All aboard for a mag­i­cal rail­way tour

Scottish Daily Mail - - News -

A MOD­EST door in Glas­gow Cen­tral Sta­tion is like Harry’s Potter’s Plat­form 9¾ – be­yond it lies a mag­i­cal world.

I was priv­i­leged to slip through this por­tal in the com­pany of Paul Lyons, Net­work Rail his­to­rian, to delve deep into the belly of this as­ton­ish­ing ice­berg of a build­ing.

While the tour touches on the fab­ric of the place (And what fab­ric! It is tes­ta­ment still to the skill of crafts­men whose hand­i­work is to tol­er­ances we can barely achieve to­day) Paul makes it about far more than box-gird­ers, cast iron and hand­made riv­ets.

With his John Byrne-style beard and pat­ter as mag­nif­i­cently droll as any­thing Billy Con­nolly or Chic Mur­ray ever spouted, he has a racon­teur’s ear for a hu­man story.

He also has deep love and re­spect for the peo­ple whose blood, sweat and tears shaped Cen­tral Sta­tion and the city it serves.

Th­ese pub­lic tours are a labour of love for Paul and he hopes soon to add a re­cre­ation of a Vic­to­rian plat­form com­plete with gen­uine steam lo­co­mo­tive.

Gen­er­a­tions of rail­way work­ers and pas­sen­gers would be chuffed to see the flame of their sto­ries be­ing kept alive in such en­ter­tain­ing and deeply thought-pro­vok­ing style.

Sta­tion guru: Tour guide Paul Lyons

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