Railways of Scotland DVD .5: The Western Highlands


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The West Highland line from Glasgow to Fort William and Mallaig is famed for its magnificent scenery, but to the engine crews who worked the line in the days of steam this same mountainous splendour meant hard work.

Film taken in the late 1950s shows steam locomotives at work on the line: in the form of Class 5, B1, K1 and K2 plus the C15-powered push-pull service to Arrochar.

Also shown are NB Type 2s, Class 20, 25 and 26 diesel locomotives, which took over services after the end of steam in the 1960s.

A fascinating film, taken in 1958, features the Lochaber Narrow Gauge Railway, together with scenes of electric locomotives operating on the Kinlochleven narrow gauge system.

The line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh is recorded in detail as a part of a journey to the Isle of Skye and returning to the mainland at Mallaig, the Highland’s rail system is re-joined once again and the journey continued to Fort William.

The journey to Fort William from Mallaig is considered one of the most attractive in Scotland and film of the route shows many of the stations and engineering features on the route.

The third main Highland route left the Glasgow to Perth main line at Dunblane.

From here it headed to Callander and Oban, clinging to the rocky slopes of Glen Ogle as it climbed to Killin Junction and continuing onwards via Crianlarich’s Lower Station to Oban.

At Oban, the steamship ‘George the Fifth’ is boarded for a journey to Iona and ‘Fingal’s Cave’ on the island of Staffa in 1961.

Six miles from Oban was the junction at Connel Ferry, where the branch line to Ballachulish left the main line; crossing the Falls of Lora on the Connel road and rail bridge, featured in a 1964 film that also shows many of the stations on the line.

Concluding the programme is another feature on the now-closed route through Glen Ogle, including film of Killin Junction and the steam-operated four-mile branch to the village of Killin.

Approx. 59 mins.

Region 0/Region free. NTSC versions are available on request.

This dvd is being sold on behalf and with full permission of the copyright holder – Cinerail 2004.