GLASGOW’S UNDERGROUND WORLD

When in Glasgow:
Visit the underground world of Glasgow Central Station. The unique guide and major enthusiast, in his retirement, is otherwise employed as Network Rail’s Historian and Archivist.  He used to manage this station. During his career he also managed several other major stations in London, U.K, however, he always returned to his home (and station) Glasgow Central.

Lovely Victorian Supporting Pillars

Descending into Glasgow’s historic and present transport underworld made for a tremendously engaging and educational visit, the guide, bringing to life with his words this major, solid, surviving transport hub. He spoke of the hustle and bustle of transport, for and with all sorts of people, now and in previous times. Peering into the pitch black, eyes following the slim line of a torch beam, it felt like we were intruders into someone else’s world. We saw the outline of places on platforms that were still intact where men could not go, and neither could we. Women of the 19th century waiting for trains in that gloom had the ‘comfort’ of separated waiting areas.  Our way was barred for reasons of safety, which pertained to present day use.

A Disused Line

In a lower street level goods entry, (Glasgow is a city of hills) there were still signs of horse drawn transport. The resting places for the horses still exist.

Like many stations, the ‘streets’ under Glasgow Central station were put to stark use in the two major wars, (WW1 and WWII).  The guide did not mince his words about many elements of the nineteenth century social history associated with this station. He felt very strongly the roles of womenfolk in life and death in this station, was and had been, totally ignored… he was definitely intent on correcting with his words what he felt was a grave neglect and a major injustice.

Preserver Of  Industrial/Social Heritage

While we were in the depths exploring some unused tunnelling and were in our joint reveries sensing the spirits of the past, on a nearby spur an underground train whizzed through.

Advertisements

PENALTY POINTS

We have our offspring visiting for the May Day holiday weekend, what is left of it following, what should have been a travelling schedule of 9.5 hours; first by bus to the station and then by rail with a connection or two thrown in for good measure.

The last train north was previously timetabled to arrive at 21.00hrs. It could never make the target time, it was usually out by 20 -30 minutes and it’s record was about 45 minutes late. Of course, that does not take into consideration anything more serious than normal weather conditions, or situatons that you would ordinarily think a train could and should be able to cope with. Passengers have been known to get stranded when brakes had ‘iced’ up at a period when temperatures were ABOVE freezing! We waited for arrivals till after midnight for that one.

The timetables were changed last year with a 30 minutes later arrival time for the last train. Guess what – we got a phone call telling us the train was running late, they were in the back of beyond, so no clue as to how much longer we would need to wait.

We were very surprised to see from our vantage position by the station platform, that there were people in the street placing luggage in car boots and yet no train had arrived. I commented to hubbie that maybe one of the City Link buses had arrived and had disgorged its passengers. Our second major surprise was to see the familiar outline of our offspring walking towards us.

Oh yes, there had been a coach; those passengers travelling to our station were taken off the train at a junction further east and bussed to their destination, thereby enabling the train to arrive at its last station on the route with a reduced, late penalty arrival time… :crazy: