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Firth of Clyde, UK
Glasgow & South Western Railway
The company developed Clyde railheads at Greenock, Wemyss Bay, Fairlie and Ardrossan and competed with the Caledonian Railway for the Cowal, Bute and Arran traffic. As an immediate response to the establishment of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company, the GSWR obtained powers to run its own steamers and in 1891, purchased the fleet of Captain Alexander Williamson. Williamson's son, also Captain Alexander, was appointed Marine Superintendent and became the direct rival of his older brother James at the Caledonian, and younger brother John who established an independent fleet. The two main railways entered a period of ferocious competition, with races from railhead to the Clyde piers with ever newer and faster vessels. Whilst the steamers themselves were loss-making in general, the competition was as much as anything to attract passengers to the respective company's rail routes from Glasgow. The GSWR and Caledonian Railways were amalgamated under the London Midland & Scottish Railway in 1923, with the GSWR vessels being transferred directly to LMS ownership.
Vessels Purchased from Captain Alexander Williamson in 1891
PS Sultan
PS Sultana
PS Marquis of Bute
PS Viceroy

Other Steamers Purchased in 1891
PS Chancellor
PS Scotia

New Build
PS Neptune
PS Glen Sannox (I)
PS Mercury (I)
PS Minerva
PS Glen Rosa
PS Jupiter (I)
PS Juno (I)
PS Mars
TS Atalanta  :  Note : For details about turbine steamers (designated TS), please go to our associated website : Clyde Turbine Steamers
Steamer Purchased from Captain John Williamson in 1904
PS Vulcan
Steamers Transferred to the LMS in 1923
PS Glen Sannox (I), PS Mercury (I), PS Glen Rosa, PS Jupiter (I), PS Juno (I), TS Atalanta
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Firth of Clyde