Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William
The fascinating history of the West Highland Railway is told by Paul Coia as we make our way from the hustle and bustle of Scotland's largest conurbation up into the Highlands and through Britain's remotest outposts.
Climbing out of the 1 in 45 Queen Street tunnel, we proceed through the suburbs of Glasgow, mostly under the wires of the Strathclyde electrics.
At Craigendoran the West Highland line branches off towards Helensburgh Upper. At first, following the course of Gare Loch and Loch Long, the line eventually emerges high above the banks of Loch Lomond. By the time we reach Crianlarich (where the Oban line diverges) the dense forest has given way to more open aspects.
The famous Horseshoe Curve is the next major feature encountered. Beyond Bridge of Orchy, the main road turns west towards Glen Coe, whilst the railway turns north east and strikes out across one of the UK's last great wildernesses, Rannoch Moor! 95 miles from Glasgow we reach Britain's remotest station, Corrour. Here is the summit, the old signalman's house, but little else.
The line now descends alongside remote Loch Treig. Here we are totally alone again and rail travellers get to see an almost totally unspoilt stretch of water. This and the rest of the route are also seen from the air as we are accompanied throughout by a helicopter. Now we emerge into the Spean Valley and civilisation once more.t Spean Bridge is where the one time Fort Augustus branch diverged - the sorry history of the line being told in another DVD. Running past the foothills of Ben Nevis (Britain's highest mountain) we arrive in the West Highland capital of Fort William - a great feeling of adventure having been duly felt.