Strathbungo’s Footbridge 1877-2023

Strathbungo’s much-loved railway footbridge passed away at 2am on 9th January 2023 at the grand old age of 146. She was carried gracefully to heaven by giant lifting crane.

The main span is lifted high above the tracks by crane

Removal of the bridge span. Credit: Roberto Caviertes

Conceived at the back of an ironworks in Paisley, she was born to parents Hanna and Donald. And Wilson. One of a large family, her siblings included identical twin railway bridges, Glasgow’s Albert Bridge, gas holders, and a couple of naval torpedo boats.

Advert with sketches of many bridges from Glasgow and around the world

Advert for Hanna, Donald & Wilson’s talents

She saw great service to the people of Strathbungo during her long life. As a youth she helped many a Victorian gentleman down to the platforms of Strathbungo Station as they headed to their office in town, and back up on their return home for their supper.

Enlargement of sketch of bridge from the advert

Strathbungo’s footbridge takes pride of place in the advert

She was a bit of a late developer, however; it was only on closure of the station in 1962 at the age of 85 that she discovered her true purpose in life; she was rebuilt, the steps down to the platforms being re-used to allow her to reach Darnley Road for the first time.

She was honoured with a C listing award in 1995.

She underwent extensive surgery and rehabilitation in 2018 at great expense, but sadly her days were numbered. She lost her lifelong friend Susie last year, and never really recovered from the shock. She also suffered from that classic West of Scotland condition – she wasn’t tall enough.

Newly painted and restored bridge in the sunshine

The footbridge after restoration in 2019.

She will be fondly remembered by children of all ages for her ability to extract a friendly toot from any passing train, but less so for her wicked sense of humour – she loved to send pedestrians flying down her steps whenever the temperature dropped below freezing.

Frost and a fallen leaf on the bridge handrail

The maker’s plaque on a frosty morning

The final destination of the bridge remains to be determined, while a replacement is due to be built later in the year.

Sparks flying in the dark as workers use an acetylene torch on the bridge

Workers begin to cut the bridge deck free. Credit: Andrew Downie

More sparks at the other end

The final cut. Credit: Andrew Downie

Video of the cutters in action. Credit: Roberto Caviertes

The subtle approach, as the bridge supports are also removed. Credit: Roberto Caviertes


  1. Maria McIntosh

    Could the bridge be relocated as a feature in Querns Park I’m sure it would attract many visitors

  2. magnus

    Was the bridge listed building as is regent park sq ?

    • adownie

      C listed, as per article

  3. Sharon Schweps

    A great story, Andrew, albeit a sad one for Strathbungo – and great photos too from you and Roberto Cavieries. That bridge has meant so much to generations of parents and children in our community – my own children and now my grandchildren.

  4. Jo

    This is so sad and such a shame; and I was so suprised there was not more resistance from local residents. As I understand it there were alternative options to removing it. Was anyone aware of when the planning application was submitted as I didn’t see any notices, and nothing had been received by the Council by this time last year?

    • adownie

      There was lots of discussion, opposition and alternative proposals, much documented on this site. We also achieved some revisions to the new bridge for better safety and visibility. But ultimately Network Rail felt the bridge was not safe for use close to electrified cables, and they don’t need planning permission either, so there’s only so much one can do.

  5. Norrie Muir

    … Start of a new era… 😊

  6. Alexandra McKenning

    I loved this article and the way it was written. Memories of living in Queen Square in the early 60s. Thank you.
    I wonder if they will uncover the horses head. I know it is there.

  7. Teresa Mooney

    Many thanks for this article (and the great pictures!) on a much loved feature of Strathbungo and it is indeed very sad that it has been removed!

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