I started the day at Kincardine and 66161 wheels 6G04 0628 Hunterston to Longannet Power Station loaded coal hoppers. The train is on the last few yards of the rebuilt line from Stirling via Alloa.
The line to Alloa was reopened for passengers with the tracks extending to Longannet power station so the coal trains have a shorter journey and avoid the Forth Bridge on which loaded HHA and HTA hoppers are banned.
A move to Alloa after a long wait near Kincardine for an inbound coal train that didn't show. 66161 reappears having unloaded its imported coal. The working is 4J05 MX 1020 from Longannet to Hunterston. The loco approaches the loop.
The train runs empty as a class 4 rated to 75mph. 66161 brings its rake of empty of HTA hoppers through the loop to the east of Alloa.
In the distance the line curves to the right but this was once a junction for the line to Dunfermline via Oakley which closed in 1968.
Alloa's rebuilt station is a single platform on a siding beside the through line to Longannet. 170458 departs with 2N50 1143 off Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street. Alloa's small loco shed, a sub shed of Dunfermline, was located out of shot to the left.
Crossing the former Alloa Tramway bridge to get the going away shot of 170458 and the extent of the previous railway presence can be seen. The Devon Valley line came in on the right and the original station was located on the other side of the bridge
Coal is delivered to Longannet Power Station by both DBS and Freightliner Heavy Haul. 66557 of the latter comes towards Alloa with 6G05 0926 Ravenstruther to Longannet loaded coal hoppers.
The wooded area to the left was once a mass of sidings used to marshal coal wagons from the numerous pits in the area, all now closed.
Crossing the road for the going away shot of 66557 as it curves round gently to the left towards the signal protecting the station a short distance away. It shows a green aspect for the line beyond the station siding turnout.
Alloa bound 170456 forms 2N67 1118 from Glasgow Queen Street and the journey's end is moments way. The signal shows a yellow aspect so the driver will expect the next signal he will see is a red stop signal, the red light at the buffer stop.
Moving away from Alloa and a little closer to Stirling and 170456 is seen again heading away and back to Glasgow. It passes through the area of Criagmill as 2N58 1243 from Alloa.
Another coal working heads for Longannet behind DBS 66062 branded as Euro CargoRail, the European arm of DBS.
High on the hill behind, and some distance away from, 66062 is a recently repainted Stirling Castle. 66062 works 6G06 1023 from Hunterston to Longannet with loaded HHA hoppers.
Another move and now to Stirling and looking down stream of the River Forth. An unknown class 170 Turbostar heads south with 2N46 1313 from Dunblane to Glasgow Queen Street.
Turning back to the viaduct and a north bound Turbostar clatters over the girders with 2P63 1233 from Edinburgh to Dunblane.
There are two viaducts across the Forth here, the main line to Perth and the line to Alloa. The SPT liveried turbostar is on the far viaduct on the Alloa road. It is working......
This structure was refurbished with the rebuilding of the Alloa route and an unknown class 158 Sprinter crosses the Caledonian Railway built viaduct with 2N60 1341 from Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street.
This caught me out as I was walking from the carpark to get to the new bridge over the station. But it is a good shot at a good location. 66557 comes off the Alloa line at Stirling station with empty hoppers from Longannet back to Hunterston for reloading. The working is 4C07, 1326 from the power station.
Still looking to the north and 170461 runs in passing the North Signalbox and down starter with 2P88 1358 from Dunblane to Edinburgh. The down starter is off for a northbound working.
170427 passes the down starting signal SN36 and powers away from Stirling station with class 1 working 1A67 1341 Glasgow Queen Street to Aberdeen.
The new footbridge over the south end of the station provides a wonderful view point providing you are tall enough!! I was just able to see over the parapet! 170456 slows for its station stop with 2N43 1348 Glasgow Queen Street to Dunblane.
158716 departs Stirling with 2P30 1428 from Dunblane to Edinburgh. A tall former Caledonian Railway signal stood at the end of the platform until recently but it has been felled and replaced by a LED signal on the platform itself.
Stirling's large and very impressive Caledonian Railway built station was constructed in 1915 by James Miller and is now a Category A listed building. 170395 is almost lost within the glass canopy's as it makes its station stop with 1T22 1242 Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street.
Stirling's platform 9 is the main platform for trains coming off the Alloa branch. 170460 has stopped and any passengers for Stirling have disembarked and onward passengers will board for the run to Glasgow.
66120 passes Stirling's Middle 'box with 6G07, 1228 Hunterston to Longannet Power Station loaded coal. Signal SM47 is off but the distant below it, SM10 has failed to rise despite moving slightly. It is motor driven from Stirling North 'box.
With the coal train clear, SM27 is pulled off to give 170460 the road to Glasgow. The train is 2N52 1436 off Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street.
Another class 2 local working runs in passing the tall inner home signal SM79 and SN35 with 2P24 1403 Edinburgh to Dunblane. Distant SN35 is off so the down starter will be too.