Records of the Glasgow, Airdrie & Monklands Railway, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Railway Act 1846,
  • Petition against the railway 1847
  • Subscription contract with list of subscribers 1847
  • Bill to construct Cowlairs Branch 1847
  • House of Lords Select Committee minutes of evidence in favour of the railway 1846

Administrative / Biographical History

Between 1836 and 1846 the number of blast furnaces in and around Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, increased from 10 to 60, and the existing railways proved inadequate. In 1846, several Monkland ironmasters, including J B Neilson, John Wilson of Dundyvan, William Dixon and Colin Dunlop, promoted a new direct railway into Glasgow. It was to be 11 miles long and to run via Shettleston to a terminus in the heart of Glasgow. The majority of the shareholders were from the Monklands area around Coatbridge and Airdrie in North Lanarkshire.

The Glasgow, Airdrie & Monklands Railway Act of 1846  was unusual among railway acts passed at this time as it depended on getting access to a central goods station in Glasgow yet the tightly packed streets of the city centre offered little scope to the builders.

However, the Monkland promoters had heard that the University of Glasgow in the High Street were contemplating moving to a new site in the west of the city and High Street was an excellent place for a station. The Midlands Junction undertook to purchase land in the west end of Glasgow on which to build a new University and this was written into the Act. When the University was built, they would move the old university to the new and the railway would have the old site. However, problems with approving the plans for the new University with Parliament lead the Monklanders to abandon their plans leading to the University taking them to court for £12,000 for breach of contract. The land in the west end was sold by the company to Glasgow Corporation and now forms part of Kelvingrove Park.

Source: David Thomas,A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Scotland(Newton Abbot, 1971)


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Loan : Mitchells, Johnston & Co : Glasgow : prior to 1966

Other Finding Aids

The archive forms part of the Scottish Railways Collection held by Glasgow University Archive Services, finding aid reference GB 248 UGD 008

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)1631) and London (NRA21659)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by Mitchells, Johnston & Co , solicitors, Glasgow


None expected

Related Material

GB 234 BR/GAM Records of the Glasgow, Airdrie & Monklands Junction Railway (National Archives of Scotland)

GB 248 UGD 008 The Scottish Railway Collection

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


J R Kellet,Railways and Victorian cities(London, 1979)

Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date