The fourth link
Return to Glasgow
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2022
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
29 August 2022
tunnel mouth from the platform, trains appear as bright lights near the roof, descending as the train approaches. My next train is formed of a pair of class 385 electric units, which ascend the incline as though it’s not there! I’m not going straight back to Edinburgh, instead I’ll get out at Linlithgow and do a little of the wandering I’d planned for Glasgow. Wander over, I’m back at the station for the next leg of my trip, another 385 completing its run to Edinburgh. Trains between the two major cities are very frequent; trains to Dunbar less so (lots of trains pass through Dunbar). The next service is (deep joy!) a CrossCountry Voyager. Consisting of no fewer than nine cars at this point (a 220 and a 221), it’s about to leave for Bristol Temple Meads. Some kind of endurance test, I think. However, Dunbar is only about 20 minutes away, and despite a late departure (no driver!) I’m soon back to today’s start. I reflect on the east coast town’s rail service - provided by Scotrail, LNER, TransPennine and CrossCountry (Lumo’s trains pass through without stopping). How may other towns of this size are served by so many different companies?
We’re staying in Dunbar for a few days, and I’m being allowed out for a day on my own (the others are either working or shopping, things I try to avoid…). If I take the train to Edinburgh Waverley, there are four possible routes to the west coast city. Two of them will make for a good day’s exploration. My train from Dunbar is a Leeds - Aberdeen service, formed of an LNER ‘Azuma’. (Connotations of zooming? Who knows!). At Waverley, I’ll take a Scotrail service via Bathgate and Airdrie (a reconstructed line which was closed to passengers in 1956 and lifted in the 1980s - a fourth link between Edinburgh and Glasgow) to Helensburgh, which will get me to Queen Street Low Level. I’ll have a short wander around the city, down to the Clyde, then take a look at Central. I might have been tempted to stay a little longer, but the refuse collectors are on strike, and all the bins are overflowing. It’s not a pleasant environment for wandering today (happily, the strike was settled just a day or two later). Back to Queen Street: trains arrive at the terminus by descending the once-notorious Cowlairs Incline. Watching the
Dunbar up platform Southbound - Azuma zooming at Dunbar 800 112 arrives Waverley - 800 109 has arrived 800 112 meets 800 109 800 112: southbound at platform 2 LNER and Lumo: spot the difference 334 006 - my train to Queen St Low Level 385 105: framed at the National Gallery 334 006 'Pride of Scotrail' Glasgow Central - a view from the bank of the Clyde Riverside view: TPE empty stock enters Central Central: buildings within a building Queen St: 385 028 arrives Queen St terminus Queen St: 385 118 Linlithgow: 385 102 arrives 220 026: ready to leave Waverley (but for a driver) Dwarfed! 220 026 under Waverley's overall roof Dunbar arrival: 220 026 Dunbar departure - 220 and 221 Voyagers