Thursday, 30 December 2010

Up and Down

I’m not sure where the convention of naming travel in the direction of London as ‘Up’. Any ideas? But the convention has some odd consequences for the layout (and for the Beattock operational procedures).

Travelling from Beattock station to the Summit is northwards, away from London, and so in the Down direction. But of course we’re going ‘up’ the bank towards the Summit. This wouldn’t matter so much but for the habit of train crew to refer to ‘going up’ the bank*, meaning travelling in the Down direction from the station to the Summit. So Down trains travel up the bank, and Up trains travel down. Clear?

Of course, it’s different for trains approaching the Summit from the north, but (for the purposes of this layout project) I’m not bothered about this.

*The source of this is David Anderson’s excellent articles published in Steam Days between 1991 and 2003. In one he recounts the story of, when a teenager, being offered by a driver a footplate trip to the Summit from Beattock station, with his bike being tied onto the running plate of the banker.

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