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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Essexman, 10 Jan 2019.
I'm on the ex Aberdeen tonight, so thanks for the heads up.
Another vote for Corrour, but it does get busy. Other options:
Tyndrum. Plenty of hotels to choose from, however the Tyndrum Inn fits the ‘traditional’ small hotel /pub mould with fire etc. Good walking from Tyndrum lower to Ben Oss / Ben Lui (both if you’re feeling particularly energetic).
Bridge of Orchy. Bridge of Orchy hotel right by the station. Lovely place. Plenty of walking - 5 big Munros to the east (make sure you get the right summit on Beinn Dorian!), a couple to the north, and there’s also the West Higland way right outside if you want something flatter.
Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy are a 3-4 hour walk apart by the WHW if you wanted to do that. If you’re feeling really brave Corrour to Fort William is a long day’s walk, but stunning scenery on a good day.
Corrour to Fort William is tough to do in a day. It is not so much the distance, but the constant negotiation of peat hags making for slow progress. Best to do it in two days with an overnight camp.
So it looks like the last ever mk2/3 northbound didn't embarrass itself and both the Inverness and Aberdeen portions arrived on time this morning.
Let's see what happens with tonight's mk5 northbound Highlander.
Brilliant - thanks everyone for your suggestions. Now if you can just sort the weather as well please...
Went along the East Coast near Hornsey this afternoon and the sidings opposite the depot (could be Ferme Park I think) contained several Caledonian Sleeper MK2/3 Sets. 86101 and 90041 were there shunting them about so presumably have tripped them across from Wembley to make space for all the mk5s.
That's because they had the good sense not to put a duff on the front.
Leaning out of the droplight on departure from Dundee with the pair of 73s on the front was quite entertaining - buy cold! Something never to be experienced again.
Just had an email informing me that there will be no lounge car on the Southbound ex Aberdeen due to a power failure. No food/drink at all by the looks of things, with guests advised to bring your own to consume in your room or seat. Breakfast will be served to your room in the morning, no mention of us seated 'guests'.
Ah well, Tim Martin will be getting a few more quid off me tomorrow! (I'm in seat 4A from ABD if anyone's onboard and wants to say hello)
Same problem with the lounge car northbound last night. Hopefully the heating has been sorted for you in the seats. At least you should have 2 x 73 to enjoy, then the final Caley Skoda forward.
I'm in an Aberdeen hotel tonight so will actually get some sleep! I would have suggested getting together for a pint before you set off but I'm about to keel over with tiredness.
Don't overdoss or you might wake up at Booth's of Rotherham!
Oh it’s not easy, but at least it’s not too hilly. I’ve done that sort of distance and 5+ mountains in 7-8hrs with no running.
Ahh... well that’s the thing...
Boarded to the dreadful news that the seated coach is LOOU and I have a free upgrade to a berth. Gutted as I'm sure you can imagine(!)
Only about 1 or 2 coaches worth of punters on the Aberdeen s/b tonight out've 8 from what I could see! Once upon a time bargain berths would fill the rest!
Surely in this situation, it would be better to have an allocation of "bargain berths" on services that are predicted to be quiet? At least it gives Serco a bit of money back rather than just shipping around a load of air.
Even when it was busier in the past, there is no way there would ever have been enough passengers on the Aberdeen portion to fill six sleeping cars. Three or four was perhaps usual in First Group days on the busiest nights, although weekday nights always had plenty of spare capacity. The only reason that the Aberdeen portion has six sleepers at the moment is that the Fort William portion is not running due to engineering work on the West Highland Line, so the first half of the train is not being split at Edinburgh as it would normally be. Once the Fort William portion is back up and running (next Monday I think?), the Aberdeen will be back down to three sleepers (with the other three going to Fort William). I think that in the very depths of winter, it may go down to three on the Aberdeen and just two on the Fort William, but that might be a while away yet. Last year, from the times I was on it, the Fort William portion was still remarkably busy at weekends until well into November.
The Aberdeen section has not been loading very well for a good while now, at any time of year, while demand on the Fort William has increased considerably (particularly between March and November). Clearly some kind of special offer might be needed, as you suggest, to attract punters to it (although the sleeper has far more competition from day trains and airlines from Aberdeen than it does from Inverness or Fort William).
Maybe if they *cough* stop tampering with staff berth quotas *cough* they'd at least get a few more in to sink a few quid into the lounge car!
Walk up bargain berths would be a hit.
So are we finally complete in terms of rolling stock transition? Will the offer finally begin to settle down? For the first time since taking over the contract, might Serco now be able to offer some consistency? They might want to think about how to repair the appalling damage they've done to the brand of Caledonian Sleeper too.
1M16 at Crewe on time ready for the final run into Euston so assuming 1R02, 1R03, 1R04 and 1Y80 are all where they should be, it looks good for an on time arrival at Euston.
A little bit of sleeper history from Crewe last night/this morning:
1M16 seen passing Rugby on the final run to London.
I hope you had a better sleep than I managed in the seats. At least I caught up last night - 10 hours doss!
I can confirm that the same pair of 73s made it to Aberdeen with the Mark 5s.
Front coach is 15008, if anyone is interested.
Its a pity they couldn't have allocated either 87002 or 86101 to operate the last mark 3 service - instead it was operated by a scruffy grey skoda
A very smart 92006 is about to take the ecs out though.
Lovely footage, all. Cheers for posting
spotted this video on youtube - interesting the mk5s sort of share a very similar window design to mk2/3/4s
yes was interesting seeing that last night ( or this morning), the Mk3 sleeper in Serco CS livery was a bit different, as that's really rather uncommon for the inverness train. Might end up having to stay up until midnight to watch the mk5 pass now!
Lots of old sleeper coaches at Ferme Park Carriage Sidings this evening
Are the 2x73+Mk5s any different in noise (braking especially) from the outside compared to 67+ mk2/3 , as it occasionally disturbs my sleep having the sleeper pull in, I'd like to know if anyone has any ideas on noise of the new dellner stock?
I grew up in the Highlands, still have family there, I now live in London and am roughly of an age with the mark 3s. So they have been shuttling me up and down the country quite literally my whole life. On that basis I thought I should go and see them off this morning as they arrived at Euston for the last time. There may have been a wee bit of a lump in my throat as they disappeared off on their final trip to the carriage sidings. Sleeper trips will just not be the same now. And next to go is the HSTs on the Highland Chieftain...
Anyway this is what I filmed this morning.
RIP & farewell old friends.
Great footage there - you have captured the end of an era - the last rake of Mark 2/3 vehicles in normal timetabled passenger service at Euston.