Thursday, 10 June 2010

Oban - North East Railtours

Heading for The Keep  GJC_IMG_5040
Class 37, Newcastle
I have been on the North East Railtours mailing list for a long time. It is run by a man based in Whitley Bay who uses coaching stock & catering volunteers from the Bo'ness and Kinniel Railway (Scottish Railway Preservation Society) beside the River Forth. NER run 4 - 5 trips a year to with a variety of either scenic rail journeys or interesting destinations. This particular trip was the bi-annual trip to the West Highland town of Oban.
The 11 coach train was pulled by a pair of the now rare class 37 diesels and the journey began at 6.45am on mayday bank holiday monday. The train picked up at most stops filling to capacity by Berwick.

Royal Border Bridge   GJC_IMG_5043
Royal Border Bridge, Berwick
The above picture shows the train crossing the Royal Border Bridge just south of Berwick station.

Helensburgh W.H.L.     GJC_IMG_5054
After passing through Edinburgh and the outskirts of Glasgow, the West Highland line commences near Helensburgh on the banks of the River Clyde.

The Cobbler from W.H.L.  GJC_IMG_5086
The Cobbler, Loch Long
Mountainous scenery can be found for most of the route with Ben Arthur or The Cobbler as it is better known being one of the more famous shapes on the horizon overlooking Loch Long...

Arrochar Loch Long from W.H.L. GJC_IMG_5090
Arrochar and Loch Long
The railway leaves Loch Long at Arrochar & follows the course of Loch Lomond & the continual glen to Crianlarich. At this point, the line splits and we took the westerly route to Oban via Tyndrum, Dalmally, Loch Awe and Connel bridge arriving in good time...

37676 / 37512 Oban  GJC_IMG_5156
Arrival in Oban 

Oban    GJC_IMG_5186
McCaigs Folly and seagull. Oban
At Oban, the weather stayed fine and dry where there about 3 hours free to explore. The colosseum on the hilltop is called McCaigs folly and is now a park. The seagulls are.....

Seagull   GJC_IMG_5173
.....always keen to be around for any scrap of food that they can beg, borrow or steal. This one i thought looked particularly mean although i think i did alright with capturing the textures right ...if not the bird....shame he didn't get any of my chips !

Lamp on Kerrera   GJC_IMG_5182

Oban looks out to the island of Kerrara and Mull beyond where there is an abundance of passenger ferry activity.

Lord of The Isles  GJC_IMG_5195
MV Lord of The Isles

Fishing Boat  GJC_IMG_5120
Vervine fishing boat, Oban
Peaceful moment in the harbour as there was no work for this boat today. All too soon, it was time to return to the train for evening meal & the long journey back home which was thankfully uneventful.....

Newcastle  arrival  GJC_IMG_5261
North East Railtours Newcastle Central station.

... arriving back at Newcastle at 00:10. A good day out and the weather held out too.

The following entries have nothing to do with me and credit goes to the rail enthusiasts via Youtube, who filmed both off and on the train and it may or may not be of interest depending on who is checking out this post at such a late stage. Rail enthusiasts would have probably caught this clip first anyway but I just put it in to complete this post and the day out.

 The first Youtube clip records part of the day from a line side film maker, it is not the most scenic of films as his interest is probably in the rarity of the railway event that once spoke of the days when these locomotives plied their trade on routine passenger services up until 1989. The film is taken at various points between the River Clyde and Arrochar beside Loch Lomond. Incidentally, I have worked out that you can see my left arm in an open window of a door on 40 seconds at the front of the cream carriage as I was looking for photographic opportunities. During the second half of the film on the return run we were having dinner at this point.

Secondly an on board rail enthusiast recorded selected scenic and diesel film clips from the train window. His interest is probably more in the class 37 diesels but the more dramatic aspects of the film are shown in the second half of the film as the scenery and railway line become more spectacular. Interestingly enough, I noticed that between the times of 7:14 - 7:23 at Arrochar and Tarbet, you can see the film maker recording part of the film clip shown above ! )

The last entry is part 2 by the same enthusiast and demonstrates the continuation of the journey from Crianlarich. The railway junction and the line to Fort William and Mallaig is shown at  00:50 seconds, Oban station at roughly midpoint (thumbnail image) and he got off and filmed the train leaving Edinburgh Waverley at the end...

1 comment:

  1. That seagull looks so mean, how did you get such a good shot? Looks like you had a great day out.


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