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An Ayrshire firm has unveiled the interior design for ScotRails first active travel carriage, designated for carrying bikes and large sporting. [See also news item 21/10.]
(Permalink) Bikes Brodie Engineering Class 153 ScotRail West Highland Lines

ScotRail has unveiled the interior design for its first active travel carriage, designated for carrying bikes and large sporting equipment, as the first train nears completion.

Five Class 153 trains are being transformed to carry up to 20 bikes to enhance existing ScotRail services on the West Highland Line initially, providing custom designed racks to accommodate bikes, sporting equipment and large items of luggage as well as more seats for customers.

The redesigned carriage boasts space for tandem cycles, and an e-bike charging socket - a first for a train in the UK.

Modified by Brodie Engineering in Kilmarnock, forming part of the firms expansion plans, the finishing touches to the first carriage are now being applied.

The train has received a full interior and exterior refresh including installation of free WiFi, at seat power sockets and a refurbished toilet with controlled emission toilet (CET) tank.
(Permalink) Bikes Brodie Engineering Class 153 ScotRail West Highland Lines

A new railway station to serve the naval base at Faslane is among the top priorities for the Helensburgh area revealed in a recent council report.
(Permalink) Faslane West Highland Lines

Faslane Platform: Steam train for Fort William passing the site of Faslane Platform near Shandon.
Ewan Crawford 25/05/2006

Shandon: Road/rail crane heading from High Balernock L.C. back to operations near the former Faslane Junction. The crane is passing the site of the demolished Shandon station.
Ewan Crawford 04/03/2008

Commitment to decarbonise passenger rail services by 2035. Plans to decarbonise Scotland's rail passenger services by 2035 have been launched by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson today.

Railscot note - PDF page 8 shows electrification of lines by 2035:

- Glasgow - Aberdeen - Inverurie

- All lines in Fife including Levenmouth

- Highland Main Line

- Borders line

- Glasgow - Barrhead - Dumfries - Carlisle

- East Kilbride

- Kilmarnock - Ayr

- Anniesland - Maryhill

Partial electrification or alternative technology:

- Ayr- Girvan

- Inverurie - Inverness - Tain

Battery or alternative technology:

- West Highland Lines

- Far North Line

- Kyle Line

- Girvan - Stranraer
(Permalink) Aberdeen Barrhead Battery train Borders line Dumfries East Kilbride Electrification Far North Line Fife Girvan Highland Main Line Inverurie Kilmarnock Kyle Line Levenmouth Maryhill Stranraer Tain West Highland Lines

Scotland: Transport Scotland - Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan for 2035. Lines shown in red are to be electrified. Those in yellow to be alternative traction, possibly prior to electrification. Those in green to be alternative traction with a permanent solution such as battery use.
Transport Scotland 28/07/2020

Plans have been submitted for a new car park in Glenfinnan for tourists who visit to see a location from the Harry Potter films.

Thousands of visitors arrive to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct and a steam train that operates on its railway line. Both feature in the movies.

Glenfinnan Community Council said a lack of parking had also become a health and safety issue.

It said vehicles were currently using verges along the A830 for parking.
(Permalink) Glenfinnan Viaduct West Highland Lines

Harry Potter fans are risking death by wandering on to a railway line to take photographs of a viaduct used for scenes in the fantasy adventure films.
British Transport Police said incidents at the Glenfinnan Viaduct played a part in a 16% rise in railway trespassing offences in Scotland last year.
BTP has issued a fresh warning for people to stay away from the area of the West Highland Line.
In 2015, a family was among tourists who put themselves in danger.
The couple and their child were seen running on the railway line.
(Permalink) Glenfinnan Viaduct West Highland Lines

Glenfinnan Viaduct: Crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct in the summer of 1991.
Ian Dinmore /07/1991

Glenfinnan Viaduct: Black 5 No. 45407 leaves an attractive smoke trail as it crosses Glenfinnan Viaduct on 10 October 2012 with The Jacobite steam service to Mallaig.
John Gray 10/10/2012

Glenfinnan Viaduct: A Class 27 rumbles over Glenfinnan Viaduct with a Fort William-bound train in 1980.
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1980

No rail services will operate on the Glasgow to Oban line over the weekend, after a lorry collided with a bridge.
Work to repair what has been described as 'extensive damage' at Taynuilt has been scheduled to be completed by Monday.
ScotRail said a bus shuttle service will operate from Oban to Dalmally, calling at stations along the route.
The operator said the bus replacement service would run 'as close to train time as possible'.
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

A landslide that closed a stretch of Highland railway line for most of the weekend has been cleared and repairs at the track completed.
About 100 tonnes of mud and stones were washed across part of the Fort William and Mallaig line near Lochailort during heavy rain on Thursday.
Travel on the nearby A830 road was also affected for a time by the same landslide.
ScotRail said the work to the railway line was completed at 20:00 on Sunday.
The normal timetable resumed on the line on Monday morning, when the A830 was also fully reopened to traffic.
(Permalink) Landslide Lochailort Mallaig Extension ScotRail West Highland Lines

Rail and road travel in parts of the Highlands are being disrupted following a landslide.
The landslip has blocked the railway line between Fort William and Mallaig and the nearby A830 since about 18:00 on Thursday.
ScotRail said there was disruption to services between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig terminating at or starting from Fort William.
The A830 is shut between the Lochailort and Drumsallie junction.
The landslide happened during a period of heavy downpours that affected Skye, Mull, the west Highlands and Argyll. The Met Office issued a yellow 'be aware' warning of heavy rain earlier this week.
(Permalink) Landslide Lochailort Mallaig Extension ScotRail West Highland Lines

Lochailort: Black 5 no 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier at the head of 'The Royal Highlander' tackles the 1 in 50 out of Lochailort heading for Mallaig.
John Gray /07/2012

Fort William: View over the clean and colourful concourse of the 1975 Fort William station looking towards the platforms in the autumn of 2005. A service to Glasgow Queen Street is getting ready to leave platform 1, with a train for Mallaig standing alongside at platform 2.
John Furnevel 29/09/2005

Mallaig: As near as I could get 48 years on... see image [[24161]]. The 16.05 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street service almost ready to commence its journey on 28 July 2011. (Note the modern-day practice of keeping passengers waiting on the platform as long as possible before opening the doors!)
Colin Miller 28/07/2011

Oban and Scotland’s Far North could be served by Caledonian Sleeper trains, but funding from authorities would be needed to support the services.
CS Managing Director Peter Strachan, speaking exclusively to RAIL on May 6, confirmed that discussions had taken place with user groups regarding running trains north of Inverness, and with business groups for Oban.
If the latter happens, he has not ruled out the possibility that extra Mk 5 coaches may have to be ordered from Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles (CAF). The Spanish company is already building 75 vehicles for CS that will enter traffic in 2018. [From Mark Bartlett]

(Permalink) Caledonian Sleeper West Highland Lines

Oban: View over Oban pier and station from McCaig's Tower on 10 July. The area of the pier adjacent to the station has become a mini-mall with shops, cafes and restaurants.
John Gray 10/07/2013

Oban: The Caledonian Sleeper at Oban, diverted from Fort William due to engineering works, topped and tailed with Class 73s. With the arrival of the new stock it is possible the sleeper may split at Crianlarich with portions for Fort William and Oban. Photograph courtesy of Doug Carmichael of the Friends of the West Highland Lines.
Doug Carmichael 14/02/2016

Oban: With a belch of diesel fumes the 12.10 service for Glasgow Queen Street gets underway from Oban on 30 July 2011.
John Steven 30/07/2011

A COMMUNITY group have proposed a rail link between Craignure and Iona connecting foot passengers and commuters with the Holy Island. The proposal for the scheme in full is exclusively revealed below.
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

The railway line made famous by the Harry Potter films and voted the world’s most scenic train journey is ScotRail’s fastest growing route, official figures reveal.

A doubling of trains on the West Highland line between Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and Mallaig helped boost its passenger numbers by nearly 14 per cent to 454,000 in 2014-15.
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

OVERNIGHT trains will run to Oban for the first time for 51 years to gauge demand for a permanent service, the Caledonian Sleeper announced today.
Sleeper trains have not served the west coast port, apart from occasional diversions, since 1965.
They will operate to and from Oban from 12-14, 19-21 and 26-28 February.

(Permalink) Caledonian Sleeper West Highland Lines

Preston: 90021 stands at platform 4 of Preston station at just before 0100 on 6 January 2015 with the Aberdeen/Fort William/Inverness sleeper. The train will divide at Edinburgh Waverley.
John McIntyre 06/01/2015

Oban: 156 474 forming the 12.11 train to Glasgow Queen Street, awaits its departure time at Oban station on a very warm Sunday 23 May 2010.
Ken Browne 23/05/2010

Oban: With a belch of diesel fumes the 12.10 service for Glasgow Queen Street gets underway from Oban on 30 July 2011.
John Steven 30/07/2011

Winners of Community Rail Awards in Scotland for 2015 were:

Helmsdale Station CIC (Community Interest Company): first for innovation in community rail (major restoration of the disused station building).

Sonia Cameron: first for outstanding voluntary contribution (Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig ScotRail Station Adopter).

Graham and Liz Gaffney Whaite, Dalmally: third for most enhanced station building (major restoration of the disused station building).
(Permalink) ScotRail Station Adoption West Highland Lines

Helmsdale: The boarded up station building at Helmsdale on 27 August 2007.
John Furnevel 27/08/2007

Dalmally: Dalmally station on 14th May saw 156500 on the 1256 from Oban to Glasgow crossing 45407 and The Highlands & Islands Explorer with sister Black 5 44871 on the rear. This was Day 6 for the steam excursion, which ran from Fort William to Oban and back.
Malcolm Chattwood 14/05/2014

Morar: A view of Morar looking south towards the level crossing on 14 July 2011 see image [[47771]]. The station building was being used by the local newspaper. Hopefully the weedkiller train is due to visit soon.
John Gray 14/07/2011

THE operator of the Jacobite steam train on the Fort William-Mallaig line admitted today it was unlikely to launch services next week as planned after being banned from the rail network.
West Coast Railways (WCR), which carries 85,000 tourists a year on the route, was barred by Network Rail last month from operating across Britain after causing the worst case of running through a red light this year.
(Permalink) Network Rail West Highland Lines

Glenfinnan: K1 no 62005 climbs the gradient west of Glenfinnan with The Jacobite on the 6th July 2012.
John Gray 06/07/2012

Mallaig: The returning 'Jacobite' pulls away from Mallaig on 28 July with 45231 in charge. Taken from my luxury yacht - well, MV 'Lochnevis' of Calmac returning from Eigg.
Colin Miller 28/07/2011

Fort William Junction: The Jacobite, bound for Mallaig, approaching Fort William Junction past the West Highland Oil terminal in September 2005 behind Black 5 4-6-0 no 45407.
John Furnevel 30/09/2005

STEAM train plans by new ScotRail firm Abellio were thrown into disarray today after the intended operator was banned from the tracks.
West Coast Railways (WCR) was barred from operating anywhere in Britain by track owner Network Rail until it makes a series of improvements.
The operations of West Coast Railways are a threat to the safe operation of the railway.
Network Rail
The move came after WCR caused the most serious case this year of a train running through a red light.
It also puts in doubt the launch of WCRs flagship Jacobite steam service between Fort William and Mallaig next month, which has been running for 20 years.
(Permalink) Abellio ScotRail West Highland Lines

THE first Caledonian Sleeper services to be separated from the main ScotRail franchise have run on the routes between Scotland and London.
The new Serco contract began in time for the departure of the first Tuesday night service, the portion from Fort William.
The contract includes a replacement fleet from 2018. [From Richard Buckby]
(Permalink) Caledonian Sleeper ScotRail West Highland Lines

The iconic Caledonian Sleeper train service between Fort William in the Scottish Highlands and London has been named as one of the best six railway adventures in the world.
The service, which is known as The Deerstalker, has been placed in the same group of great train rides as The Shanghai Maglev, the Tren Crucero through the heart of Ecuador, the Sunset Limited between Los Angeles and New Orleans, the TranzAlpine Express in New Zealand's stunning South Island and the Danube Express between Budapest and Istanbul.

(Permalink) Caledonian Sleeper West Highland Lines

Electronic 'ears' have been installed along one of Scotland's most landslide-prone train lines in a pioneering project that could protect rail tracks and roads across Scotland.

The fibre-optic cables are a modern-day replacement for a Victorian rockfall warning system in the steep-sided Pass of Brander on the Glasgow-Oban line.
The UK first is being tested on the route below Ben Cruachan, where in 2010 a ScotRail train nearly plunged down a 50ft embankment after hitting a fallen boulder and derailing.

A tripwire system built by engineer John Anderson in 1882, in which falling rocks trigger line-side signals, did not detect the boulder because it fell from lower down the slope.
(Permalink) Derailment Landslide Loch Awe Pass of Brander Rockfall ScotRail West Highland Lines

Pass of Brander: View from the roadside of the stone signals at the Pass of Brander. Should a rock fall occur then a series of wires that run along this stretch of line automatically throw the semaphore signals to Danger!! Hopefully averting a disaster!!
Colin Harkins 15/02/2009

Awe Crossing: 37 405 heading west from Loch Awe to the Pass of Brander. The signals are part of Anderson's Piano which detects rockfalls.
Ewan Crawford //1990

Loch Treig: GBRf 66734 'The Eco Express' lying alongside Loch Trieg on 4 July 2012 following derailment in the aftermath of a landslip on 28 June. The locomotive will be particularly difficult to recover from this inaccessible spot, although the tank wagons are due to be lifted clear fairly soon. See image [[44705]]
John Gray 04/07/2012

The Ayr to Stranraer line is the best performing rural railway line in Scotland.
And that's official following the release of figures by the Office of Rail Regulation that show passenger numbers on the Stranraer line increased dramatically in 2012/13 and are nearly up to the level reached when ferry services operated out of the town.
The number of passenger journeys is up a staggering 14.4% and the 60-mile line to Stranraer has outperformed the West Highland Line to Fort William, the West Highand line extension to Mallaig, the Kyle of Lochalsh line, the Oban line and the Far North line to Wick and Thurso. Indeed all the Highland lines saw a reduction in passenger numbers last year except the Far North line which returned growth figures of 0.6%.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line Stranraer West Highland Lines

Stranraer: The 12.36 service to Glasgow Central waits to leave Stranraer Harbour on 24 May 2012.
Colin Miller 24/05/2012

Maybole: A southbound train pulls away from a colourful Maybole station and heads for Girvan on the last day of May 2007.
John Furnevel 31/05/2007

Girvan: The immaculate interior of the waiting room at Girvan, Scotland's only art deco station, seen on 3 June. Even the ceiling is glossy. The more modern seating is unfortunately not sympathetic, though probably more comfortable than the wooden benches it no doubt replaced.
David Panton 03/06/2010

THE Glasgow to Fort William and Mallaig railway has twice been voted the World's Greatest Train Journey, and fans of the Harry Potter films will recognise parts of the route immediately. But while the scenery may be spectacular, one Glasgow councillor says ScotRail's trains on the famous West Highland Line are 'letting Scotland down.'
Passengers say the service is not getting the investment it needs, despite attracting swathes of tourists each year.
Complaints include frequent breakdowns, heating problems during the height of winter and poor quality trains.
Passengers travelling from Fort William to Glasgow on one of last week's early morning services had no access to a toilet on the four-hour journey because both were broken.
Regular passengers say they are often advised to move to a warmer coach by ticket staff.[From Dave Scott]
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

Crianlarich: A 6-car train is split at Crianlarich on 15 June following arrival from Glasgow Queen Street. The first two cars will head for Oban with the remaining 4 destined for Fort William.
David Forbes 15/06/2009

Fort William: View over the clean and colourful concourse of the 1975 Fort William station looking towards the platforms in the autumn of 2005. A service to Glasgow Queen Street is getting ready to leave platform 1, with a train for Mallaig standing alongside at platform 2.
John Furnevel 29/09/2005

Mallaig: As near as I could get 48 years on... see image [[24161]]. The 16.05 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street service almost ready to commence its journey on 28 July 2011. (Note the modern-day practice of keeping passengers waiting on the platform as long as possible before opening the doors!)
Colin Miller 28/07/2011

From May 2014,the number of trains to and from Oban will double from three to six trains a day between Monday and Saturday.
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

PLANS have been unveiled to overhaul the Caledonian Sleeper service which links Fort William with central London. Transport Scotland, the national transport agency, has announced that private bidders to run the Sleeper from 2015 will be asked to re-brand the historic cross-border service emblematic of Scotland and a destination in itself. [From Richard Buckby]
(Permalink) Caledonian Sleeper West Highland Lines

Laigh Hill Tunnel: Running ahead of time, presumably because there had been no passengers to set down, the Caledonian Sleeper heads north out of Dunblane shortly after 5 a.m. on July 3rd 2009 behind 67009. Following a transport review in 2011, there were predictions that the service might not be able to continue beyond 2014.
Mark Dufton 03/07/2009

Euston: Having brought the ecs for the Highland Sleeper into platform 15 at Euston, 90028 now waits for the train to depart before going onto the front of the Lowland Sleeper.
John McIntyre 10/10/2012

Carstairs: Scene at Carstairs at 6.25am on a pleasant Tuesday morning in the Summer of 2006. The 16 coach Caledonian Sleeper from Euston arrived 11 minutes earlier behind EWS 90022. The train has been split and 90022 is about to continue its journey to Glasgow Central with what is now an 8 coach train. Meantime 37405 has been coupled up to the other end and is preparing to depart with the rear 8 coaches for Edinburgh Waverley.
John Furnevel 11/07/2006

ScotRail has been praised at a top UK transport awards for its unique Highland bike hire project.

The train operator earned Highly Commended in the Innovation category at the ATOC National Cycle Rail Awards for its cut-price bike hire scheme, which allows cyclists to enjoy scenic A-to-B journeys across the Highlands.

The scheme is believed to be the only UK cycle-rail scheme in which local shops organise the return of hire bikes, meaning cyclists no longer have to pedal back to their starting points.

Judges praised ScotRail for:
- Finding innovative ways to connect Oban, Inverness and Fort William - which are difficult to link using rail alone
- Its excellent relationship with local businesses - Ticket to Ride in Inverness and Nevis Cycles shops in Oban and Fort William
- Helping promote Highland trails, such as the 73-mile off-road Great Glen Way between Fort William and Inverness.

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: 'The success of the Highlands bike hire scheme has led to this national recognition.

'The project supports our aim of being much more than a railway operator - by connecting communities, safeguarding Scotland's environment, getting more people to use trains, and boosting Scottish business.'

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: 'Active and sustainable transport modes like cycling and the train go hand-in-hand to help us all achieve Scotland's ambitious climate change targets and improve public health.

'The Scottish Government is committed to promoting both these forms of transport and I was delighted to see the success of this innovative scheme from ScotRail.

'I congratulate ScotRail on this award, recognising a fantastic scheme which allows more integration between cycling and rail and makes both more attractive and more accessible.'

Lindsay Mackinnon, owner of Ticket to Ride, said: 'We're committed to bringing visitors to the Highlands to enjoy some of the best cycle touring in Europe. We're happy that ATOC have recognised our joint efforts with ScotRail and Nevis Cycles to encourage more of those visitors to use the train to get here and get home again at the end of their visit.'

Ben Thompson, from Nevis Cycles, said: 'We're delighted to work with ScotRail to encourage car-free active holidays in the Highlands.

'Customers being able to link Oban, Fort William and Inverness by bike is great for local businesses like ours. We have also had lots of positive feedback from hoteliers and guest houses on route showing the benefits have spread even further into the local economy.'
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

ITS ScotRails satnav approach to sanitation. Scotlands main train operator is using satellite technology to prevent passengers flushing train toilets in stations on the worlds most scenic line.

The UK-first technology has been successfully trialled on the West Highland lines between Glasgow, Oban and Mallaig to stop toilet waste being emptied onto tracks beside platforms.
(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

Sparks from a steam train on one of Scotlands most famous railway lines which featured in the Harry Potter films are being blamed for starting moorland fires.

Thousands of visitors travel on the 84-mile round trip between Fort William and Mallaig, enjoying picturesque scenes which also feature in the blockbuster film franchise. [From Richaed Buckby]
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Morar: Passing Back of Keppoch and approaching Arisaig.
Ewan Crawford //

Lochailort: Black 5 no 45231 The Sherwood Forester crosses the small causeway at the west end of Loch Eilt near Lochailort with the morning 'Jacobite' on 13 July 2011.
John Gray 13/07/2011

A West Highland woman has become the first person in Scotland to have single-handedly transformed three stations as part of ScotRails Adopt a Station community project.

Sonia Cameron has installed six half-barrel planters at Morar, adding to the floral displays she plants and maintains at Mallaig and Arisaig.

ScotRail has paid tribute to the Mallaig residents success in enhancing the stations on the world-famous West Highland Line
(Permalink) ScotRail Station Adoption West Highland Lines

Mallaig: Sonia Cameron pictured alongside some of her hanging baskets at Mallaig station.
John Yellowlees /07/2012

Arisaig: Classic scene at Arisaig in the summer of 1966, with the 'beaver tail' observation car on the rear of a Fort William-Mallaig train. This was one of two such vehicles built for a special train to mark the coronation of King George VI in 1937, and subsequently deployed on the LNER's express 'Coronation' service between London and Edinburgh.
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1966

Nearly 70 passengers and crew escaped uninjured when their ScotRail train hit a landslide beside Loch Awe in Argyll on the Oban-Glasgow line at lunchtime today.

- Oban-Glasgow train hits landslide by Loch Awe
- Passengers returned to Oban
- Train carriage derails in separate incident in Fife
(Permalink) Landslide Loch Awe Pass of Brander ScotRail West Highland Lines

Loch Awe: View west from Loch Awe station footbridge in February 2009.
Norman Bews /02/2009

Falls of Cruachan: The lonely looking platform bench at Falls of Cruachan Station in April 2005. Loch Awe can be glimpsed below through the trees on the left.
John Furnevel 15/04/2005

Falls of Cruachan: Rock fall detection signal at Falls of Cruachan, part of the Anderson's Piano system.
Ian Dinmore //

A boulder dislodged during a landslide has been identified as the likely cause of a freight train derailment on the West Highland line.

The section near Tulloch, between Crianlarich and Fort William, reopened on Wednesday after having been closed since the incident on 28 June.
(Permalink) Derailment Landslide Loch Treig Tulloch West Highland Lines

Loch Treig: GBRf 66734 'The Eco Express' lying alongside Loch Trieg on 4 July 2012 following derailment in the aftermath of a landslip on 28 June. The locomotive will be particularly difficult to recover from this inaccessible spot, although the tank wagons are due to be lifted clear fairly soon. See image [[44705]]
John Gray 04/07/2012

Network Rail has completed work on the West Highland line, which has been closed after a landslip and derailment.

The section near Tulloch, between Crianlarich and Fort William, has been out of service since a freight train came off the line on 28 June.

Regular rail services will begin on Wednesday.
(Permalink) Derailment Loch Treig Network Rail Tulloch West Highland Lines

Tulloch: The operation to reopen the West Highland Line and recover GBRf 66734 see image [[39479]] is being managed from Tulloch and this ro-rail vehicle is seen there on 4 July 2012 about to take more workers to the site.
John Gray 04/07/2012

Brooks Crossing: During a brief lull in the rain 66734, with around 24 loaded wagons, approaches Brooks Level Crossing west of Cardross heading north on 28 June 2012. Later in the journey the train was to derail near Tulloch see image [[39479]] with the locomotive subsequently being cut up on site, as a cost-effective recovery was not possible.
Ewan Crawford 28/06/2012

Loch Treig: GBRf 66734 'The Eco Express' lying alongside Loch Trieg on 4 July 2012 following derailment in the aftermath of a landslip on 28 June. The locomotive will be particularly difficult to recover from this inaccessible spot, although the tank wagons are due to be lifted clear fairly soon. See image [[44705]]
John Gray 04/07/2012

The West Highland line will remain closed between Crianlarich and Fort William for the rest of this week as engineers work to recover a derailed freight service.

Due to the remote location of the train, which was derailed near Tulloch last Thursday evening following a landslip, the operation to remove the train, stabilise the slope above and repair damage to the track is expected to take until July 11 to complete.
(Permalink) Derailment Loch Treig Network Rail Tulloch West Highland Lines

Brooks Crossing: During a brief lull in the rain 66734, with around 24 loaded wagons, approaches Brooks Level Crossing west of Cardross heading north on 28 June 2012. Later in the journey the train was to derail near Tulloch see image [[39479]] with the locomotive subsequently being cut up on site, as a cost-effective recovery was not possible.
Ewan Crawford 28/06/2012

Major disruption to rail services between Fort William and Glasgow on the West Highland Line is expected to last into next week.
Replacement bus services are in operation between Fort William and Glasgow's Queen Street Station after torrential rain caused a freight train derailment near Tulloch and a landslip at Arrochar last Thursday.
First Scotrail say the busy line will not open fully until Tuesday, July 10, at the earliest.
(Permalink) Derailment Loch Treig ScotRail Tulloch West Highland Lines

Loch Treig Deviation: Heading south in the Canadian Rockies ... er, no, by Loch Treig. The former route of the line is immediately to the left and slightly lower.
Ewan Crawford //

Loch Treig: On a glorious day in bright sunshine, K4 61994 The Great Marquess and 37676 Loch Rannoch haul The Cathedrals Explorer along the side of Loch Treig south of Tulloch on 8 May. Stob Coire Sgriodain (979 Metres) is the peak in the background.
John Gray 08/05/2011

A new edition of postcards with spectacular views of the West Highland Lines has been produced for free distribution on ScotRail trains which serve the award-winning routes.

They follow the success of the first postcard series in 2009 and again are co-funded by Friends of the West Highland Lines and HITRANS, the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership in Scotland.

(Permalink) ScotRail West Highland Lines

Crianlarich West Box: A Glasgow - Oban service between Crianlarich and Tyndrum.
Norman McNab //

Auchtertyre Viaduct: A Mallaig via Fort William to Glasgow service at Auchtertyre near Tyndrum (typo on card).
Norman McNab //

Rannoch: A Fort William-bound Caledonian Sleeper train leaving Rannoch on the climb to Corrour Summit.
Norman McNab //

THE hiss and chug of a steam locomotive reverberated across Moray at the weekend as the Great Britain V passed through.
Hauled by the Scots Guardsman, the majestic train was in the area as part of a nine-day tour of the UK, operated by Railway Touring Company.
Crowds gathered at stations at Keith, Elgin, and Forres and at vantage points along the way as the machine powered by.
Young and old alike lined platforms, railway bridges and railside tracks, armed with cameras to capture a lasting image of the relic of a bygone age as it billowed by.
Passengers, who would have paid upwards of 1,775 for the experience, travelled on to Inverness, where they spent the night before heading further West to Fort William. [From Matthew Tomlins]
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

A volunteer gardeners work to brighten a West Highland station for
ScotRail customers has been honoured with a posthumous award.

Brian Bentham single-handedly rejuvenated Falls of Cruachan station with
beautiful floral displays, but he died in October last year before it was
named the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnerships (HITRANS) Most
Improved Local Station 2011.

Mr Bentham, who had lived in Oban since 2005, had voluntarily planted and
maintained colourful flowers at Falls of Cruachan since July 2010 as part
of ScotRails Adopt a Station project.

Mr Benthams daughter Mandi Dees travelled from Lyneham in Wiltshire to
Inverness to accept the award on his behalf from HITRANS vice-chairman
Councillor John Laing, at a ceremony on Friday 30 March.

She said: It makes me such a proud daughter to know what my dad has done
to brighten Falls of Cruachan station, particularly for walkers to enjoy
during the summer months.

He was very happy with his work and would spend a good few hours at the
station every day, just to make sure everything looked good.

He often took his camera with him so he could see the difference he was
making over time, and it is pleasing for our family to now be able to look
back at those pictures.

A plaque will be installed at Falls of Cruachan station to mark the
(Permalink) ScotRail Station Adoption West Highland Lines

Brian Bentham: Brian Bentham, whose voluntary work revitalised Falls of Cruachan station.
Unknown //

Falls of Cruachan: Falls of Cruachan station showing part of the legacy of Brian Bentham.
ScotRail //2011

Inverness: Mandi Dees with the award she collected on behalf of her late father Brian Bentham.
ScotRail 30/03/2012

A steam train driver was forced to brake on a well-known Highland viaduct after spotting two older women standing dangerously close to the line.

British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident happened on the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber on 21 March.
(Permalink) Glenfinnan Viaduct West Highland Lines

Glenfinnan Viaduct: K1 62005 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct with The Jacobite on 19 October.
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017

Glenfinnan Viaduct: Black 5 44767 'George Stephenson' crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct in August 1986.
Peter Todd /08/1976

Glenfinnan Viaduct: K1 62005 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct with The Jacobite on 19 October.
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017

A train was damaged after it struck a sleeper deliberately placed on a railway line in the Highlands.
The train, travelling from Glasgow to Mallaig, was slightly damaged but able to keep moving after it hit the sleeper on November 9.

British Transport Police are appealing for information about the sleeper they believe was deliberately put on the line between Tulloch in Moray and Roy Bridge, close to Fort William. [From Richard Buckby]

(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Tulloch: 156474 accelerates past Tulloch yard on 20 July 2007 on its way north.
John Gray 20/07/2007

Roy Bridge: With radio signalling it is easier to have short term line posessions. This isn't new West Highland motive power but continuing maintenance work being carried out between trains at Roy Bridge station on 11th September. See image [[33122]] Photograph by Mark Edwards
Mark Bartlett Collection 11/09/2010

The future of 22 rural train stations used by only a handful of passengers every week is under threat after Network Rail said the facilities were 'driving up' the cost of running Scotland's railway.

An industry report highlighted the 'low footfall' stations, the majority of which are in the Highlands, including six which attract an average of one passenger for every 10 trains - or even fewer - that pass through them.

The findings will heap pressure on the Scottish Government to reconsider their future when setting out its funding priorities next summer for the period between 2015 and 2019.

Network Rail, which owns and operates the UK's track and signals, said it was not always apparent the stations were providing a 'valuable social link' for the high level of subsidy they required.

Stations with low footfall have a high ratio of cost per passenger. This drives up the costs of operating trains on these lines

A spokesman for the company said: 'Stations with low footfall have a high ratio of cost per passenger use. These stations drive up the costs of operating trains on these lines.

'It is Network Rail's role to highlight these cost drivers to the government and wider industry for consideration.'

The report, the Initial Investment Plan for Scotland, called for cost-saving to lower the '700m annual taxpayer support for running the rail network north of the border.

Of the 22 low-footfall stations, five are on the West Highland Line to Oban and Mallaig, six on the Far North Line connecting Inverness to Wick and Thurso and six on the line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh.

But they also include a number of stations on busier routes such as Breich on the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh line and Springfield in Fife. Barry Links in Angus, which has only one train in each direction every day, had the lowest footfall of any Scottish station, with just 90 passengers a year, while its neighbouring station, Golf Street, had 190.

Many of the stations in the Highlands are request stops at which trains do not stop unless signalled by a passenger on board a train or at a platform.

But the low number of passengers meant the ticket revenue was not even enough to pay for the fuel used by stopping a train and then accelerating out of the station, the IIP report found.

The report also highlighted the Girvan to Stranraer line, which it found has only 11 passengers per train, a figure it said was likely to diminish with the closure of Stranraer ferry terminal.

By contrast, Edinburgh to Glasgow provides more than one-quarter of ScotRail's revenue and journeys. One-third of the Strathclyde population used a train in the past month, compared with only 11% in the Highlands and North-east, where people are far more dependent on the car.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland, which funds the Scottish rail network and is responsible for the ScotRail franchise, would only say that delivering a 'lower cost railway' would be central when it came to specifying funding priorities.

Previous attempts to close low-use stations have failed after protests by local communities who claimed they provided an important social link. A similar IIP report produced in 2006 called for a number of stations to be closed but the recommendations were rejected by the then Scottish Executive.

However, industry analysts said there was now greater pressure on the UK and Scottish governments to achieve cost savings given the squeeze on public finances and recent findings that Britain's railway costs around 30% more to run than similar European railways.

ScotRail, which operates 95% of passenger trains in Scotland, said low-use stations went back to the days of British Rail and were inherited when it was awarded the franchise in 2004.

(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line ScotRail Stranraer West Highland Lines

RAIL bosses are set to extend Sunday services between Edinburgh and Oban after a successful trial last year.
The Edinburgh-Oban trains will now run on ten Sundays from June 26 to August 28
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Oban: 156 474 forming the 12.11 train to Glasgow Queen Street, awaits its departure time at Oban station on a very warm Sunday 23 May 2010.
Ken Browne 23/05/2010

Oban: BRCW class 104 2-car DMU no 104 325, repainted in unique maroon and white livery for use on the Oban line in the mid 1980s. The unit became affectionately known as The Mexican Bean and is seen here at Oban in 1985.
Alistair MacKenzie //1985

Oban: Oban station frontage on 1 August 1984.
Craig Seath 01/08/1984

ScotRail is to launch a Sunday train service for day trippers to Oban from Edinburgh, Linlithgow and Polmont over six weeks this summer.
The service has been welcomed by VisitScotland. It will start on Sunday 25 July and run each Sunday until 29 August inclusive. The service is timed to give passengers five hours in the West Highland town and designed to appeal to people in Edinburgh and West Lothian who would love a day out in Oban - without taking the car. The train will leave Edinburgh Waverley at 0810 and arrive back in the capital at 2107.
Graeme Macfarlan, marketing manager at ScotRail said that the move was in direct response to listening to customers - as well as people opting to holiday in the UK due to ongoing uncertainty regarding air travel. He added: 'Many customers in the East of Scotland have told us they would love to experience the West Highland Line for a day out but would prefer not to change trains - and sometimes stations - at Glasgow. This new, direct service changes all that and should boost tourism. And we'll be offering cream teas on the scenic route, which really is the icing on the cake of a special day out!'
David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland's Regional Director in Argyll said: 'We've just launched a £250,000 campaign specifically encouraging Scots to take holidays in their own country, so expanding train services to accommodate the needs of the day trip market fits very well with this.

(Permalink) Edinburgh Linlithgow Oban Polmont ScotRail West Highland Lines

Oban: Welcome to Oban is the gaelic greeting for disembarking ferry passengers as they make their way from the quayside to Oban station. This more unusual view of Oban station, and the late afternoon train to Glasgow (Sprinter 156493), was taken from the top deck of Calmac's DSMV Isle of Mull, about to set sail for Craignure.
Mark Bartlett 22/03/2010

Oban: 156 474 forming the 12.11 train to Glasgow Queen Street, awaits its departure time at Oban station on a very warm Sunday 23 May 2010.
Ken Browne 23/05/2010

Oban: First arrival of the day from Glasgow Queen Street runs into Oban on 18 February 2006. This train connects with the Craignure ferry.
Brian Smith 18/02/2006

Work begins to remove the derailed Glasgow to Oban train which was resting over a 15-metre embankment in Argyll.
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

A NEW railway tourism venture for the world famous West Highland Line, offering direct links from Fort William to Edinburgh, was unveiled this week.
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Loch nan Uamh Viaduct: Out of the tunnel and onto the bridge at Loch nan Uamh.
Ewan Crawford //1990

Rhu: 45407 breasts the summit of the climb from Craigendoran in the summer of 2009 and descends to the site of Rhu Station.
John Robin 07/08/2009

Morar Viaduct: 45231 crosses Morar Viaduct with The Jacobite in May 2009.
John Robin 21/05/2009

A major railway improvement programme will be taking place on the West Highland line between Crianlarich and Oban over the next week.
(Permalink) Network Rail West Highland Lines

Crianlarich: Scene at Crianlarich on 20 July 2007 as 156450 arrives from Oban to combine with 156496, which had arrived shortly beforehand from Fort William, before going on to Glasgow Queen St.
John Gray 20/07/2007

Crianlarich: In the mid 1980s a few of the BRCW built class 104 DMUs were sent to Scotland, with one unit being repainted in a unique maroon & white livery and used on the Oban line. This unit became known as The Mexican Bean and is seen here at Crianlarich having arrived on a service from Oban in September 1985.
David Panton 14/09/1985

Crianlarich Lower Junction: An Oban - Glasgow Queen Street service approaching Crianlarich in 1987 with the former route to Callander running off to the left and passing below the Fort William line.
Ian Dinmore //1987

A RAILWAY pressure group is calling for a new tourism drive that could lead to a one-ticket link from Fort William to Paris.
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Fort William: Diamonds are forever!!!! The NBL works plate of 62005, seen in Fort William at the head of the morning Jacobite in May 2016.
Gordon Steel 24/05/2016

Fort William: NELPG chairman, railway photographer and author, looks chuffed to bits as he sets off with the Jacobite on his 72nd birthday (09/08/17).

I would be interesting if anyone has photograph of the morning Jacobite outbound on sat 12/08/17 or the morning return from Mallaig on sun 13/08/17, I’d love to see them as I fired outbound on the Saturday and inbound on the Sunday. The photos will probably include black smoke or the safety valves lifting!
Alan Hardie 09/08/2017

Fort William: The last passenger having left the train, 73970 sits at the head of the Caledonian Sleeper waiting to begin the shunting manoeuvres which will start the process of preparing for that evening's return journey.
Colin McDonald 22/08/2018

The West Highland line from Glasgow to Mallaig has been voted the best rail journey in the world.
(Permalink) West Highland Lines

Morar: Sprinter heading north to Mallaig from Arisaig near Keppoch.
Ewan Crawford //

Morar: 45212 heads away from Morar tender first with the evening Jacobite returning to Fort William. The train is approaching the viaduct over the River Morar and the loch of the same name can just be glimpsed on the left.
Mark Bartlett 01/08/2018

Morar: Afternoon train from Mallaig drops down towards Loch Morar shortly after leaving Morar station in September 2005.
John Furnevel /09/2005

KML version