Callander - what is going on here?

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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John Paton
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:50 pm

Callander - what is going on here?

Post by John Paton »

Alisdair Macdonald and I have been trying to work out what is going on in this photo. We initially thought that this was an excursion train (due to the big crowd of people) loading prior to departure. However we are now questioning this. If this is a departing excursion train why are the passengers milling around and not getting onboard (only a few doors are open), and it looks like a big crowd to fit into three carriages. We then began to question whether it is an excursion train at all, as it appears to have a flat wagon between the tender and the first vehicle, and what look like two ‘full brakes’ at either end, suggesting a local, possibly ‘mixed’ working. Maybe the crowd are not getting into that train. But if they are waiting on a train which is yet to arrive on the up main, why would they all move to the east end of the platform? There is an equivalent crowd at the eastern end of the down main platform.
Has anyone got ant ideas?
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MIKEWILLIAMS
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

The vehicle behind the tender is an open carriage truck similar to the one that was used on the Connel Ferry motor bus service, so it's NPCS and this is a passenger train.

I can't help you with the question, though

Best

Mike.
duncan
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:47 am

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by duncan »

My initial thought was that with the numbers on both platforms they were waiting for someone important to pass. However, the crowds are on only part of both platforms, so seem to suggest waiting for trains or to have their photograph taken !
Duncan
Duncan
dunalastairv
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by dunalastairv »

I wonder if the clue lies in the extra coaching stock on the back road? Suppose this is to be used for the excursionists nearest the camera and in some complicated move, to be attached to the head of an up train? The staff would be keen to be quick about such an arrangement and have told the passengers to stand there for quick loading when the up does arrive ... engine off, into the back road, pick up carriages, pick up excursion passengers, then attach to rest of train? Bonkers maybe but just a thought.
dunalastairv
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by dunalastairv »

Or perhaps, couple up to the rest of the up train while the excursionists are boarding ...
lms14509
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 9:27 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by lms14509 »

If it is not an Excursion of some sort, could it be a scene from Mobilization in August 1914?
JimG
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:15 am

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by JimG »

I can remember going to a Sunday School picnic location by train in the late 1940s. The church was the High Kirk in Dumbarton and the location of the picnic was at Garelochhead. We all met on Dumbarton Central down platform and there were reserved coaches on the West Highland morning Down train to accommodate us. The reverse happened at the end of the day with Up West Highland back to Dumbarton. There would have been quite a large crowd of us on Dumbarton platform - maybe fifty children and their parents and other helpers and we would probably been advised to stand at a certain area on the platform to access the reserved coaches.

Always remember the milk on that picnic which came in a churn probably direct from the cow. :)

Jim.
Violets49
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:34 am

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Violets49 »

I too am wondering if this is a mobilisation train from 1914. As has been pointed out, the crowds don't seem to be getting on the train. Maybe a territorial unit being mobilised or going to summer camp? Either that or a Sunday school excursion with parents seeing their children off. The presence of the Carriage waggon and the van though, direct my thoughts to it being military train.

Jane.
David Thorpe
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:58 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by David Thorpe »

Ther are quite a lot children hanging around and no-one seems to be wearing uniform. Nor is there any sign of any of the luggage which I would have expected on a mobilisation train.
Alisdair
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Alisdair »

Could it be after the death of a local notable, with the coffin in a van and mourners in the carriages, going off for burial elsewhere (the coffin, not the mourners)?
Alisdair
MIKEWILLIAMS
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

The second vehicle is a WCJS fish van (elliptical roof, sliding doors end ventilators). Sorry to add to the confusion.

Best

Mike
Keith Fenwick
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:46 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Keith Fenwick »

The platform under the awning seems to be cleared of onlookers so how about July 1911 per attached from the Strathearn Herald 8th July 1911.

The Colonial Premier. and a large party arrived at Callander late or Saturday evening en route for the Trossachs and Loch Lomond. The distinguished visitors were accorded a hearty welcome by a large crowd which had gathered at teh Railway Station. Sir Joseph Ward made a few remarks in which he thanked the people of Callander for their Highland welcome. The party proceeded to the Trossachs Hotel by brakes.
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BrianSmith
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Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by BrianSmith »

Like many of you I have studied this photo countless times trying to interpret what’s going on, I may have the answer!
The crowd density and interest appears to be around the leading passenger coach. The obvious difference between this coach and all the others is the lack of gas lamp chimneys, making it an electrically lit coach.
Could this photo be of the occasion of the first ever electrically lit coach (and possibly electrically lit anything) in Callander, so creating such a level of interest?
Mike 1
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:46 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Mike 1 »

Keith's suggestion seems plausible, or something similar. There is a very large amount of litter everywhere, suggesting there has been a large event of some sort which is drawing to a close and people are going home by train, in both directions?

I'm not convinced that the train we see is significant. The crowd are not all around it, many being nearer the engine than the rear carriages or on the opposite platform, and the fish van and fish truck rule out this being an excursion train - in my opinion.

Mike
Last edited by Mike 1 on Thu Apr 04, 2024 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Keith Fenwick
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Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Keith Fenwick »

Mike
Did you mean 'rain we see' or 'train we see'?
Keith
BrianSmith
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:10 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by BrianSmith »

Where Keith’s suggestion falls down is the large crowd on the East end of the Up platform, this is not where a welcoming crowd would be for a train that was more than likely going to arrive in the middle of the Down platform. Also neither crowd appears to be looking out for an arrival.

The crowds on both platforms do seem to be there for someone or something of interest in the leading passenger carriage, an electrically lit 45’ Third. There were only 9 electrically lit 45’ Thirds, so a bit of a rarity. It would be interesting to know what level of interest the appearance of electrically lit carriages was.

Brian.
Keith Fenwick
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Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Keith Fenwick »

I think the crowds were being kept away from the area of the platform where the visitors would arrive. I might not have identified the correct event, but important visitors seem to me the most likely reason for the crowds standing around in that fashion - maybe getting fed up with waiting!
Keith
BrianSmith
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:10 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by BrianSmith »

What doesn’t make sense to me is having a crowd of people being forced to stand at the end of a platform that the dignitaries are not going to arrive on and the gathered crowd are then not going to see. If you couldn’t get on the arrival platform you’d stand outside or along the route that they’re going to travel to catch a glimpse.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that the only doors on the train remaining open are on the further away coaches, the ones nearest the footbridge. Closed doors generally mean the compartment is occupied or full, this doesn’t match normal human behaviours.

Brian.
Mike 1
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:46 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Mike 1 »

Keith Fenwick wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:03 pm Mike
Did you mean 'rain we see' or 'train we see'?
Keith
Thank you - corrected!
David Thorpe
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Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by David Thorpe »

I wonder if the Royal Train was scheduled to pass through, and the crowds had turned out in the hope of getting a glimpse of a royal personage or just for the occasion. That would account for there being crowds on both platforms and perhaps for the crowds being shepherded up to one end of the platform so as not to obstruct the normal station workings?
Mike 1
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Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by Mike 1 »

I think that's the best suggestion yet. It explains the number of people and why the train, complete with fish vans, possibly shunted out of the way. Only thing it doesn't explain is the large amount of litter.

Mike
BrianSmith
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:10 pm

Re: Callander - what is going on here?

Post by BrianSmith »

Also why so many people on the up platform have their backs to the line, have not spread out more evenly and why would ladies with babies carry them all the way to the furthest away point from the entrance?

Brian.
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