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The Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway
1837 The company was formed to provide a railway link between Glasgow and Paisley, Scotland. It was promoted jointly by the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.
Both the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (GP&G) (later to become part of the Caledonian Railway company) and the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway (GPK&A) (later to become part of the Glasgow and South Western Railway company) wished to run their respective railways between Glasgow and Paisley. However, they were told that the necessary Acts of Parliament to build the lines could only gained by forming a joint company to run the line between Glasgow and Paisley. The anticipated problem was obtaining the necessary agreement from the land owners.
The GP&G and the GPK&A both received their respective Acts on 15 July 1837. Due to the failure of the Glasgow, Paisley and Ardrossan Canal to be completed beyond Johnstone, both railway companies were required to start work from both ends of their respective lines.
1840 The GPK&A was the first line to open, in September 1840, and GP&G opened in March 1841, due to the difficulties of cutting a tunnel through Whinstone at Bishopton.
The Joint Railway line ran from Glasgow Bridge Street railway station on the south of the River Clyde to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station. At Gilmour Street, the GP&G and the GPK&A continued on their separate ways.
1868 A branch was opened to Govan; this left the main line at Ibrox.
1876 On 1 May, the City of Glasgow Union Railway opened their new Glasgow terminus at St Enoch railway station. It used a different crossing over the Clyde. Their new line left the Joint Railway near Shields Junction and continued along the City of Glasgow Union Railway, through the Gorbals, and crossed the Clyde at Hutchesontown to St Enoch station; construction of the line having taken 11 years.
1879 On 31 July, the Caledonian Railway opened their new Glasgow terminus at Glasgow Central; the line having been extended across the Clyde via a four-track bridge built by William Arrol. Bridge Street station was also refurbished to include two new through platforms leading to Central Station and four bay platforms: two for the Caledonian and two for the Glasgow and South Western.
1883 St Enoch railway station became the headquarters of the Glasgow and South Western Railway, by then the owner of the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, and it moved all its passenger services to St Enoch.
Whilst the Caledonian Railway redirected their London services through Bridge Street station into Central Station, Bridge Street remained the terminus for the Clyde coast services for another twenty five years.
1890s, or later, the original double track line between Bridge Street station and Paisley Gilmour Street station was increased to quadruple tracks. They were reduced to double tracks during the mid 1960s railway electrification of what is now known as the Inverclyde Line services between Glasgow Central and Gourock and Wemyss Bay.
1905 After Central Station was refurbished and extended (1901 - 1905) and an additional, eight-track, bridge built over the Clyde, Bridge Street station was closed in 1905 and its remaining services redirected to Central Station. The vacant site of the Bridge Street station bay platforms were used as carriage sidings for Central Station; and the site of the through platforms used for running lines for Central station.
Another branch which became the Princes Dock Joint Railway was added in 1903; it also left the main line at Ibrox and served Glasgow's Princes Dock. It was also accessed via the General Terminus and Glasgow Harbour Railway.
With the passing of the Railways Act 1921 (Grouping Act) the line, together with the Caledonian and Glasgow and South Western railways, became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The line is still in use today as the eastern end of the Inverclyde Line and the Ayrshire Coast Line.