This guide to Glasgow Central station explains what to look out for when departing and arriving by train and connects you to all the relevant info.
The primary station in Scotland’s largest city has high passenger satisfaction scores and when encountering Glasgow Central it’s easy to see how this happy situation has come about.
Not only did its 1905 rebuild create a stunningly beautiful station, which has had virtually all of its original splendour sympathetically restored in recent years, it’s also an eminently practical station to use.
A text book example of how to provide all the facilities travellers require from a large station, without disrupting the passage from and to the trains.
The main part of the station is a terminus and the access between the trains and Gordon Steeet, which runs across the front of the station, is step-free.
Though the trains which head west towards Ayr, Greenock, Paisley and Wemyss Bay tend to depart from platforms (tracks) 9-15 which are futher away from the main concourse; platform 13 is particularly distant.
Glasgow Central also lives up to its name as it's located close to the heart of the city.
Though an unusual feature of Glasgow is that many of its most popular attractions are outside the city centre.
Most of those popular attractions in the city are most easily reached by using the Glasgow Subway, but it doesn’t have a station at Glasgow Central.
Its nearest station is St Enoch, which is best accessed by using the secondary exit at Glasgow Central station on to Argyll Street, turn left from this exit and St Enoch is a 5 min walk away.
This Argyll Street exit is beneath the station, so you need to head down the escalators which connect the main part of the station, to platforms 16 and 17, as these are located underground.
Local trains from platform 17 go to Partick, which is three stops from Glasgow Central and Partick station offers an easy interchange with the Glasgow Subway
Though in common will all of the stations on the Subway, the access to and from the trains is NOT step-free.
From Partick it’s a one station hop on the subway to Kelvinhall, the closest station to the Kelvingrove gallery and museum, or a two station hop to Hillhead, the nearest station to the Rennie Mackintosh Museum.
Trains from Glasgow to destinations to the north, including Aberdeen, Dundee, Fort William, Inverness, Oban, Perth and Stirling, depart from a separate station named Glasgow Queen Street.
It is a 12 – 25 min walk away from Glasgow Central on mainly traffic-free roads, the route is:
1. Use the main exit from Glasgow Central on to Gordon Street, the exit that will be directly ahead when you step off a train.
2. Turn right on exiting the station and walk down Gordon Street until you come to Buchanan Street and turn left on to it.
3. Walk down Buchanan Street until you come to West George Street, which will be on the right; ahead of you on Buchanan Street, you will see a glass box, which is one of the entrances to Buchanan Street subway station.
4. Steps away on West George Street, you'll see the new entrance to Glasgow Queen Street station.
Or if you don’t want to walk, there is a free shuttle bus which leaves from a stop outside the Gordon Street exit, every 15 mins.
Alternatives to making the transfer between stations in Glasgow:
Although it’s feasible to avoid having to make the transfer between Central and Queen Street station at all, when travelling by train between destinations to the north and south of Glasgow.
There are now more trains than used to be the norm between cities including Birmingham, Carlisle Lancaster and Manchester to Edinburgh Haymarket station; and there are trains between that station in Edinburgh (and Edinburgh Waverley) and Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Perth and Stirling.
If you will be travelling via Glasgow by daytime train to or from the West Highland Line and its services to Fort William, Mallaig and Oban, an option is to travel between Glasgow Central and Dalmuir and make connections there with the West Highland Line trains.
There are 2 – 4 x trains per hour between Glasgow Central and Dalmuir, they depart from platform (track) 17 in the underground part of Glasgow Central.
Train Operating Company:
(1) Carlisle via Kilmarnock and Dumfries
(1) London Euston via Carlisle, Lancaster and Preston
Manchester via Carlisle, Oxenholme -The Lakes, Lancaster and Preston
Plymouth via Newcastle, Durham, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Bristol, Taunton and Exeter
Overnight to London Euston
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.