Since the current COVID-19 pandemic has limited train journeys to essential travel, ScotRail is making one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world available to armchair admirers through a series of videos on its YouTube channel.
Viewers will be able to see a side of Scotland they can normally only see from the train as the West Highland line leaves Glasgow behind and dives deep into the wild and untamed west coast.
From the bewitching Glenfinnan viaduct, probably the most famous railway bridge in the world after it was used for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movie series, to the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor and up to Fort William, the route has something for everyone.
The videos, shot for the first time in High Definition, will transport viewers from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow to peaceful and picturesque Mallaig at the end of the line. It’s easy to see why many of the stops along the way have featured in high profile movies such as ‘Local Hero’, ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Harry Potter’.
The new videos allow viewers to enjoy a landscape of barren peat moors, almost bottomless lochs and magnificent mountains as this Great Scenic Rail journey rumbles north along the west coast, through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, then, when the line splits at Crianlarich, on to Loch Awe and Oban or up to Fort William and Mallaig.
The West Highland line has a few of the smallest and most remote stations on the rail network as well as the UK’s highest altitude train station in Corrour.
Video viewers will travel through them before savouring some truly spectacular highlights, such as the Cobbler on the approach to Arrochar, with its unique rocky pinnacle, Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, and the tumbling waters of Monessie Gorge.
This magical tour of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, which takes five and a half hours to travel the whole rout, is available now on ScotRail’s YouTube Channel.
In total, since the start of the lockdown on 23 March, ScotRail’s social media team has created almost 13 hours of original content to keep people entertained when they can’t enjoy days out on the railway.
ScotRail tourism manager Alasdair Smart said: “These videos are a wonderful way for people to savour the magic of the West Highland Line, reckoned by many to be the most beautiful rail journey in the world.
“We hope everyone loves watching the footage and that they are inspired to make the actual trip when everything gets back to some sort of normality.”