Glasgow Central Low Level Railway Flood / December 11th/12th 1994

Glasgow Central Low Level Railway Flood / December 11th/12th 1994

Arrow illustrates the waterlevel reached

After day’s of continuous rainfall that fell over Glasgow in the early part of December 1994 the Glasgow Central Low Level Railway was about to be engulfed by thousands of gallons of water that poured out of the River Kelvin in the West End of the City.

With the River Kelvin swelling to unprecedented levels the water raged over the retaining wall at the steps leading up to Gibson Street with a peak flow of 191 m3/s, corresponding to a 1 in 200 year flood!. With the retaining wall overwhelmed, it soon breached, setting a secondary course for the River Kelvin to surge swiftly down the long abandoned Gibson Street Tunnel towards the station at Exhibition Centre on the Argyle line.

With trains still running and no alarms in place to alert the Signalling staff of the impending deluge, a potential catastrophe was narrowly averted by fate and good luck as there was a train heading Eastbound as the torrent raged onward. Luckily there were no casualties, but the damage to the Low Level meant services would not run for many months. These pictures were taken after the water subsided. The Platforms were covered in fine silt and a high water mark on the exterior of the six coach train.

The pictures clearly show the difference in water depth (arrowed) at either end of the train. As the pictures illustrate, the floodwater being deepest at the pedestrian exit (Eastbound towards Argyle Street) and shallower at the Western end towards Anderston Station. This is due to the subtle gradient of the track. [PGCC]

Central-LL-212-&-298-interm Central-LL-314-208-rear-uni Central-LL-314-208-waterlin
Central-LL-314-212 Central-LL-314-212-Eastboun Central-LL-Stairwell-Water-
Central-LL-Water-level-from Central-LL-flood-platform Central-LL-ladder


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updated: 7th November 2003