Glasgow's main train station
This is the kind of place you can pass through every day without realising how grand the building is, or how important it is to the infrastructure of the city.
Built in 1900 by the Caledonian Railway, with the intention of putting nearby St Enoch's Station out of business (it worked), Central is a huge building. It takes up about four blocks on the North of the river, hemmed in by Jamaica Street, Union Street, Gordon Street and the Broomielaw. It crosses over Argyle Street, at the Heilannman's Umbrella. Most of it is built out of blonde sandstone, with impressive arches everywhere. Space in and around it is occupied by shops, offices, hotels, clubs (such as The Arches), railway works and car parks.
Railtrack own it, and have the job of coordinating the hundreds of train services carrying thousands of people in and out daily, from all around the UK. It's the hub of the local suburban passenger rail network - the biggest outside of London. Rush hour is very rushed. but it usually seems to run smoothly.
- There are 15 platforms, 13 of them leading south of the Clyde, and two east-west tracks on the lower level. (the latter are owned by ScotRail, just to confuse everyone.) The longest stretches halfway across the river, and is a regular haunt of trainspotters.
- During the week, you can usually get a freebie newspaper, the Metro, which is a toned-down, opinion-less version of the Daily Express - but still a good read.
- There are two ticket offices, one for long distance journeys, operated by Virgin. There are self service machines here where you can collect tickets ordered online at thetrainline.com or the Virgin Trains website. There is also a ScotRail ticket office, for tickets to stations in Scotland.
- The furtherst place you can catch a direct train to is Penzance.
- The surly ticket inspectors can be paid up to £7 an hour, you know..
- Despite it's grandeur, it pales in comparison to New York City's Grand Central Terminal.
I'll maybe add more later...