Thursday, July 22, 2010

Magic Roundabout

The seed of the idea for yesterday's railway adventure was planted some time ago when I realised that I had never been in Glasgow's Queen Street Lower Level station! It germinated when I discovered that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport had a one-day ticket with flexible travel on rail and underground. I could then even discover exactly where Whifflet was, because, despite spending much of my working life in Glasgow, and seeing this destination on the journey boards whenever I was waiting for my own train home, I had never been there.

And the idea flowered on a rainy day in July (so no conscience that I was missing a day in the garden), and a rest day of the Tour de France into the bargain.

I trained up to Glasgow from Lockerbie (of course), and duly purchased my 'Roundabout' ticket. And for the next eight hours I travelled, not with any particular plan, on a variety of trains and lines in the Greater Glasgow area. It turned out to be great fun.

I got the Queen Street Low Level out of the way first of all, travelling out and back to Dumbarton Central. Dumbarton retains fond memories for me as that was there my aunt and uncle stayed - beside a railway line as it happened - and I visited often.

Then it was on to Motherwell, from the interchange at Partick, and from there to Cumbernauld (above), passing on the way that mysterious place called 'Whifflet'!

It was back to Queen Street (the high Level Station this time) and around the line to Anniesland via Maryhill, this being a new route for me. It passes through Gilshochill, one of these names, like Milngavie, designed to confuse those who are not native to the region, being pronounced 'Gilshyhill'. From Anniesland it was back to Glasgow Central Low Level.

Another line that I have often wondered exactly where it went finishes goes out to Newton. I now know! I returned to Mount Florida in torrential rain, and old stamping grounds on the Cathcart Circle (above).

Now, you really have to be a railway enthusiast (make that 'nerd') if you can answer correctly the question, "Which is the odd one out of Pollokshields East, Pollokshields West, Pollokshaws East and Pollokshaws West?" The answer is of course the last, which is the only one of the four NOT on the Cathcart Circle.

In my schooldays, just as the Cathcart Circle was being electified, friends and I used to leave school and run to Pollokshields East, rather than a nearer station, to get the train all the way round the Circle into Central Station!

And I once made the mistake of arranging to meet a friend at Pollokshields West Station. She failed to show, and I found out later she had been waiting at Pollokshaws East. In the days before mobile phones of course! Short romance that was. But I digress.

The new platforms in the main Central Station (above) are now in operation, where once there used to be car parking. My last ride of the day was along the Paisley Canal line, where my railway travel all began, that line serving Mosspark West (at it once was called, it's now just Mosspark) near where I was brought up.

It was home to Lockerbie after all that. A great day's adventure. How much did it all cost? Well, the Roundabout Ticket was just £5.25. Magic!

Pics © Skip Cottage

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog, Bob. As you know, I used to live near Maxwell Park and, like you, would take the "wrong way round" train to Central via Cathcart (near which station I later lived, of course). Problem was I cocked it up and ended up in Kirkhill. Missed the film. Kirkhill - well, I'm sure it's lovely, but...!