Monday, 6 September 2010

Highland Steam Train – 05 Sept

Last Sunday morning, driving south after the Ben Nevis race (of which more later), we glimpsed a long forgotten sight; a nostalgic plume of white smoke drifted across a green highland landscape and, although hidden inside a shallow cutting, we both knew the cutting contained a steam hauled, south bound passenger train. Emerging from the cutting we could see the train racing south alongside the road and river.

Highland Steam Train 01

Parking at the side of the road at the first opportunity, it seemed like we had stepped back in time, just a little. The last steam hauled passenger train in Scotland left Aberdeen 44 years and 2 days ago on 3 September 1966 bound for Glasgow and I stood on a platform to watch it arrive and end an era. Realising this train would be much closer to the road a little further south we chased it south and reached a bend in the road where we could get to the side of the track.

Highland Steam Train 02 "The Great Marquess" 61994 Heads South

If you look very closely (at an enlarged version, double-click to do so) at the buffer beam, near the right buffer, the word “Eastfield” may be seen. This is the name of the depot, in Glasgow, where the loco was based. One of my grandfathers was a steam engine driver based at Eastfield depot and so he may well have driven this very engine and, perhaps, even on this line.

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