Eastfield's 37424 waits at Bridge of Orchy with a Fort William to Mossend freight. It will cross the passenger train I am on, 0540 Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William. 13/8/1987
Tulloch now and 37409 with the 0540 from Glasgow to FOrt WIlliam waits for 37422 to clear the single line section. The up train is 0830 off the Fort for Glasgow Queen Street.
The weather at Fort William was very wet amd miserable. 37413 sits in platform 2 with the 1003 departure for Mallaig.
Heading back south now and the 1740 from Fort William to Glasgow Queen Street enters Rannoch station. Waiting for the train is 37413 with a rake of loaded alumina tanks from North Blyth for the aluminium plant at Fort William.
Once the passenger train has returned the radio token for the section from Tulloch to Rannoch it can be issued to the driver of 37424 and he can be on his way.
The next station south is Bridge of Orchy and here I find 37423 waiting with the 1650 from Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William.
An overnight stop was had in Oban and looking down on the station is 37403 and a rake of six mkI and mkII coaches. This worked in with the 1820 off Glasgow Queen Street. Another class 37 is trying to hide in the other platform road. In the right foreground is class 104 DMU 53434, 53424 in its unique maroon and white livery, it was known as the "Mexican Bean"! 13/8/1987
The next morning and 37403 is ticking over and waiting for its 0800 departure back to Glasgow Queen Street. McCaig's Folly stands on the hillside watching over Oban. 14/8/1987
37424 stands at Crianlarich at the head of an S.R.P.S. railtour from Edinburgh to Fort William. The tour would return south behind ex LMS Black Five 5305. Due to problems with the R.E.T.B. equipment the train was running very late and the steam came forward to Tulloch to take over the train. 9/12/1989
InterCity liveried 37404 is coupled to a short rake of two oil tanks in Oban station. Three more tanks are in an adjacent siding. This traffic is long lost to rail. 19/8/1990
A Sunday drive with my young son Ross found us at the end of a 20 odd mile long cul-de-sac! Rannoch station is at the end of that road and it is deep in Rannoch Moor. A well timed surprise is 37401 heading south with a ballast train. 14/10/1990
Myself and fellow 60009 support crew member Mike Mather took a trip to Fort William to ride the steam to Mallaig before it became "The Jacobite". On shed at Fort William is 37428 in Rail Freight Petroleum sub sector livery. 30/6/1991
/An unidentified InterCity liveried class 37 heads towards Bridge of Orchy with a Mossend to Fort William freight comprising of 3 bogie bolsters and a solitary tank wagon. 2/9/1991
The classic location of The County March and in glorious sunshine too, a class 37 on a loaded southbound freight, what more could you want? 37413 wears the Railfreight Distribution subsector decals and brings a heavy load of rolls of paper from the Arjo Wiggins plant at Corpach on the Mallaig branch.
Oban station now and 37401 sits in platform 2 with three oil tanks on the drawbar. Next to it is 156445 which will form the next service to Glasgow Queen Street.
Out on the road and 37401 is about to enter the cramped Pass of Brander with its empty oil tanks. Ahead of the loco can be seen double facing semaphore signals which warn of any rock falls. Taut wires run the length of the Pass linked to counter weights and signals. If a rock fall occurs and breaks a wire it will cause the connected signal to fall to danger and therefore preventing a derailment. It is called "Anderson's Piano" after the inventor John Anderson, the secretary of the Callander and Oban Railway. The screen was first brought into use in January 1882 and over 135 years later it is still protecting the railway, truly remarkable.
A move to Ardlui and 37410, in InterCity colours, rolls in with a mixed freight from Fort WIlliam to Mossend. The consist is made up of empty oil tanks, empty china clay slurry tanks and bogie bolsters loaded with rolls of paper. 2/9/1991
Having spent the night in my car at Tyndrum Upper, my early morning alarm call appears in the morning mist! 37423 fronts the Euston to Fort William sleeper in the days when it was a separate train from the Inverness and Aberdeen sleepers. 3/9/1991
The day is turning out to be a scorcher and in full unbroken sun I have walked into the Horseshoe Curve and stand on an occupation bridge between the two viaducts. 37423 lifts its heavy load of aluminium ingots up the 1 in 55 slog. Beinn Dorain rises 3523 feet above sea level and forms the dramatic backdrop. Bloody wonderful, sun, scenery and a class 37 on full chat!!
Another InterCity liveried type 3 sees 37401 drift downgrade with two loaded china clay slurry tanks for the paper mill at Corpach and oil tanks for the either Mallaig or the depot at Fort William Junction.
37401 passes over Auch Gleann Viaduct with its mixed rake of tanks. I am unsure of what the third and fourth tanks could be for. 3/9/1991
A year or so later and I'm in Glen Falloch, south of Crianlarich. An Edinburgh to Oban railtour coughs and splutters its way up the ruling 1 in 60 gradient with a pair of class 26 locos in charge. D5300 and D5301 make very heavy weather of it. 21/8/1991
Out on the Oban road and the line skirts the edge of Lochan Na Bi in the stunningly beautiful Glen Lochy.
D5301 became 26007 under TOPS and D5300 became 26001 and the pair were repainted into BR green and renumbered to celebrate the closure of Eastfield Depot, where the work was carried out. The pair bring the train out of the Pass of Brander.
During a brief but heavy rain shower, the two type 2 locos approach Connel station which was the junction for the Ballachulish branch.
A dark sky contrasts with the bright sun on the houses of North Oban as the train descends from the summit at Glencuitten Crossing at 301 feet to sea level at the station in just three miles.
Still dropping down, the train passes the turnout which led to a small freight yard. The yard was built on the site of Oban steam shed and old goods yard.
ON arrival at the station, ScotRail chairman John Cameron watches the uncoupling of the locos from the stock whilst the driver looks on.