IBM railway station

IBM railway station (formerly known as IBM Halt) is a currently disused railway station on the Inverclyde Line, 25 12 miles (41 km) west of Glasgow Central.

IBM
The platform of the former IBM station
Location
PlaceGreenock
AreaInverclyde
Coordinates55.9295°N 4.8271°W / 55.9295; -4.8271
Grid referenceNS234743
Operations
Original companyScottish Region of British Railways
Platforms1
Annual rail passenger usage
2013/14 * 71,128
2014/15 * 47,376
2015/16 * 22,016
2016/17 * 6,032
2017/18 * 768
History
9 May 1978Opened as I B M Halt - unadvertised
16 May 1983Renamed I B M - unadvertised
12 May 1986I B M became publicly advertised
8 December 2018Last usage prior to services being suspended
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at IBM from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Please note: methodology may vary year on year.
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z

Clinging to the south slope of Spango Valley on the Glasgow-Wemyss Bay line, IBM Halt opened on 9 May 1978[1] by British Rail to serve what was at that time a thriving IBM computer manufacturing plant, employing over 4,000 people. Originally, the stop was unadvertised and only peak-time services stopped there, but subsequently, despite the decline in the fortunes and working population of the plant, the station was publicly advertised, and all but one service stopped there.[2] At the time the service was suspended it was served by an hourly service in each direction.[3]

As the name suggests, the station was located within the confines of a large facility formerly owned entirely by IBM, a major employer for the town of Greenock until the plant closed. Parts of the site were sold off to companies such as Sanmina-SCI and Lenovo, which have now closed as well. By June 2009, half of the buildings had been demolished, and the site was re-branded as Valley Park. Despite that, the station name did not change. Due to its location away from major housing areas and other transport links, the station was used primarily by people employed in Valley Park, but access to the station by the general public was possible.

For a time, it was the only station to have the suffix "halt" (two others have it now, Coombe Junction and St Keyne Wishing Well on the Looe Valley Line in Cornwall). By 1974, the term "halt" had been removed from British Rail timetables, station signs, and other official documents. The return of the term came in 1978 for the opening of IBM Halt, and in the renaming of the two Cornish stations in 2008.

Service suspension

The station had its service suspended with effect from 9 December 2018, with ScotRail citing low patronage and anti-social behaviour on the nearby derelict IBM site. Services may be re-introduced once the site is rebuilt, although there is no fixed timeline for that to happen.[4][5][6]

Services

At the time when services were suspended, the station was served by an hourly service on the Inverclyde Line between Glasgow Central and Wemyss Bay.[7] Despite that, the annual patronage declined dramatically, from well over 100,000, to about 800 when the services were suspended.[6]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Inverkip   Abellio ScotRail
Inverclyde Line
  Branchton

References

  1. IBM Halt opened The Railway Magazine issue 927 July 1978 page 357
  2. GB Rail Timetable (Table 219) and ScotRail Train Times booklet 8 December 2013
  3. Departures from IBM 8 December 2018 Real Train Times
  4. IBM Halt ScotRail
  5. Finally a platform for train puns: IBM Halt station derailed Archived 19 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Register 19 November 2018
  6. Trains to skip stop IBM station to curb criminal and anti-social behaviour The Scotsman 21 November 2018
  7. Table 219 National Rail timetable, May 2016
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