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[Scotland] Glasgow to Mallaig by rail


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:03 AM

The Sunday NY Times has an entertaining article about a rail trip from Glasgow to Mallaig in the far northwest of Scotland by rail. With the descriptions from a century old guide

QUOTE
Baedeker offered a running list of the physical markers that zipped past the train’s broad windows: Dumbarton Castle, “strikingly situated on a precipitous rocky hill”; Craigendoran Pier, “an important starting point for steamers”; Helensburgh, “a favourite watering-place with extensive steamboat connections”; and Shandon, “with a large hydropathic establishment.”

On and on it went, pointing out the glinting lochs on the left, the snowcapped mountains on the right. There were few passengers on the early morning train — an American couple consulting a modern guidebook, and a pair of Scottish women too preoccupied with their knitting to notice the breathtaking views outside.

Baedeker estimated the journey to Fort William at four to four and a half hours; today’s train runs only a little faster, and we arrived in town in about 3 hours 45 minutes. The town’s history and features were dispatched in two swift sentences: “Fort William ... formerly the key of the highlands and now a convenient tourist-centre. The Fort, originally erected by General Monk, was rebuilt under William III.”


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#2 splinky

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:34 AM

scotland by train is pretty cool. you just need to bring a camera and some good food along for the ride. you meet lots of nice folks on the train, too. the scots are especially friendly if you offer them candy

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
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#3 Gavin

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 08:31 AM

I've made this journey on what I think is now designated the West Highland Line. On certain days it is steam hauled.

Fairly typically, the filthy weather meant you were lucky to see more than twenty feet from the train. It's a glorious bit of the world when the rain eventually stops (which it will).
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#4 foodie52

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 05:51 PM

This is a wonderful video with great scenery.

From Edinburgh to Skye
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#5 tsquare

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:33 PM

scotland by train is pretty cool. you just need to bring a camera and some good food along for the ride. you meet lots of nice folks on the train, too. the scots are especially friendly if you offer them candy


If by candy you mean beer and whiskey.

#6 foodie52

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:03 PM

We spent a LOT of time on Scottish railways this past summer. We went from Oxford to Edinburgh, then up to Thurso where we caught a ferry to the Orkney Islands. The trains are packed and most people book ahead. Luckily we were advised to do so as well, because booking ahead saves you around 70% off the tickets AND guarantees you a reserved seat. If you don't book ahead, you may end up standing in the corridor.
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#7 splinky

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:15 PM


scotland by train is pretty cool. you just need to bring a camera and some good food along for the ride. you meet lots of nice folks on the train, too. the scots are especially friendly if you offer them candy


If by candy you mean beer and whiskey.

shush! you'll break the code for the uninitiated

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:41 PM

We spent a LOT of time on Scottish railways this past summer. We went from Oxford to Edinburgh, then up to Thurso where we caught a ferry to the Orkney Islands. The trains are packed and most people book ahead. Luckily we were advised to do so as well, because booking ahead saves you around 70% off the tickets AND guarantees you a reserved seat. If you don't book ahead, you may end up standing in the corridor.


When I was buying my train ticket from London to Edinburgh this summer, the ticket agent asked me if I wanted to buy a return ticket. "A return ticket will cost you one dollar more," he said.

I asked him why I would want to pay more for a return ticket than a one-way ticket would cost.

"No," he said. "A ticket both ways will cost you one dollar more than a ticket one way."

That was pretty significant.
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