Strike-bound Glasgow Central Station quieter than lockdown – even most trains had vanished this time

It reminded me of New Year’s Day – virtually no trains, but a small band of hopeful and determined passengers.

The vast Glasgow Central Station seemed even bigger when there was hardly anyone and anything about.

You could see the length of the concourse and its platforms on Tuesday thanks to a rare view uninterrupted by the usual flow of people and arriving and departing trains, both in constant motion.

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The first day of the biggest rail strike for three decades also made Central look even emptier than at the start of the first Covid lockdown.

A quiet Glasgow Central Station, as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union begin their nationwide strike in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Two years ago, there may have been hardly any passengers, but this time even most of the trains were absent.

The giant destination indicator board still looked busy – if you wanted to go to Edinburgh, Lanark or Larkhall, because those were pretty much the only choices.

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But far from crowds flocking to the few ScotRail services still running, there was barely a trickle, with most looking decidedly empty.

As for the hopeful and determined, they were the ones on the concourse seats, patiently waiting with their wheelie cases and other bags around them for one of the few London trains to turn up.

Virtually all the station’s shops, cafes and bars were open, but nearly all were deserted other than staff chatting and taking the opportunity to rearrange the shelf displays.

A bar man in The Beer House was left to polish the glass on a drinks fridge.

There wasn’t even a queue for Krispy Kreme.

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