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Glasgow Queen Street Station, Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway

Opened  1842 from Queens Street to Haymarket as Scotland's first inter-city passenger line. Until 1908, trains were cable hauled up the Cowlairs Incline

Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):

North Hanover St,


G1 2AF
Visitor Centre:

About Glasgow Queen Street Station, Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway

Glasgow's second station and Scotland's third busiest, with seven terminal platforms at the High Level and two through platforms at the Low Level. Trains run from the High Level to Edinburgh via Falkirk High and via Cumbernauld, to Aberdeen and Inverness and to Anniesland via Maryhill and the West Highland Lines to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. From the Low Level routes are eastbound to Edinburgh via Airdrie and Bathgate and to Springburn and westbound to Milngavie, Balloch and Helensburgh. Next door to the west is Buchanan Street Station on the Glasgow Subway.
Constructor : The Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway in 1842
The E&G's plan for a virtually gradient-free route was thwarted by the canal company, which resulted in the 1 in 41 Cowlairs Incline up which until 1908 trains had to be worked by cable powered from a stationary steam engine. The Low Level went electric on introduction of the Blue Trains in 1960. With closure of the Caledonian Railway's Glasgow Buchanan Street Station in 1966, trains to Aberdeen and Inverness were diverted into Queen Street. In 2017 the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme brought about electrification of the High Level platforms, and rebuilding of the station completed in 2021 has delivered eight-coach platforms.

The Grade A-listed station boasts a beautiful cylindrical glass roof which can be viewed to best advantage from the bridge that carries Cathedral Street over the tracks. An unsympathetic development that placed an extension of the former railway-owned Copthorne Hotel and an office-block in front of the station in the 1970s has now been swept away, and the sloping glass front  enables people arriving off trains to see through to George Square. The supports to the frontage are tiled in a golden yellow colour which has prompted the comment by Alex Hynes, MD of Scotland's Railway, that the rebuilt station is” like a little bit of Dubai”, and the columns that support the roof have been lovingly restored. 

The Red Wheel heritage Plaque was erected on 2nd July 2021 during the Covid Crisis and is planned to be formally unveiled on 28th October 2021 by Dr Ann Glenn, Railway Writter, and Kim McGuire Railway Ambassador.

With thanks to Scotland’s Railway in helping to secure a Red Wheel at Glasgow Queen Street Station.
Photos: Ann Glen, John Yellowlees

Red Wheel As installed

 from below




The station is actually on West George Street, and faces down Queen Street from the top of George Square, with a side entrance onto North Hanover Street.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Guidebook (Auld Kirk Museum Publications) Paperback – 1 Feb. 1992 by Don Martin (Author), A.A. Maclean (Author)

Glasgow Queen Street a Railway Renaissance by Dr Ann Glen (Lily, 2021)

Ann Glen book cover

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR