Created By: Inverclyde Tourist Group
There was great excitement on 31st March 1841 when Greenock Station (1841-1878), later Greenock Cathcart Street (1878-1889), opened on Cathcart Street, marking the start of a new era of rail travel. Flags were flying and bands playing when two locomotives, the 'Witch' and the 'Eagle', pulled out to take 12 carriages holding a total of 300 passengers on the 65 minute journey to Glasgow, with 19 carriages making the return. This inaugural journey was so successful that 240 gentlemen sat down to a celebratory dinner just across the street in the Tontine Hotel after their return journey.
As well as being of prime importance for the growth of the sugar trade, the station was also of great importance for the development of the shipping trade and bringing passengers close to the quayside.
The original location of the station frontage was on the opposite side of Cathcart Street where the carpark and the road now are. With offices at ground level, the railway platforms were above street level and accessed from Cathcart Street by a staircase. This raised line can be seen by looking through the entrance arch in the picture (image 1: 1841). The rising, curving road seen through this arch is near the current Station Avenue, which leads to today's Central Station.
When it was decided to extend the line to Gourock in 1889, the entrance to the station was moved back to the top of Station Avenue (image 2: 1967 & image 3: 2021) and the name was changed to Greenock Central.
Tap image 1 to see the full picture.
Continue by turning left at the end of the row of buildings and walking forward to Pin 34: Ginger the Horse.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Greenock's Historic Quarter