But first, a caveat:
So we begin by looking at the train service from Balloch, which, today, runs every 30 minutes via Westerton and Queen Street Low Level to Airdrie.
1850 the line was opened. Steamer services on Loch Lomond ran from Balloch Pier railway station, and at the south end of the line Bowling railway station gave access to Clyde steamers ...
But competition was coming to the Glasgow to Dumbarton route in the form of the Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway [LDR] which duly arrived in 1896 . The route to Balloch was the subject of much acrimonious debate. The Caledonian Railway wanted to build a parallel line but in an outbreak of joint protective self-preservation, the [LDR] and the Balloch company had reached an agreement (The Dumbarton and Balloch Joint Line Committee) to work the branch jointly in 1891 .
1923 the Government "persuaded" the motley collection of small, medium and large railway companies to form four mega-railways. The North British became part of the London and North Eastern Railway, and the Caledonian was subsumed into the London Midland and Scottish group. The two companies continued to promote services to and on Loch Lomond jointly.
It would be a mistake to imagine that, back in these "good old days", trains were anywhere near as frequent as they are today. The communities were small ...
This timetable extract from 1938 is typical ...
The timetable notes are worth a look.
S - Saturdays only
F - Fridays only
E - except Saturdays
h - calls at Jordanhill
B - station for Knightswood, a developing Glasgow suburb in 1938
A - station for Duntocher, one and a quarter miles away
But most intriguing is the column note for the 1548 from Bridgeton Cross. "Does not Convey Luggage to the Coast." Why not? Are passengers with bags and cases condemned to the slower trains at 1457 and 1557? And why?
Tomorrow, we return to Balloch Pier and take a look at the stations on this fascinating little line.