Larkfield Carriage sidings

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

Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by Jim Summers »

Arising from a question on another forum, can anyone recall how Larkfield carriage depot was worked? In BR days would be fine, it doesn't have to be Caley days.

Was there a pilot, or did the locomotive for the empty stock to Central draw the train from the depot and round it?

Jim S
IBrown
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Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by IBrown »

Quite topical Jim I'd been looking at this area as a result of your book and the caption for the co-acting signals at Eglinton Street (page 95 I think).

I never had direct dealings with Larkfield CS and what I'm about to say comes mostly from observations during my journey to work to and from Lanarkshire from 1970 to early 1980's.

The first bit of your first question is fairly straightforward - there was a CL08 at Larkfield CS and it could be seen quite frequently drawing rakes out on No2 Up Loop between Gushetfaulds and Polmadie boxes. A link to the track diagram here is given for those who are not familiar with the area:

http://signalbox.org/diagrams.php?id=17

The second bit is a bit more complex, and this comes partly from observation and partly from knowledge of the locomotive workings at Polmadie MPD and how that Depot worked; Train engines were usually 'lined up' in Polmadie Departure road in departure time order, and these ran LD direct to Central to the top of their respective trains; the ECS trip between Larkfield (later Polmadie) and Central station was performed by 'one' of the 'Central Station Pilots'. Although there were locomotive diagrams which utilised locomotives off incoming trains for this in reality the shed crewed individual pilots and prior to WCML electrification, this was self evident by the number of CL20s and Type 2s that could be seen on these workings. Eastfield did the same at Queen Street HL. After electrification, an AC Loco performed the same 'station pilot' ECS duties.

The only difference I observed was in the Sleeper ECS going into Central station in the early evening. These were drawn to the 'Bridge Street area' and propelled from there into the respective platform. I could see this around 2130 when coming in for night shift. Unsure whether a pilot rounding movement or whether train engine performed part of it. From memory we were not allowed front & rear through Larkfield tunnels, but SA may say different.
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by Jim Summers »

Many thanks, Ian. Such recollections of things we took for granted are tremendously valuable nowadays.

The move with the Sleeper ECS is reminiscent of the machinations with one of the ECML sleeper ECS, to save tying down a pilot. In the afternoon the ECS came from Craigentinny round the Edinburgh Sub. to Haymarket West and was left in the Down loop of the South Lines until later in the evening. Then it was taken by the train engine through the west end of Waverley to one of the through platforms.

That is quite a signalbox diagram for Larkfield, is it not?

Jim S
charles d
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Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by charles d »

The new bus depot which I think is built on part of the site is called "Caledonia Depot"

Regards

Charles
dumb buffer
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Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by dumb buffer »

Quite irrelevant to the original query, I'm afraid, but I'm quite overcome with nostalgia looking at that diagram. I used to go on my bike to the old Dixon's Blazes site on the South side of the line near Gushetfaulds Jn where, aside from the regular suburban traffic into and out of Central, I could watch the iron ore trains coming round from General Terminus with a couple of WD's clanking at the head (really they didn't clank; they rang) Then at ISTR 2100 the Condor express freight would come out of Gushetfaulds Yard, headed at least occasionally by 10001 in gleaming black and silver. Happy days! Pardon my self indulgence.

Allan F
IBrown
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Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by IBrown »

As I said in my original post, I travelled the line for many years on my journey to work. But Jim Summers’ book stirred far earlier childhood memories of times when my parents took me by train from Bellshill station into Central HL on Saturday shopping trips to the ‘Toon’. So the 1908 Central signal box and the original Clyde bridge and its gantry ( cough) sorry, signal bridge, are living images for me, as are Eglinton Street Jn box and the ‘Lanarkshire’ platforms of that station, a train I was on once calling there too. But between Eglinton Street and Central box, I don’t remember ever seeing Bridge Street Jn box and the probable reason for that was my attention was always fixed on Port Eglinton Jn, an elevated box sitting on the elevated St Enoch line which crossed above us. The box straddled that line and I had not seen anything like that before or since, except in photos.

As to Gushetfaulds: I knew it pre-employment from Condor fame, the train and 'the normal' diesels being very familiar when spotted at Motherwell station as were 10001 and 10002 even from a distance e.g. when crossing Orbiston viaduct on certain WCML Expresses. I first set foot in the place in 1966 as part of my railway induction course, shiny new gantry cranes and Freightliner vehicles complete with ‘BG’ brakevan at the buffer end as Guards riding in rear cab of fully fitted trains had not yet been agreed with Trade Unions. We were not taken to Larkfield CS which shared the site, and I have no recollection of it from that visit.

The signalling diagram for Larkfield Jn clearly conveys the complexity of the track and signalling there but does not give a feel for just how much was crammed in to so little space. A FLT and a CS sharing the same site says it all. I did remark on that part of Jim Mac’s talk on South Side station, the original occupier of the site, that I could not visualise how the GB&K managed to get over the Pollok & Govan / Greenock line so quickly after leaving South Side?

The following link is captioned ‘Gushetfaulds Jn’ but is brought into this discussion for its photo of Larkfield Jn., and to bring the thread back on topic! As I said, I travelled the line for years until the 1979 diversion of services to the Argyle Line. When posted, I could not believe I had forgotten this gem at Larkfield Jn on No1 Up and Down / Slow Lines, which remained until the Glasgow Central (SC) 1973 extension of control . The co-acting signals are quite unique in being repeated on both sides of No1 lines. 'One set' controlled the entrance to Larkfield CS loop, plainly visible going off to the left. The CS lay immediately to the left of the loop, and the whole site was buffer-ended at the ‘Central station’ end.

http://forum.signalbox.org/viewtopic.ph ... lds#p65663

And for those of you who don’t have Jim Summers’ book, page 95 has a photo of Co-acting signals on the Eglinton Street station side of the tunnels. The one of No2 Up line / Up Fast line is an enigma as it shows a splitting distant signal on a left hand bracket post. The signalling diagram shows that it would have applied through the connection from No1 Up to No2 Up lines / Up Fast and Slow Lines at Larkfield Jn. The enigma is that up until 1973 No1 lines terminated at Gushetfaulds Jn with a heavily speed-restricted connection there back onto the Up main / Up fast line, which makes it highly unlikely that the distant signal would have been worked. So why provide one?
IBrown
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:36 pm

Re: Larkfield Carriage sidings

Post by IBrown »

Searching for something else today, came across these photos at:

Larkfield CS, View looks west, towards Glasgow Central, 1962
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/ ... hp?id=9800

Gushetfaulds pre-FLT days, view looks towards Gushetfaulds Junction box, 1962
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/ ... hp?id=9804
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