Direct Rail Services’ Highland intermodal service

Judging by the searches made for the new DRS service to Inverness, it’s a popular subject. Quite a few visitors have surfed into my blog and found my earlier entry of October 31st. Well, there was a bit of a treat for the Aberdeen – Inverness line yesterday. The service was diverted over this route because the Highland line at Perth was closed. A dreaded engineering possession, much criticised by the media here in the UK because it causes problems for ‘commuters’ – sorry, passengers. Maintain the railways – how dare they?

Anyway, I digress. With some really fine Highland weather: frost, clear skies and a touch of mist at Delnies, the temptation for a quick trip to the line side was not to be missed. The first shot is of the train arriving at Nairn. DRS Class 66, No.66 433 was in charge.

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By being quick off the mark, I was able to head west a few miles to Delnies, arriving a few seconds before the train, despite icy roads.

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After examining the image above,  you may be excused into thinking that there’s another loco on the rear of the train. Yes you’re right: 66 415 brought up the rear of the service. It was included in the formation to ease shunting into the Inverness intermodal terminal on this particular occasion, even though there are run round lines in the terminal for loco release. Notably, 66 415 worked the first train at the end of October.

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A final view of the train, facing the Inverness direction with 66 415 on the rear. Mist from the Moray Firth was rolling in. Otherwise, fine views of the Highlands can be seen from this location. The train was 22 units, making it one of the longest freight trains to pass over the old Inverness – Nairn railway in recent years.

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