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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 fall 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

Traveling 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 harbor 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 travelers 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.

5 results matching: West Highland Line

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Scottish Islands & Lochs Cruise - Lord of the Glens
4.6 stars(5 reviews)
2021Oct
7 days from
$2,455 pp
View Details
7 days from
$2,455
per person
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands
4.4 stars(114 reviews)
2022MarAprMayJunJul...
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsEdinburgh
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
A Castle On The Shore Of Loch Fyne
3.9 stars(36 reviews)
2022AprMayJunAugSepOct
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsGlasgow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
Grand Tour of the UK
4.6 stars(5 reviews)
2022MaySep
12 days
View Details
tour map
  • DestinationEngland, Scotland
  • Starts / EndsYork / London
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationScotland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
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 vacation. A bit spoilt by the weather.
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
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
05 Oct 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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