Analysis: Testament to great railway engineers of Victorian age

Glasgow Central Station interior showing the clock above the bookstall

Glasgow Central Station interior showing the clock above the bookstall

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IT IS not unexpected that Glasgow Central is now the busiest in the country outside London.

While many mourn the passing of the steam train, the modern railway is capable of offering a far superior service to passengers through the use of diesel and electric multiple-unit trains.

There is now only one locomotive-hauled train daily, the Caledonian Sleeper.

Most lines now operate regular, frequent services of bright, reliable trains, and this investment has been rewarded with the great increase in usage, not just at peak hours, but throughout the day.

The improvements continue with the recent opening of additional platforms and the introduction of the new Class 380 electric units on the Clyde coast lines, and the ongoing work to update the platform surfaces.

While the Low Level platforms are a world away from the smoky sulphurous atmosphere of steam days, they are now slightly dated, and might possibly be the next area for improvement.

The 21st-century “Central” is still easily recognisable as the station built by the Caledonian Railway more than a century ago, and is a testimony to the foresight of that company’s managers and engineers.

• Jack Kernahan is the author of The Cathcart Circle.

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