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snorbens_caleyman

The Biggest Little Railway in the World

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OK, it was only last year, and so not very "olde".  But anyway...

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-biggest-little-railway-in-the-world

Running a model steam engine on tracks from Fort William to Sneck.  Has just finished its run on Channel 4, but it looks as though all five episodes are available online.

Good programme for a Sunday night - compulsive viewing, and a fine achievement. I see that it was done in a fortnight last June. 

Was anyone here involved?

 

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started watching it when we were over at Xmas. still to grab the last few episodes though. One boy was definitely from Inverness and if the accent wasnt a dead giveaway, when his kids turned up wearing ICT tops that was pretty good. 

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58 minutes ago, Scotty said:

started watching it when we were over at Xmas. still to grab the last few episodes though. One boy was definitely from Inverness and if the accent wasnt a dead giveaway, when his kids turned up wearing ICT tops that was pretty good. 

That was Martin. He sits in north stand. He also brings his two young boys to games. Nice chap  

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Funnily enough, I have no idea how true this is, but I was told a few weeks back that Transport Scotland are looking at a proper Inverness to Fort William line.  The issue is where exactly the line would be.  I know originally a line was proposed on the Lochend, Drum and Invermoriston side, though seemingly their preference would be the other side due to the need for less stops (probably one at Dores and another at Foyers).  Another option is to instead have a line from Kingussie to Spean Bridge.

I've often wondered in the past how viable a line between Inverness and Fort William would be.  Surely it'd be really well used (especially in the tourist season), along with it being an alternative route to Glasgow and the west such as Oban.  It could be another route for the London Sleeper too.

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Just now, Renegade said:

Funnily enough, I have no idea how true this is, but I was told a few weeks back that Transport Scotland are looking at a proper Inverness to Fort William line.  The issue is where exactly the line would be.  I know originally a line was proposed on the Lochend, Drum and Invermoriston side, though seemingly their preference would be the other side due to the need for less stops (probably one at Dores and another at Foyers).  Another option is to instead have a line from Kingussie to Spean Bridge.

I've often wondered in the past how viable a line between Inverness and Fort William would be.  Surely it'd be really well used (especially in the tourist season), along with it being an alternative route to Glasgow and the west such as Oban.  It could be another route for the London Sleeper too.

I wish!! Id imagine would be ruled out on cost though sadly. 

 

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The Victorians were beaten by the terrain. I doubt we could build it now for anything remotely affordable.

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19 hours ago, old caley girl said:

I wish!! Id imagine would be ruled out on cost though sadly. 

Oh, I dont know ... a government department authorising a project that is sure to come in over budget and well beyond schedule which will ultimately be under-used and never recoup the costs ? Would never happen :blink:. It's like spending upward of £1m on art when services are being chopped left right and centre !

 

 

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I wonder how much of the old Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus line could be re-used. 

The big problem would be along Loch Ness. There is surely not enough room on either side of the loch.  Going up the east side would require a new West Link railway around the town, unless the new route went along Island Bank Road and Castle Street :crazy:  A big wide sweep up the west side and joining up with the north line at Beauly might be possible. But wherever it was, there would be very strong environmental protests.

I just can't believe that anyone is seriously considering this. It would surely be cheaper to run fleets of free buses up and down the glen!

 

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We need Dick Strawbridge on the case ;) 

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3 hours ago, snorbens_caleyman said:

I wonder how much of the old Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus line could be re-used. 

The big problem would be along Loch Ness. There is surely not enough room on either side of the loch.  Going up the east side would require a new West Link railway around the town, unless the new route went along Island Bank Road and Castle Street :crazy:  A big wide sweep up the west side and joining up with the north line at Beauly might be possible. But wherever it was, there would be very strong environmental protests.

I just can't believe that anyone is seriously considering this. It would surely be cheaper to run fleets of free buses up and down the glen!

 

If you ever take a bus to Fort William, it still looks fairly intact.  The route is now a cycle route I believe. 

Aspects of the Fort Augustus - Inverness line had already been developed before the proposal was shelved.  When you're heading towards Dochgarroch Woods from Inverness and there's the turn-off to go up to Abriachan and Blackfold through the trees.  There's a little house just off to the side that was apparently originally going to be a railway station.  Just after that, as you head along the A82 and just before the woods, you can see where part had been built up for the line to run.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 18.33.22.png

Edited by Renegade

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Cheers, Renegade. I'll have a look next time I'm up.

I was thinking of how they might route that line into town nowadays. More of a problem now than when it was first proposed!

Then it occurred to me that there must be a railway bridge over the canal, that I'd never seen or even been aware of. And it turns out to be a swing bridge. No doubt some of you are very familiar with it, but I was from the other side of town.

https://canmore.org.uk/site/13483/inverness-caledonian-canal-clachnaharry-railway-swing-bridge?display=image

I'm still learning about my home town :)

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I remember reading a while back that the route was going to take the Clachnaharry route and then hook round where an Inverness South railway station was planned and then it head down the Great Glen from there, with stops planned at the aforementioned Dochgarroch and Lochend.

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28 minutes ago, Renegade said:

I remember reading a while back that the route was going to take the Clachnaharry route and then hook round where an Inverness South railway station was planned and then it head down the Great Glen from there, with stops planned at the aforementioned Dochgarroch and Lochend.

But the Lord of Dochfour would not let them build across his land :lol: unlike other land owners further north who had business interests who were keen to have the railways.

On the south side of Fort Augustus part of the line could be reused but where the old station was at Fort Augustus is now the school.  The railway went from there across the canal and river Oich and on to the pier on the south of Loch Ness where it met the steamship.

As snorbens said there is not the room along with the road on either side of Loch Ness.

 

 

2017-05-17-ggw-laggan-lochs-to-fort-augustus-04.jpg

Fort Augustus Railway Station.jpg

fort(5.1950)augustus13.jpg

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On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 2:23 PM, Scotty said:

Oh, I dont know ... a government department authorising a project that is sure to come in over budget and well beyond schedule which will ultimately be under-used and never recoup the costs ? Would never happen :blink:. It's like spending upward of £1m on art when services are being chopped left right and centre !

 

 

Personally, I think Inverness would benefit from more imaginative public art even in times of constraint. I was disappointed that the proposed installation by the river was abandoned.

  • Facepalm 2

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I'm not opposed to imaginative public art but that River Ness Pier thing looked awful.

  • Agree 1

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17 minutes ago, Renegade said:

I'm not opposed to imaginative public art but that River Ness Pier thing looked awful.

I totally agree with you on that one.

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