- Glasgow Central
Opened in 1879 and extended in 1905, Glasgow Central is still Scotland's
busiest station. It may not have the variety of stock working in and out
of the station as it once had, but it is still an interesting place to
pass an afternoon or evening. Platform 11a is the best vantage point,
being out on the Clyde viaduct at the station throat, where all workings
in and out of the station can clearly be seen. The history of the station
is well documented in the several books, particularly "Glasgow Stations"
by Johnston, C. and Hume, J.R. and "The Caledonian Railway" by O.S. Nock.
Track plan of Glasgow Central c1908 following completion of
the new Clyde viaduct, drawn up based on the drawing in "The Caledonian
Railway" by O.S. Nock and other photographs of the station approaches.
The diagram will not be totally accurate as there were some photographic
"blind spots", particularly the approaches from no's 5 to 7 lines at the
South side of the Clyde viaduct.
The track plan of Glasgow Central today dates from the 1961
when the old Clyde viaduct was demolished and all traffic was concentrated
on the six tracks on the new viaduct. Remarkably little has changed
in the basic layout of the station. Platform 11a was formed when
the old dock sidings were done away with. The letters W to
Z are used by the theatre style route indicators to indicate to drivers
which track will be used to route their train. Although the station
has a very flexible layout, the platforms used for the various services
are fairly predictable. Ayr, Gourock and Weymss Bay services have
almost exclusive use of platforms 12 and 13, and also use platforms
9, 10 and 11. Cathcart Circle, Newton and Neilston services, along
with trains for destinations on the former G.S.W.R line normally use platforms
3 to 8. Intercity services normally use platforms 1, 2, 10 or 11.
The tracks shown in blue are non running lines and those in green were
shown on the original signalling diagram but have since been removed.
Most signals will still be as they were on the diagram I have which dates
from 1973 but again I cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, especially in the
number of routes which the theatre indicators can show.
This view of an HST, departing under clear signals via No.5
Line shows the complex track layout on the approach to the Clyde Viaduct.
A class 91 is approaching in the background.
THEN AND NOW
||This evening view of the station shows
a class 303 approaching the station from No 6 line and being routed across
the bridge on line "Z", the most flexible approach route, which allows
access to platforms 3 to 11 by thirteen different combinations of route.
The points in the foreground are set normal so the train will enter either
platforms 10 or 11. Another route has been set for a departing service
via line "W" and number 3 line. Note the ex-works class 90 in platform
11a. The area in the middle foreground, where the relay boxes now
stand was a dock line until the late 1960's
||Apart from the semaphore signals, the most obvious
difference in this view is the series of short sidings and docks where
platform 11a now stands. Close analysis of the original illustration would
suggest that the photograph was taken in the mid 1950's as a Britannia
class pacific can just be seen in the distance and the Coca Cola advert
is visible on the right. The old photographs were scanned from a
booklet produced by British Rail, Scotland, in 1979 to mark the 100th anniversary
of the opening of the Station. The booklet was published without
photographic credits, copyright details or any of the usual publishing
details. If anyone has further information about these photographs
please let me know.
lovely view taken from a Gantry to the South end of the old Clyde Viaduct
shortly before it was taken out of use in 1960. Photograph taken by and
used with the kind permission of retired signalman William Robertson
When Glasgow Central signal box was built in
1907 it was the largest in the world, with 374 levers. The average
number of trains using the station was around 600, and there were far more
light engine and empty coaching stock movements then.
|G86, The current four aspect colour light signal controlling movements
from line Z. The signal has a double theatre indication, in order
to show 7U, for no.7 up line, and a two position shunting signal with four
further indicators for the carriage sidings and engine line. To the
right of the shunting signal is the yellow "call on" aspect.
The semaphore signal has the same basic components, a main arm,
shunt arm and destination indicator showing a route set from the old viaduct
into platform 4.
|Two early views of the interior of
Glasgow Central Signaling Centre. The gentleman who supplied these
photographs and the panorama above, Mr. William Robertson is standing in the
centre of the right hand photograph.
||Another view of the main departure gantry spanning tracks w,x,y and
z, showing four simultaneous departures signalled from the platforms on
the 10th of November 1999. On "w" a Virgin trains service to Euston
has a green light via line 1, on "x" a two car class 101 is cleared onto
track 3. A class 156 for Barrhead will depart via track 5 and an
ecs from platform 10 is being routed via track 7.
The detail of the Clyde viaduct, as seen from the adjacent road
bridge, with a class 318 approaching the station
Central, with Classes 20,25,26,37,43,47 & 50
Central, first and second generation units.
Central, 303,305, 318's
Electrics@Glasgow Central, with Classes 83, 85, 86 and 87/1
Central, the "Intercity era"
Central. Motorail, exhibition train, inspection saloon.
||Of Virgins and others of that