0730am and the residents of Crianlarich get their wake up call, the throb of an English Electric 12CSVT 1,750hp powerplant. 37401 departs the junction station.
The Fort William portion of the Euston to Inverness, Aberdeen and Fort William sleeper, 1S25 2125 off London, crosses the River Fillan. This leg runs as 1Y11 0450 from Edinburgh. I would ride the train the next day.
A quick drive to the County March to record 37401 slugging up the final few yards of the 1 in 63 climb to the summit. The track just ahead of the loco looks interesting!! Shortly after this shot the driver shut the power off :-(
The loco is now pretty mich ticking over as it will pass over the summit and then drop hill all the way to Bridge of Orchy.
Down in Glen Falloch, just south of Crianlarich, and something new is heading north. 67009 is recorded with two vans in tow working 5Z06 0647 Mossend to Rannoch crew training run.
The train will reach Crianlarich very shortly and will exchange the radio token.
The type 5 loco sits at Crianlarich station waiting to cross a southbound passenger train. Stob Coire Bhuidhe rises some 2,785 feet and forms the background.
156478 forms 1Y42 0605 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street and crosses the viaduct above the village of Crianlarich. The trackbed of the original Callander and Oban Railway lies just beyond the gate.
With the sprinter clear of the single line section from Tyndrum Upper to Crianlarich, and the respective tokens exchanged, 67009 sets off for Rannoch. In a few days time the locals will have a different alarm sound to get used to!
The short train crosses the Fillan Viaduct and just catches the sun as clouds blow about. 10 seconds later and the whole scene was lit...typical.
Another quick drive to the County March to record the crew training train on the climb to the County March. The class 67 was about to replace the ageing but popular class 37 on sleeper duties and these trains were for the Glasgow and Fort William men to train on them.
The two walkers on the West Highland Way seem oblivious to the train behind them.
After another quick drive this time to Bridge of Orchy, I'm in time for 67009 running into the station for its token exchange.
67009 departs after exchanging the radio token for the section to Rannoch where the train will terminate and the loco run round for the return.
And back to Glen Falloch for the daily enterprise working to Fort William from Mossend, 6Y15 0823 off the freight yard. The weather had turned at this point and it was chucking it down.
Milepost 43 is at the County March Summit where there is a very short level section. 67009 takes its vans south as 5Z07 1112 off Rannoch to Mossend. It is downhill now all the way to Crianlarich and the slope in the track is most noticeable.
66107 crossed 67009 at Tyndrum Upper and continues on its way to Fort William. The train passes the up distant board for the station.
A lone walker on the West Highland Way slogs on as 66107 passes with its load of four empty bogie bolsters for the aluminium traffic and 10 tanks of alumina for the plant.
Despite the Summer Solstice being just four weeks away, fresh snow had fallen within the last few days. It is evident at the summit of Bein Dorain as 156496 reaches the summit with 1Y44 1035 Mallaig to Crianlarich. Global Warming??
156478 is caught in sunshine as it heads up the last few hundred yards of the climb to the County March Summit.
It forms 1Y43 1439 Crianlarich to Mallaig having split from an Oban portion at Crianlarich. t appears that a passenger has just flushed the loo!!
Still at the Count March Summit and the rain is falling as stair rods! B1 61264 bursts from below the small bridge onto the last third of a mile climb with 5Z62 0130 Carnforth to Fort William ECS for the forthcoming Jacobite services.
The exhaust billows everwhere as the loco brings eight mkI coaches upgrade.
It was well worth getting a soaking to secure these shots.
The train approaches in fine style despite the appalling weather and the summer Fort William to Mallaig steam Jacobite season is less than a week away.
A few miles further on and just beyond Bridge of Orchy and the weather is the complete opposite, dry underfoot and in full sun. 61264 gets away from the token stop and sets off with gusto for the 8 1/2 mile ruling 1 in 60 climb to Gorton loop.
The other loco for the season, K1 62005, was not yet ready to go north.
The loco looked and sounded superb as it barks away.