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The Polloc and Govan Railway started off as a private railway owned and built by William Dixon, a coal master; it ran along part of the route of his Govan tramway that dated back to 1811. The line linked Govan with the Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal.
The railway was intended to transport coal and ironstone and for part of its route it ran down a public road: West Street. Its engineers were Thomas Grainger and John Miller from Edinburgh
Although the name of the surrounding area that gave its name to the railway company is called Pollok and close by is called Pollokshields, the Act of Parliament authorising the railway used the spelling Polloc.
The Polloc and Govan railway was authorised on 29 May 1830 and it linked Govan with the River Clyde, at Windmillcroft Quay at the Broomielaw, the Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal and Rutherglen. It opened on 22 August 1840.
On 14 March 1867 an Act of Parliament was obtained to lift part of the line; from West Street to the River Clyde.
From the Press
1840 'THE POLLOC AND GOVAN RAILWAY was opened - from Rutherglen to the Broomielaw harbour on Saturday the 22nd instant, with a train of carriages containing the son of the spirited proprietor, Wm. Dixon, Esq., of Govanhill, and friends, the engineer and contractors upon the line, and also trains of coal waggons. Considerable exertions were required to complete this line within the time limited by the act - 2100 lineal yards of this railway having been laid down within four days. On this line is to be seen every species of railroad engineering - tunnelling, right-angled and skewbridges, of stone, brick, iron, and wood, all of which do credit to the engineer, Mr. Andrew Thomson, Buchanan-street, Glasgow. The whole opening went off with great eclat, under the direction ot Mr. Allan, manager of Govan colliery. The colliery band, who had volunteered their services, contributed very much to enliven the proceedings of the day. The contemplated extension of this line of railway, with a terminus at the Broomielaw harbour, to the Monksland, Wishaq, Coltness, and Hamilton coal ard iron-stone fields, will render it one of the most available means of opening up the richest district in Scotland.'