Keeping up with goings on with the Highland line Caledonian Sleeper has been interesting to say the least. No sign of those Class 73/9s and the Inverness train is back to single Class 67 haulage. Class 67, No. 67 010 was caught on camera as it arrived at Aviemore on time with the 1S25 yesterday morning (6th May 2016).
So, will we see Class 67s into the 2016 summer season? It looks very likely (and so much for my prediction last year of 2015 being the last summer of Class 67 haulage on the Sleepers).
Later in the day, when on my way home from an unrelated trip to Alloa, I stopped at a remote location called Dalnacardoch on the Highland line where it climbs up to Druimauchdar Pass. Druimauchdar is the highest point on the British railway network at 1484 feet. I grabbed a shot of the northbound Highland Chieftain (1S16) in lovely evening light as it stormed up the incline towards Dalwhinnie.
Times are changing for traction in Scotland and those changes will affect what can be seen on the Highland line too, including the trains featured above.
Traction and stock changes will not only affect the Caledonian Sleeper service (Class 73/9s are finally being used over the West Highland by this time), but the days of the iconic HST on the Highland Chieftain are also numbered – new trains are on their way. Finally, the humble Turbostar (above) will give way to cascaded FGW HST sets on internal Inter-City services in Scotland which will affect passenger workings on Inverness-Glasgow and Edinburgh services. Already Lafarge cement trains between Dunbar and Inverness are operated by Colas Rail instead of Freightliner and the Royal Scotsman, as reported earlier this year is now the domain of GB Railfreight instead of West Coast Railways…all change indeed!