Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Of Course I Spot the Trains

I'm only just now getting around to reading Charlie Stross' Halting State, having somehow missed it when it first came out. I'm enjoying it, but I managed to derail (pun intentional) on, of all things, the trains in Glasgow.

There's a scene where two characters have to get from Edinburgh to a conference happening at the SECC in Glasgow, and they take the train, which makes sense. Well, this is of course the only part of Glasgow about which I know anything at all, having been there for two Worldcons. Much of the description is very accurate. But what boggled me was him having the characters arrive at Glasgow Central by train from Edinburgh (possible, although the more-common quarter-hourly shuttles go to Queen Street, as I recall) and then have to take a taxi to the SECC because there's no rail connection other than the Glasgow Subway, and that doesn't have a stop at Glasgow Central.

Well, no on two counts. 1. There is no subway stop at the SECC because the line doesn't run there. 2. You certainly can get from Glasgow Central to Exhibition Centre by rail, by walking down several sets of stairs to Glasgow Central Low Level and taking the local train two stops. It's not the subway; it's the local suburban rail system.

Now as it happens there is even an all-rail routing from Queen Street to Convention Centre — I did it on my way to the 2005 Worldcon — but it's a bit convoluted: Train from Queen Street to Partick, then cross over the footbridge and ride back the other way (the lines diverge here) to Exhibition Centre. But that's not relevant here since the characters arrived at Central.

Minor point, of course, and I'm amused at myself for obsessive over train routes like this on the one piece of Scotland that I know well enough to navigate on my own.
Tags: trains
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