Up and Down and roundabout

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Up and Down and roundabout

Post by Jim Summers » Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:23 pm

On another forum recently various people have been expressing opinions on the meaning of Up and Down in respect of our Caledonian Railway, with some folk asserting that Up was to Edinburgh as it was the capital.
Incidentally, others have declared that the Midland trains went UP to Derby, as the HQ, and some other companies also went UP to their main base, though this is now being challenged.

However I felt I should wade in and correct the opinions on the Caledonian with some facts. I felt also that this Forum might be interested in the matter. Here are my conclusions for the benefit of the other forum:

"There seem to be a lot of opinions being expressed on this, but here are the facts of Caledonian life:
The Caledonian Appendix refers to the southbound WCML as Up, and the opposite direction as Down. See for example their Table of Refuge and Shunting Sidings and their margins (p.162, in the 1915 Appendix). Similarly, Edinburgh to Carstairs is Up, and Carstairs to Edinburgh is Down.

"If we want to get into further detail, the line from Midcalder Jn to Uddingston Jn. is designated "East to West" and "West to East" in the equivalent table. The Central Low Level line was also East-West, but the lines which it abutted were Up and Down (e.g Down from Possil to Dumbarton). Other lines, such as the Gourock line were Up towards Paisley and Glasgow.

"On the Caley's Northern Section, it was Down from Greenhill to Aberdeen, and Up from Aberdeen to the south.
Branch lines tended to be referred to by the name of the destination (e.g. "trains to Brechin", "line to Brechin"), but a longer important single line such as the Callander & Oban had its loops described as "Up Loop" or "Down Loop". You can find this sort of thing in the Tables on "Runaway Catch Points" or "Attaching or Detaching Vehicles -Rule 181".
Incidentally, the instructions on ticket inspection refer to Up and Down trains, and helpfully use the same conventions as I have stated above.

"I think we can say that the Caledonian used Up or Down where it was sensible to use it, used East and West where that was more helpful, and destination where that was more appropriate.
London was regarded as the capital city, which from the standpoint of a company well enmeshed in the RCH and dealings with the BoT, it was. In comparison, Edinburgh would have had no particular significance to railway operators, but would of course be of importance to the Legal Dept.

"All that said, when I am talking to railway folk, I go "up" to London, but when I am talking to decent, ordinary folk I tell them I am going "down" to London, which is what it is, after all."

Do the members of this illustrious Forum go along with that?

Jim S

MIKEWILLIAMS
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: Up and Down and roundabout

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:12 am

These are the directions the Pullmans travelled - not bothered about the north(down)/south(up) but Glasgow and Edinburgh was east west.

Best

Mike
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Jim Summers
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Up and Down and roundabout

Post by Jim Summers » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:57 pm

Perfectly sensible, Mike. It's what you would call nowadays "customer-focussed" and make a big thing about, I imagine.

Jim S

Peter Scott
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:58 pm

Re: Up and Down and roundabout

Post by Peter Scott » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:00 pm

The nomenclature of Up and Down is largely "For the use of Company Servants only". But regular travellers would become aware of the names applied. And yes, words such as northbound, and Cornwall-bound [the Cornishman when it was first extended to Bradford Forster Square!] would have been used in publicity matters.
If one uses the maxim of "Up to London", one would accurately identify the direction of most Railways in the Kingdom. On the Lancashire & Yorkshire, it is Up to Manchester Victoria, of course. And there is always one to catch out the unwary - on the Great Central, Manchester [London Road] has the Zero Post - but it is Down from both Cleethorpes and London Marylebone, to Manchester!
In Scotland, the Caley has many Routes with their origin of mileage at Carlisle Citadel - and thus it is naturally Down from there on those lines. On the North British, Edinburgh is the natural focus. But the Waverley route was Up from Edinburgh to Carlisle - because that fited in with other Railways, of theirs and others, at both ends of the Route.

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