From the illustrated social history book…research paid for by Paul Veverka
“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.
Glasgow Road – Eastern Railway Bridge
Ok, lets get back to the task at hand and back to examination of Glasgow Road. Crossing over Glasgow Road at its junction with Whistleberry Road once was a railway bridge, leading from Auchinraith Junction to the busy Craighead Railway Junction, part of the Caledonian Railway.
Constructed in 1882, the iron railway bridge traversed over Glasgow Road and could accommodate two passing trains.
Pictured in 1931, is the arrival of William Arroll Contractors to remove the old 1882 railway bridges all over Blantyre. They started at this southern most bridge, labeled as “Bridge 1” commencing work in September 1931. Pulley cranes were brought to site to remove the old girders, constructing the new bridge in two halves.
A high resolution copy of this photo, when zoomed in is very revealing. Workmen had set up a welfare compound on Glasgow Road, as pictured in the foreground, below the poultry run fields. The compound included a cabin as protection against elements for the workers, jackets seen hanging up on the outside of it. Glasgow Road all along the tramlines was cobbled, although this would change when the lanes were removed shortly after. The road below this bridge was maintained as open, but trams had stopped running, several months earlier. A sign placed in the middle of the bridge in these different days of health and safety, warned tram passengers on upper decks to “Please sit down and mind your heads!”
The remarkable series of photos over the next couple of pages show the different stages of the work, from removing the girders, to placing the new bridge beams into position and a completion inspection. This necessary work also prepared for the widening of Glasgow Road later that decade and it is clear authorities had no idea how rapidly this line would decline afterwards.
By the end of 1931, the bridge work had been completed at this location and contractors moved westwards on to the next bridge.
Although the line ceased use in 1960, it would take another 2 decades for the dismantled railway and bridge to be entirely removed.
Today, no bridge exists at this location, now a small roundabout at the entrance to Lidl, Farmfoods and B&M stores.
Lowering Eastern & Western Railway Bridges
When the Lanarkshire Tramways introduced double decker covered trams in 1924, the height clearance at Eastern and adjacent Western Railway Bridges crossing over Glasgow Road at Springwells, had to be considered. This was dealt with by lowering the Glasgow Road by 3 inches at this location. It was not the first time adjustment to height clearance was required at this location as the next article demonstrates.
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