Glasgow’s forgotten railway station lost in decades of change

AS the 11.25pm train to Inverness from Glasgow pulled out of Buchanan Street Station it marked its closure after 117 years.
On November 6, 1966, it was the end of an era but was the beginning of a new city landscape which developed over the next four decades.

The Buchanan Street station saw its first train in 1849 and was the station from which adventurous early Victorian passengers set out for Carlisle and London.

The city looks set to undergo another transformation with proposals which would see Buchanan Galleries demolished and replaced with a new mixed-use development.

However, it’s not the first time the area of the city has changed over the decades.

Glasgow Times: Buchanan Street train station which closed in 1966Buchanan Street train station which closed in 1966 (Image: Newsquest)

Buchanan Street train station operated by the Caledonian Railway Company, it would serve as that railway’s main terminus in Glasgow until Central Station was built.

Its demise was as a result of the Richard Beeching cuts in the 1960s, with routes transferring to Queen Street. The station buildings were demolished in 1967.

Glasgow Times: Buchanan Street was a bustling rail stationBuchanan Street was a bustling rail station (Image: Newsquest)
In 1975, British Rail constructed Buchanan House (renamed ScotRail House between January 1985 and April 1994) and Glasgow Caledonian University occupy the site of the station. The Station Bar, nearby, still exists.
In the 1950s, properties in the Buchanan Street area were demolished to make way for the NAAFI Building (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes) which provided facilities and goods to British servicemen and their families.

However, it wasn’t long before it was taken over by Reo Stakis’s organisation in 1964 and turned into a casino. During the late 1970s, the construction of Buchanan Bus Station led to roads being rearranged.

Glasgow Times: How the Buchanan Street rail area once lookedHow the Buchanan Street rail area once looked (Image: Newsquest)
The western part of Parliamentary Road was realigned in an approximate east-west direction between North Hanover Street and West Nile Street and was renamed Killermont Street. 

The buildings along the eastern part of Parliamentary Road were cleared to make way for a new council housing development. 

As for the casino, it was reported to be still standing in 1985, but was subsequently removed to allow construction of the Concert Hall, which was completed in 1990, with the Buchanan Galleries development coming later.

Glasgow Times: How a future Buchanan Galleries area could lookHow a future Buchanan Galleries area could look (Image: Landsec)

On Thursday January 26, Buchanan Gallereries’ owner, Landsec, is inviting the public, businesses and the local community to get involved and share their views and opinions.

The Glasgow shopping mall could be replaced to make way for a 21st century mixed-use development in a prime location including residential, retail, hotel accommodation, offices and hospitality, to create an urban neighbourhood.

It has occupied the prominent site at the top of the iconic Buchanan Street since 1999.

The consultation is the final opportunity for everyone to share feedback on the proposed plans. The first workshop will take place from 6-8pm in the Retail Academy, Top Floor, Buchanan Galleries with further events and exhibitions running through to February 7.

Nick Davis, Head of Retail Development, Landsec said: “We have listened carefully to views and opinions from the first two stages of our consultation process and endeavoured to reflect these within our evolving plans.

“This is the final opportunity to share feedback and we are really keen for as many people as possible to input thoughts and ideas.

“Our vision is to enhance Glasgow’s historic grid layout, introducing vibrant new streets with a mixture of places to work, shop, live, eat and socialise in the heart of the city. We welcome all views and would encourage everyone to contribute to the third stage of the consultation.”   

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