The 400 yard long General Terminus Quay (now part of 'The Quay' leisure complex) on the south side of the River Clyde in Glasgow was opened in 1849. It was built specifically for loading coal into ships and was the first quay on the Clyde to have a dedicated railway. Initially it was equipped with two steam-powered and one hydraulically powered wagon tipping cranes, the latter being supplied with high pressure water from Gorbals Waterworks. Although owned by the Clyde Navigation Trust, General Terminus was operated by the Caledonian Railway. By 1903 the annual throughput had increased to 800,000 tons per year and the original handling equipment had been replaced with 5 large capacity steam-powered coaling cranes. One of these cranes can be seen at the following link:
Throughput decreased significantly during WW1 and the LMSR (successors to the CR) installed two coal conveyors in place of the cranes. One of the conveyors is loading coal into a Clyde 'puffer' (steam lighter) in this picture. Following major failures of the quay walls the entire stretch of Springfield, General Terminus, Mavisbank and Plantation Quays was rebuilt in the 1920s - 1930s. The new quay wall was approximately 30 feet in front of the original. By the 1930s Most coal shipments were via the Rothesay Dock in Clydebank with some via the South Wall of the Prince's Dock and the North Wall of the Queen's Dock. In 1938 the LMSR proposed that General Terminus should be redeveloped for importation of iron ore for the Lanarkshire steel mills but this scheme was stopped with the commemcement of WW2.
River ClydeSpringfield QuayPlantation QuayMavisbank QuayPrinces DockPacific QuayGeneral Terminus QuayClyde Navigation TrustFinniestonStobcrossQueens Dock