© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Not a railway trip out - this was a family holiday, with the
opportunity for railway snaps taken whenever it was
We had booked a week near Fort William - base for the
Mallaig steam-hauled trips. The following week was spent on
the Isle of Skye - no railways there! - then home, calling at
Pitlochry for an overnight stop, then spending a couple of
nights in Glasgow before making the final run home. A trip of
two halves, perhaps...
12th August - Glasgow First, a look
at the Museum of Transport, at
Glasgow's Kelvin Hall. Some years
previously I had visited the museum
at its former site in Coplawhill, so it
was interesting to look at the new
site, where the curators have made
some effort to reproduce, using static exhibits, the street
scene in the days of the trams. I should say "nights" - very
atmospheric but insufficient light
for photography. There was a bit
more light where cars 1173 and
1392 stood, more still where the
railway exhibits stood. Illustrated
are NBR no 256 "Glen Douglas", the
Highland "Jones Goods" no 103 and
GNoSR no 49 "Gordon Highlander".
We had travelled to the city
centre by rail, and returned to
Central station in time for a few photographs. Illustrated below
are former "Blue train" class 303 043, 90 004, and class 101 DMU
Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway
Glasgow Museum of Transport
10 August - Pitlochry. Rather a
dull, wet evening, with little
opportunity for photography, but
time for a quick peep at the
station, in time to see 47 635
crossing an HST.
The station buildings here are attractive, and ancient but
well-preserved drinking fountain was worth a snap too
11 August - Bo'ness & Kinneil
Railway - via the Forth Bridge,
celebrating its 100th birthday!
Working locomotive on the railway
today was the Caley 0-4-4T no
419, the former BR no 55189.
Resplendent in its blue livery, even
the brake pump and lamp made
worthwhile subjects for a snap. We
took the ride to Birkhill, where the old clay mine is open for
conducted tours - a fascinating trip! The surface remains of the
mine's railway system were pretty interesting too, despite being
Returning to Bo'ness, there was time for a look at some of the
other preserved bits and pieces, such as the two Barclay saddle-
tanks illustrated, and a fine rake of preserved wagons.
30 July - the Mallaig train. We stopped
first at Glenfinnan, before heading just a
little further west to see the train, in the
capable hands of LMS class 5 no 5305. The
bank away from Glenfinnan station is
steep - the noise made by 5305 was
Later we drove on to Mallaig via the sands at Arisaig, before
following the train (more-or-less) back to Fort William
1st August - Oban. The old Creagan viaduct across Loch Creran,
on the former Ballachulish branch, has been in the news recently
- here it is as we saw it in 1989. What a shame the line was
closed - it would probably have been viable today.
2nd August - Loch Ness. No railways here, although we
"managed" a tiny detour to see a Royal
Highlander steam trip near Corpach....
3rd August - Ardnamurchan. No railways
here, though our outward route took us
past Glenfinnan again - and the chance of
a further crack at 5305....
Later that day we drove into Ballachulish, where a rather nice
old Fowler diesel stood on the site of the station. It used to work
at Fort William - I've no idea why it was at Ballachulish!
4th August - local wandering. 37 423 "Sir Murray Morrison" stood
in Fort William station, with a rake of sleepers - so I took his
The next day we left for Skye.