas the story remains....just a good story.

 

 

4  Accident on the railway, 1898

 

 

On the north side of the railway within its boundary, about a hundred yards west of Westbrae Drive, there was a small simple memorial on a wooden post. The lead plate carried the inscription:- “J Johnstone, Whiteinch Harriers, accidently killed here 15.1.98”    The house in the background is No 95 Southbrae Drive.

 

The accident was reported in the press and it appears that in these days the harriers regularly ran across the line to reach northern areas.   The railway had been built around 1880 (18 years earlier) and must have adversely affected the routes previously enjoyed by the runners.   Westbrae Bridge was not opened until 1930.

 

 
5  Murray’s ABC Time-table

 

Older residents will perhaps recall Murray’s ABC Time-table, a small purple pocket book published monthly,  which provided the time tables for all trains in Scotland.   The price was sixpence (about 2 new pence).    In addition to times and fares for trains, it listed sailing schedules for the Clyde Steamers and the ferries, together with lists of tide tables.     As a bonus there was an insurance certificate printed on one of the first pages which stated that  if the purchaser signed it, carried the current edition with them and was involved in an accident then the “General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation Limited” would pay them £300.    My father always carried a current copy and I have the edition covering the period 5 to 27 August 1957.

 

From the 1957 diary, the entry for Jordanhill quoted third class fares of eightpence single or tenpence return (that’s roughly 3p and 4p).  The first class was understandably dearer at a shilling single or “one and tuppence” return.

 

The trains appeared to serve Jordanhill only during popular time periods.  For example going to town the times were 7.42, 7.52, 8.17, 8.27, 8.58, 9.08, 9.44 and then nothing till 1.22   The last train back from town was 6.22.

 

 

19 April 2005  (revised 6 May)

 

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