There is a steam railway excursion from Fort William, Highlands, Scotland, UK to Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland. It is called ‘The Jacobite’ (too much history to recount here!). It sounded like fun, so I signed up.
FIring the boiler to get up a head of steam
I think you have to know what you are doing to make this 75 year old locomotive go.
Getting ready to go in the antique passenger cars.
From the museum collection.
The stone in this area is very hard, too hard to be cuttable for this purpose, so the long viaduct (seen in the Harry Potter movies) was made out of concrete.
40 miles an hour was the top speed due to the curvy track.
This long curving viaduct has become rather famous since it appeared in a Harry Potter movie, along with the Jacobite train.
At last we make it into the seaside town of Mallaig. This stubby boat looks made for rough seas.
Quite a decorating job on this warehouse building!
Then, we turned around and went back to Fort William. Quite a pleasant excursion that could let you imagine rail travel some years ago in the days of steam.
I like train travel. It’s a mixture of the feelings of the gently rocking car, the smooth power, the clickety-clack of the wheels, and in the case of the steam train, the whiff of coal smoke, the whistles, the puff-PUFF-puff-Puff of the engine straining to climb the grade, the big plume of smoke and steam. Like cigar smoke, a lot of coal smoke is noxious, but a whiff of either can be intriguing. It is the scent of the industrial past, so you can daydream about what it was like to ride the rails of steel back in the days before cars. Mood, that’s what steam train travel is about for me.
My seat mates on the trip were a family from Switzerland. Their 11 year old daughter Morena was very busy during the trip making drawings, so on the way back, I let her try my iPad Pro for color sketching with the Apple Pencil. In a few minutes, she was better with it than I am. Here is her first sketch:
Good start. Now Morena wants an iPad Pro!
And so ends my last day in the Highlands of Scotland. Tomorrow, I take ScotRail from. Fort William to Glasgow, about a 4 hour journey.