Merkland Street: Glasgow’s Only Ghost Station

merkland-street-abandoned-ghost-station (Image: Dazzababes, reproduced with permission)

Merkland Street station in Glasgow holds the distinction of being the city subway’s only ghost station. Opened in 1896, the abandoned underground facility was closed in 1977 to allow for modernisation of the entire Glasgow District Subway system. But unlike the other stations, which reopened in 1980, Merkland Street remained silent, and has done ever since.

glasgow-district-subway-tunnel-under-clyde (Image: Dazzababes, reproduced with permission)

According to, Merkland Street was especially popular during the heyday of Glasgow’s shipyards, enabling workers to travel easily from one side of the River Clyde to the other. But its location 25 metres to the north-east of Partick Station, which offered direct transfer to the mainline railway station above, ultimately rendered it surplus and uneconomical to operate by the 1970s.

glasgow-district-subway-tunnel-bomb-damage (Image: Dazzababes, reproduced with permission)

Merkland Street station was actually closed twice during its years of operation. The first time came in 1940 when a German bomb exploded nearby, putting it out of action for several months. Fortunately nobody was injured, but the scars can still be seen south of Partick station, where the cast iron tunnel gives way partly to brick (above).

While its entrance buildings and platforms are long gone, the ghost station’s existence remains in evidence to this day, betrayed by a long straight section of larger diameter tunnel. The abandoned space, along with other aspects of Glasgow’s hidden subterranean history, have since been documented by local urban explorers.

glasgow-transport-museum-subway-station-exhibit (Image: Thomas Nugent, cc-sa-3.0)

Meanwhile, some salvaged items from Merkland Street, including the destination gantry, station master’s box and clock, have found new life amid a full-scale reproduction of a 1930s Glasgow subway station. Check it out at the Glasgow Museum of Transport.

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