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Scottish - Drumgelloch review 1


24/8/08 Glasgow Queen Street to Drumgelloch

Details from SPRS "Routes & Branches" Excursion  

Journey time: 31 minutes (from Glasgow Queen Street)

Distance: 12 miles  Weather: cloudy

Train type: Class 320 4-car EMU  (single track after Airdrie)

Railway company: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Frequency of trains: every half hour

Although trains for Drumgelloch usually start at Helensburgh Central for the purposes of this review I shall start at Glasgow Queen Street station. This is the low level platform for Queen Street station, which has just the two platforms and is underground. The seats are painted yellow and brown and are in an almost identical colour scheme to the Merseyrail underground stations of Liverpool. We continue through a tunnel to Glasgow High Street station, which looks just the same as Queen Street station platform, though is partly in open air. We continue past the eastern part of Glasgow city centre in a wide-open space of overgrown bushes and wild flowers. A freight line from the south side of the city joins us on the right and then we go into another tunnel before emerging at Belgrove station. It is a two-platform island station with a large shelter in the middle and soon after the line to Springburn goes off on the left. We continue in an easterly direction passing Glasgow Celtic's Celtic park on the right, then we continue past high rise blocks of houses and tenement blocks on both sides before we arrive at Carntyne station. It has a small red corrugated iron bus shelter on down platform. We are now out into another wasteland area on either side of the track, before we go into a cutting. We emerge into more suburban housing and Shettleston Station, which has a modern brick station building on the down platform and a cast iron footbridge. Just after the station the carriage depot can be seen on the right. We don't go too far before we arrive at Garrowhill station. It has one long shelter on down platform and one shorter bus stop on the up platform.  Modern factories can be seen on the left and housing on right. We continue into the outer suburbs of Glasgow and reach Easterhouse station.  It is a modern station with a large station building on the up platform. We go under the A8 and then finally we are out into the countryside. It is mainly rough pastureland at first as we pass under both the M8 and the M73 in quick succession. Then more housing on the right appears, before giving way to woodlands on both sides of the track. You can see houses in the distance on the left and a park on right, before coming into Blairhill station. There is a long cast iron shelter on the up platform but nothing on left. We go under the Cumbernauld to Motherwell line and then past an old factory on the right. It says it is Summerlee Heritage Trust and has an old fire engine in front of it. A freight line goes off on the right to Coatbridge Central, and then we come into Coatbridge Sunnyside station, which is curved and has a large station building. We are now out into countryside on the left, whilst there is still housing on the right as we come into Coatdyke station. It is a brand new station with just two shelters.  We then go onto a viaduct with views on the right to the Glasgow suburbs. There are several tenement blocks on the right and a park on left. We are now in a cutting on our right side, whilst on the left we have views of houses with long gardens going down to track. Then we come to a stop as we wait for a unit to come out of the single section from Drumgelloch. There are large houses on the right as we come into Airdrie station. It has an island platform with station building in the middle and the remains of a third platform on the north side. We continue on a single track past warehouses and factories and into another cutting. There is a scrap yard on the right and then a large modern housing estate on both sides, which is where Drumgelloch station is. It is a modern station with new platform and shelter and beyond the buffers the line will continue to Bathgate. 

Summary: This branch will not be a branch for much longer as the line is to be continued all the way to the Bathgate branch west of Edinburgh, thus reuniting a piece of track which was shut down in 1956 to passengers and in 1982 to freight. MC