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West Highland Line

The Train

There are two ways to travel along the iconic West Highland Line, the most famous of which being the majestic Jacobite Steam Train. The Jacobite was one of many steam trains to travel this line over the years and has inspired a traditional Scottish tune thanks to its beauty. Steam locomotives were removed from the West Highland Line in 1967, they were reintroduced in 1984 as an attempt to promote tourism - an attempt which proved successful after this line became one of the most famous in the world. The Jacobite became known under its current title in 1995, and operates regular services during the spring, summer, and autumn months.

An alternative way to travel along this line is using the excellent ScotRail service. This fleet of trains that services the entirety of mainland Scotland, from the lowlands right to the farthest reaches of the Highlands, and has done since 1997. The West Highland Line is one of its main rural lines, and is serviced by a regular schedule, taking both tourists and commuters along this line.

The Journey

Travelling between Glasgow, Oban, Fort William, and Mallaig, this line covers some of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. As you leave beautiful Glasgow, a modern metropolis, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by the wild and windswept panorama of the Scottish Highlands. One of the most iconic landmarks to look out for along the pretty Fort William route is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, an incredible feat of engineering that was opened in 1901. Most famous for being featured in the 'Harry Potter' films, the viaduct stretches over some truly verdant views that cements the West Highland Line as one of the most scenic lines in the world.

Another magnificent sight can be found on the Oban line, as you pass under the mighty Munro, Ben Lui. Of course, the highlands are filled with mountains such as this, but there is something particularly beautiful about this mountain with its five ridges making the mountain seem larger than it really is.

Of course, the destinations are almost as lovely as the journey itself. Fort William, a delightful port town, is nestled within the mountains and hills of the highlands, whilst Mallaig is famed for its stunning harbour and fantastic array of seafood.

Facilities

The Jacobite offers four distinct locomotives that take passangers along the route, the most iconic of which being the K1, built in 1949. Passengers travel n carriages decorated to reflect the 'Golden Age' of rail travel, with comfortable seats in an armchair style. The wide windows are perfect to watch the passing scenery, whilst the wood panelling escort travellers into a lovely bygone era. Although there are toilets on board the train, these are unable to be used whilst the train is in motion.

Although already comfortable and effective, ScotRail is gradually introducing new trains to its fleet, which include newer and more modern amenities including Wi-Fi, power sockets, and more accessible carriages. The current commuter trains offer on board toilets, comfortable seating, and large windows, perfect for viewing the passing countryside.

9 results matching: West Highland Line

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Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands
Small Group
4.4 stars(114 reviews)
2021AugSepOct
2022MarAprMayJunJul...
9 days from
£1,495 pp
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9 days from
£1,495
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsEdinburgh
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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The Outer Hebrides
Small Group
4.1 stars(39 reviews)
2021AugSep
2022AprMayJunJulAugSep
8 days from
£1,745 pp
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8 days from
£1,745
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsGlasgow / Glasgow, Edinburgh
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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A Castle On The Shore Of Loch Fyne
Small Group
3.9 stars(36 reviews)
2021AugSepOct
2022AprMayJunAugSepOct
7 days from
£1,045 pp
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7 days from
£1,045
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsGlasgow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Grand Tour of the UK
Small Group
4.6 stars(5 reviews)
2021Sep
2022MaySep
12 days from
£2,445 pp
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12 days from
£2,445
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  • DestinationEngland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsYork / London
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Scottish Islands & Lochs Cruise - Lord of the Glens
4.6 stars(5 reviews)
2021SepOct
7 days from
£1,945 pp
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7 days from
£1,945
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsEdinburgh / Oban
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
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Giants Causeway
Small Group
2021SepOct
2022MayJulSep
13 days from
£2,795 pp
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13 days from
£2,795
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  • DestinationIreland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsEdinburgh / Holyhead
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsLondon Euston
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsInverness
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
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  • DestinationScotland
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Our customers love our West Highland Line tours
Western Highlands and Hebrides
03 Aug 2019
Mr P Johnson
5 stars
“Thoroughly enjoyed the round of experiences in this holiday. A bit spoilt by the weather.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Scottish Highlands Cruise
03 Oct 2018
Dr T James
5 stars
“very good atmosphere created by the staff and crew of the Lord of the Glens
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Edinburgh, the Highlands and Islands
3/Jul
J Wheatley
4 stars
“Good choice of places, experiences etc. Covid restrictions adhered to without affecting the trip.
Collected by Trustpilot
A Castle On The Shores Of Loch Fyne
2/Jul
R Brook
4 stars
“Very good itinerary in spite of Covid restrictions and the cancellation of the West Highland train journey to Oban and the ferry crossing to Bute. Both situations dealt with quite promptly. Stonefield Castle suited us very well with good food and genuine old fashioned hospitality. Wonderful position and outstanding views.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands
29/Jun
Mr C J Elliott
4 stars
“The holiday was fantastic. The Tour guides were very good. WOULD have given FIVE if we had traveled on the steam train from Fort William to Mailag there was time to do this within the day. And seeing the company is renowned for great rail travel this was MOST DISAPPOINTING. Do realize this would have added to the cost of the holiday but would have gladly paid the extra.
Collected by Trustpilot
Scottish Islands and Lochs Cruise
03 Nov 2018
Miss S Perry
4 stars
“Overall good cruise and food
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
Grand Tour of the UK
Oct 05 2018
Mrs L Janse
4 stars
“There was just a little too much UK in 14 days. I looked forward to visitng Glasgow, but arriving n the evenimg and departing the next mornng diddn't give much time to do that.
Collected by Great Rail Journeys
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