Mike Vickers' Blog

March 15, 2012

The Kyle Line

Filed under: Personal, Travel, World Class — derryvickers @ 8:45 pm

Some years ago travelling one morning from Skye to Aberdeen via Inverness to catch a plane to Stavanger – as one does.

The train left Kyle on time and trundling along when the train came to shuddering halt around Strome Ferry, steep rock face on our right side. Nothing happens for about 20 mins when the guard comes around to say the engine had hit a rock and the fuel tank was leaking diesel – we would have to wait for a relief engine from Inverness (for those not in the know Inverness is about 60 miles away at the end of the first leg) to pull us onward – bang does my schedule for the fight to Stavanger. Anyway about 10 minutes late we start to move onward and eventually the guard comes back to say we would go forward to Strathcarron to wait for the relief engine there. At Strathcarron we stop as usual – then off we go again – through Achnasheen the next station and onward. Eventually we get to Garve where we are coupled up to the relief engine and travel forward to Inverness. Only about 45 mins late and in good time for the train from Inverness to Aberdeen.

Old systems, single track railway but a great will to get on with the job as best the Highland and Islanders can and do.

PS if you want a great Highland train journey, do a circular tour starting at Inverness – take the Kyle Line to Kyle – cross to Skye – down to Armadale on the Sleat peninsula – over on the ferry to Mallaig – along the famous train route (stream drawn in summer) to Fort William and back to Inverness along the Great Glen including Lock Ness with its monsters.

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