Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Saturday 13 October - West Highland Line (part 1)

We had to get up at 5.30 am to catch the 6.05 am train to Glasgow. It being mid October meant that sunrise was not until 7.40. As a result, the scenic run to Fort William was completely in darkness, and there was insufficient light for pictures generally until the first station beyond, Spean Bridge.

The line passes east up Glen Spean for about 15 miles, parallel to the River Spean. Beyond Tulloch Station (the second after Spean Bridge), the railway rises up a 1 in 60 gradient (that's the limit) along Loch Treig. This supplies the water for the aluminium works at Fort William. On the 13th, clouds were down low, but the vista was as beautiful as ever. At the end of Loch Treig, you encounter the path from Fort William - this is a 20 mile bogslog - heading towards Corrour Station. More on Corrour in a separate entry.

The railway passes a snowshed on the way down to Rannoch Station, erected in the 1950s after a train was lost there for two days, marooned in feet of snow. The platform of Rannoch, where the morning train crosses the Sleeper service coming from London, features a bust of the man who was involved with the construction of the railway. The stretch between Bridge of Orchy and Corrour leads across the bogs of the Rannoch Moor. The line was laid on top of a 10 to 20 foot deep layer of branches and stones, which floats on the bog.

We regain civilisation on descending towards Bridge of Orchy. This day, it was misty, although we did descend out of the low clouds that had shrouded the Rannoch Moor. This particular sequence of pictures stops at Crianlarich, where the line from Oban comes in from the west.The hamlet of Tyndrum is one of the smallest places to boast of two stations - Lower Tyndrum along the Oban line and Upper Tyndrum along the Fort William line.


  1. Wonderful photographs, such beautiful land & scenery.

  2. Great pictures. The interior of the train looks much different of ours.  I saw lots of sheep along the "trail."   I'm ready for a train ride, it's been awhile!    Linda in Washington state

  3. When ever I get stressed out I know just what to do....come and look at one of your beautiful slide shows.....<smiles>....June:)

  4. I just love my homeland and can't get to see enough pictures of it.  
    Thanks for sharing these Guido.

    I am always transfixed by the empty vastness and the beautiful spectacular views to be seen on every side.