To Tyndrum

It was back in 2001 that we were able to complete a gap in my coverage of the Scottish rail network. We had never taken the line to Oban. Our nearest point had been Tyndrum on the West Highland Line. But in 2001 we had the opportunity to travel from Oban to Tyndrum Lower and back. In truth I’d have liked to have gone one stop further, to where the trains crossed at Crianlarich but common sense told me that it was quite possible the train back to Oban might already be sealed and ready for departure and we’d have a very, very long wait for the next one.  It does mean there’s a length from Tyndrum Lower to Crianlarich I haven’t actually travelled for the West Highland line goes to Tyndrum Upper. The two lines are never far apart, on opposite sides of the River Fillan.

So we boarded a train at Oban. The trains on the line were ‘sprinters’.

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That’s McCague’s tower above the train (and the town). It’s a nineteenth century structure with no actual purpose. It was built to provide employment for masons and builders – a charitable enterprise.

You soon start to see the really lovely countryside the line offers. Of course, the modern (well quite modern) trains have all sorts of advantages over their predecessors. They are faster, smoother, have ergonomically designed seats and they are air conditioned which makes for a comfortable temperature as you travel. But for me that air conditioning is a bugbear for windows can’t be opened and photos have to be taken through the double glazed windows which, despite good efforts, get dirty. But of course, I try photos.

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Isn’t that stunning?

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We pass quite close by Kilchurn Castle.

On another visit to the area in 2009 I was able to reverse this picture and take one of a train from the castle.

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But on we go to Tyndrum.

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There’s my wife by the station name – in English and Gaelic.

There are good views here too.

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I can just make out the West Highland Line, curving around that hill as it heads off to Fort William.

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But there’s our train to take us back to Oban.

image018 I don’t recall picking up this souvenir of the line but I certainly wouldn’t have taken it off a carriage window where it would have helped passengers from Glasgow to know if they were in the Oban or Fort William part of the train.

 

Great journey – not because of the very ordinary train but because of the stunning scenery.

 

Thoroughly recommended

 

Now actually, there’s another bit I haven’t travelled – from Helensburgh to Arrochar and Tarbet. Perhaps I could fill that bit in sometime.

 

 

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