Paisley Canal

This incredible picture is Provest James Clark, on 27th May 1882, the last day of the canal before work began to convert it into a railway. He is looking up toward his home, Chapel House. The path on the right is recogniseable today, leading up to the railway bridge at Patrick Street which replaced the one shown.

Provest James Clark - click for larger vesrion

The Paisley Canal Railway line was originally a canal which ran from Glasgow to Johnstone and the area to the west of the old Canal Street Station (now Castlegait ) was the site of a terrible disaster in 1810 which claimed 85 lives. Read about it here.

Paisley Canal now cycle track - top right to bottom left

The route was taken over in 1882 by Glasgow and South Western Railway and became a branch line running from Glasgow through three stations in Paisley (Paisley Canal , Paisley West and Hawkhead) to North Johnstone. Trains ran to Kilmacolm and Greenock by connections to other railways. The Kilbarchan loop line is now the National cycle track to Lochwinnoch. The remains of Kilbarchan station are still there. The photographs below are exactly 100 years apart. There are proposals to re-open the line from Paisley to Elderslie.

Kilbarchan Station 1906Kilbarchan Station 2006 Graham Morgan http://travelandmixpix.fpic.co.uk/

Passenger services (to Kilmacolm) ended on 10 January 1983, freight in 1986. The line reopened on 27 July 1990 and now runs from Glasgow Central station to the new Paisley Canal Station. The bridge over the River Cart in the right hand photograph below is the oldest railway bridge in the world still used by trains. It was built by Thomas Telford in 1810 and originally carried the Canal.

Largs express at Paisly Canal  - GH RobinMeikleriggs junction, Canal Line. Train is passing Ferguslie Mill.  - GH RobinHawkhead bridge (built in 1810 )  - GH Robin

Canal Street Station

The original station was opened on 1 July 1885 and closed to passengers on 10 January 1983.

Paisley Canal Station circa 1900 from David Rowand's book 'Paisley Pictorial History 'Paisley Canal Station circa 1980  Colin MillerPaisley Canal Station circa 1980  Colin Miller



Goods Station (coal yard)

Paisley Canal Goods Station (coal yard)

Seven years later a new train service was commenced on 28 July 1990. As the original station site had been sold and the platforms filled in, a new platform to the east of the Causeyside Street overbridge was constructed within the railway cutting.


Saucel Goods Station

This was close to the site of the current Canal station. The probable remains are on the left below with the Saucel Distillery in the background. There also seems to have been sidings for other industry at Lonend. The back of Gleniffer Soap Works is in the photo on the right.

Remains of goods station  with the distillery in the background.Gleniffer Soapworks

There was also an iron works, shipyard and bedding factory in the immediate area. 

Lonend Ironworksbedding factory and shipyardGleniffer soap works front

Here is a 1949 aerial photograph.

aerial RAF 1949

Hawkhead Station

The station opened on 1 May 1894 and was closed on 1 January 1917. It was later re-opened by the British Transport Commission and was closed to passengers on 14 February 1966.

Hawkhead Station 1962  Colin MillerHawkhead Station 1962  Colin MillerHawkhead Station 1962  Colin Miller

A newly-built station opened in 12 April 1991 on the other side of Hawkhead Road.


Paisley West Station

Paisley West was the next station along from Paisley Canal on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway. It can be now be seen in Maxwellton Street in a low level cutting on the cycle track that was the route of the Canal line. It was also on the Potterhill branch line to Barrhead. The station opened on 1 June 1897, and closed on 14 February 1966.

paisley west 1953  - GH Robinpaisley West local train 1949  - GH Robin

The (very few) remains of the station can be seen on the left below. There is a ramp down from Maxwellton Street near the high flats to the cycle track where the first photograph was taken. The second one looks back along the cycle track toward the Maxwellton high flats.

Paisley West now - Colin HarkinsPaisley West now