£5m GOUROCK RAILWAY STATION
Last Updated on Friday, 22 January 2010 09:51 Written by Gordon Neish Friday, 15 January 2010 09:56
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A NEW £5m train station in Gourock has taken a major step closer to fruition after a deal over land was reached last month – but there are concerns from ferry users that the new platforms will be even further from the CalMac terminal.
Inverclyde Council’s Regeneration Committee has now agreed to sell a triangle of land to Network Rail to allow the company to proceed with a major re-design of the station, which will reportedly be situated in the current station car park.
The land sale now means that wider plans for the regeneration of Gourock can be considered.
The development will include, as well as a new station, a covered walkway to the ferry terminal, improved access for buses and taxis as well as the demolition of several redundant buildings.
The number of car parking spaces will also be increased to 111.
For Dunoon ferry passengers, however, there are concerns that the new station will be even further away from the ferry than the existing one. It is planned to build the new station in the existing station’s car park – some 100 yards from the existing platform one. Some people who are not so nimble on their feet may find the walk a little daunting.
Network Rail did not respond to our questions regarding the location of the new station.
Planning permission for the new train station was granted in September 2009.
It is hoped the plans will help breath fresh life into the town
Riverside Inverclyde, the company behind regeneration projects at Greenock and Port Glasgow, will work in partnership with the council to develop a plan for the transformation of the Gourock railhead area.
The current station is described on the Geograph website thus: “The best thing that can be said about Gourock Station is that it was once a very grand place. Sadly, the same cannot be said today due to years of neglect while the owners and other 'stakeholders' continue to disagree about how best to provide Gourock with the ‘integrated Transport Hub’ that it desperately needs.
“What little remains of the original station currently stands in a no-mans-land brownfield site where once a hotel and other railway and ferry related buildings stood. Frankly, it is an embarrassing gateway for the town of Gourock and District of Inverclyde.”
Gourock Station in 1959: Photo courtesy of Bruce McCartney
Gourock Station and pier was designed by famous Scottish railway architect James Miller when the Caledonian Railway Company extended the line from Greenock to Gourock in 1889.
This was an expensive venture which involved blasting three tunnels through solid rock (including the longest railway tunnel in Scotland) in the west end of Greenock. All this was done to combat the nearby Glasgow & South Western Railway company who had a more convenient steamboat connection a mile down river from Greenock Central (then known as Cathcart Street) at Princes Pier (also designed by Miller) which was served from Glasgow St Enoch Station, via the inland Kilmacolm route.