Central station tours reopen with Glasgow School of Art onboard

Much-loved behind-the-scenes tours of Glasgow Central station are about to restart following lockdown and now feature a brand-new underground museum, created in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art.

From today (September 1), visitors are once again able to book tours to be guided through the subterranean passageways beneath Glasgow’s streets, visiting the railway vaults which drove the city’s industrial expansion to become ‘The Second City of The British Empire’, while hearing tales of the famous – and infamous – people who have travelled the tracks and stood on the platforms.

During the down time, Jackie Ogilvie, museum curator, has been maintaining the tour’s delicate and valuable assets while painstakingly creating a new museum, with the added support and creativity from the Year 3 students from the GSA’s Interaction Design programme.

The station museum is the latest addition to a must-see attraction, with exhibits gathered from old railway buildings, trains, donations from the families of railwaymen and women as well as past visitors to the tour who have been delighted to see their family history on display.

The GSA students have created a visual history of the station from construction in 1879, expansion in 1905 through to the present day to create a spectacular showpiece of what’s taken place over the past 142 years, with audio provided by the tick-tock of the famous Glasgow Central clock.

The second installation created by Paul Maguire, Programme Leader in the GSA’s School of Design, is a Roll of Honour of Glaswegians lost in the First World War, including their regiment and street address. It’s located in the area of the temporary WW1 mortuary in the depths of the station, where some servicemen will have arrived on their final journey home.

Jackie Ogilvie, Central station tour guide and museum curator, is so excited to finally share even more of the station’s story. She said: “While creating a museum for Central station was a difficult and complicated process, every new artifact and piece of memorabilia provided such an amazing insight into this wonderful place.

“We can’t wait to welcome people back to Central and take them on a wonderful, historical journey, which is only possible due to the kindness and support of so many people for which the station and the railway are such an important part of their lives.”

Paul Maguire, GSA Interaction Design programme leader, said: “I would like to thank Jackie and the team at Central station for the opportunity to work with them on this project. Gaining experience of engaging with clients and developing ‘live’ projects is hugely important to our students and allows them to see their work in a real-world context. The brief was ideal: clearly thematic but open to interpretation – allowing students to explore and experiment with media and meaning. They responded extremely well to the brief, producing a powerful and considered immersive audio-visual installation.

“It was a great privilege to be personally commissioned to develop the ‘Role of Honour’ piece. I found the experience of working with the database to be deeply moving, reinforcing the personal cost of war and reframing it within a city context, referencing familiar Glasgow addresses. I hope viewers feel this same emotional engagement with the work.”

More details and tour booking information for Glasgow Central Tours can be found at