Merkland Street: Glasgow's '˜lost' subway station
Situated at the north west end of the system between Govan Cross and Partick Cross, Merkland Street Station opened with the rest of Glasgow’s Subway on 14 December 1896.
A collision on day one forced the system to close, however, and it wouldn’t reopen for another month.
Being the first stop north of the Clyde, the station was especially busy with the city’s ship workers who used it to get to and from the yards.
In September 1940 a Luftwaffe bomb meant for the Clyde shipyards landed just fifty metres from the station.
The bomb caused a partial tunnel collapse and Merkland Street Station was closed for several months while repairs were carried out.
Evidence of the bomb blast can still be made out today, as the cast-iron tunnels on the approach to Partick suddenly change to brick.
In 1974, with Glasgow’s ageing subway ‘shoogling’ towards its 80th year, the system was granted an extensive refurbishment.
The subway closed on 28 May 1977 as an ambitious plan to modernise the system and all 15 of its stations got underway.
Merkland Street Station, however, would never reopen.
Deemed surplus to requirements and unsuitable for modernisation, it would be replaced by a brand new station named Partick located 25 metres away.
Elements of the city’s ‘lost’ subway station still survive, though it takes a good pair of eyes to catch a glimpse of what remains of the subway chamber as the train flies through the dark tunnels north of the Clyde.
Easier to spot perhaps is the surviving ephemera salvaged from he station when it was moth-balled.
Many of the station’s fixtures and fittings were removed and used to recreate a 1930s-style underground station at the Museum of Transport.
Made popular by Francie and Josie, Cliff Hanley’s song The Glasgow Underground also helped immortalise the now defunct station:
‘There’’s Partick Cross and Cessnock, Hillhead and Merkland Street
George’s Cross and Govan Cross where all the people meet
West Street, Shields Road, the train goes round and round
You’’ve never lived unless you’’ve been on The Glasgow Underground’