Opened in 1879 and extended in 1905, Glasgow Central is still Scotland’s busiest station and with some 27.5 million users in 2009, it is the busiest railway station in the United Kingdom outside of London, coming in 7th overall. The original 8 platforms have been extended to 17, with 2 on the lower level, and the station serves the southern towns and suburbs of Greater Glasgow, the Ayrshire and Clyde coasts, and is the main terminus for rail services to southern Scotland and to England,
The Central Station is an interesting place to pass an afternoon or evening, especially if people or train watching is a hobby of yours (apparently platform 11a is the best for the latter exercise). The most striking feature of the interior of the Central Station, distinctive curved wooden concourse buildings, were added between 1899 and 1905. Originally housing waiting rooms, a restaurant and ticket offices, it was believed that the curved buildings and rounded corners helped prevent crowding and bottlenecks. They were renovated and redeveloped into shops, eateries and an upstairs bar/restaurant in the 1980s. The golden lettering above Argyle Street was added in the early 2000s.
Glasgow Trivia #21: Continuing with the habit of assigning nicknames to local landmarks, the glass-walled railway bridge above Argyle Street at Glasgow Central Station is referred to as the “Heilanman’s Umbrella” by locals. The name roots from the forced displacement of Scots during the Highland Clearances of the 19th century, when tens of thousands of Highlanders, speaking Gaelic but no English, descended upon Glasgow looking for work. While in Glasgow, these Highlanders kept in touch with each other by often meeting under the bridge, a large shelter them from the rain.
[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?] Click on the photo above for a larger version. Please rate the photo below! © 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com