North Clyde Line

The North Clyde Line is a railway which connects Edinburgh to Glasgow via Bathgate and Airdrie, and then continues on to Helensburgh, using track also designated as the West Highland Line. There are branches in the west to Balloch, through the Vale of Leven, and separately to Milngavie, while in Glasgow there is a branch to Springburn. There are also two parallel sections between Dalmuir and Hyndland, both shared with the Argyle Line; one relatively close to the Clyde, the other further inland to the north of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Never intended to be a coherent through connection, the North Clyde Line was opened piecemeal from 1842 to 1897 by various now-defunct railway companies. The Glasgow City & District Railway between Charing Cross Railway Station and High Street Station opened in 1886 and represents the oldest section of underground railway in Glasgow. This section runs through three contiguous tunnels; namely the Finnieston Tunnel, Charing Cross Tunnel and High Street Tunnel.

While the Glasgow suburban section continued in use throughout, and was the first railway line in Scotland to be electrified in 1960, the eastern sections between Airdrie and Ratho closed in 1956. However, the Ratho to Bathgate section re-opened in 1986 and the Airdrie-Bathgate Link in 2010 completed the line.

In total, the line connects fifty-three stations; three in Argyll and Bute, thirteen in West Dunbartonshire, four in East Dunbartonshire, nineteen in Glasgow, six in North Lanarkshire, five in West Lothian and three in the City of Edinburgh. Typical journey times between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street low-level station are one hour and twenty minutes, while the journey to Helensburgh takes two hours.

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