Crianlarich to Oban, then Isle of Mull

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by GarethC, 7 Jul 2019.

  1. GarethC

    GarethC Member

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    I'm travelling to Mull at the end of the month. We're booked on the sleeper as far as Crianlarich. We are returning the same way the following week. Arriving in Scotland on a Thursday morning and leaving on the following Wednesday.

    I'm looking at the options for getting from Crianlarich to Mull.

    It appears that the Caledonian Sleeper bus is running again this year (though I can't find any mention of it on their website - it appears in the journey planner when I checked (Greater Anglia) and is listed on the National Rail website under special offers). Has anybody used this service? I was thinking of getting that to Oban for the outward trip in the morning and then using the train (as it is a similar timing as the bus) for the return.

    I was thinking of getting the Scotrail "Rail and Sail" tickets. Has anybody been able to buy these outside of Scotland as there won't be an opportunity to buy at Crianlarich in the morning and they don't appear to be available online? Or is it easier to buy the train and ferry separately? I'd be buying at Ipswich (who are normally very knowledgeable and can pull off a range of ticketing feats).

    It looks like it is possible to use the bus (arrives Oban at 0915) to get the 0950 sailing to Craignure (check in closes 0940). On the way back the 1915 ferry arrives in Oban at 2005 and connects with the 2037 train arriving Crianlarich at 2148, the sleeper is then due in at 2206.

    So, does anybody have any experience of or recommendation for Rail and Sail and are the sailings and connections achievable?

    Many thanks in advance!
    Gareth
     
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  3. Elwyn

    Elwyn Member

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    Gareth,

    I have caught the train to Oban many times. The Calmac ferry terminal is right beside the station and it takes just 2 minutes to walk to the ferry check in area. So if you arrive in Oban on time at 0915, you shouldn’t have any difficulty checking in by 0940. Likewise on the return timings. Can't comment on the other aspects of your enquiry.

    Elwyn
     
  4. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    I see the problem with buying these tickets online. Although Scotrail has Craignure (CRU) in its initial dropdown list of stations, that station isn't recognised at the next stage of its journey planner. And unfortunately the CalMac railsail ticket page transfers you to Scotrail for the actual purchase, so that doesn't work either. The only site I could find selling the relevant tickets (the £16.90 anytime day single between Crianlarich and Craignure, or vice versa) is Loco2.com

    NB so far as I can see, for the OP's journey the railsail single fare is simply the total of the rail anytime single fare (£13.20) and half the Calmac return fare (half of £7.40 = £3.70) so the railsail fare in this case saves nothing over buying the rail and ship tickets separately.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2019
  5. GarethC

    GarethC Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, it is good to know that the railway station and ferry terminal are so close!

    Thanks,
    Gareth
     
  6. StarCrossing

    StarCrossing Member

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    I'm not familiar with those tickets I'm afraid. Note that there's no "check in" as such. You just need to be at the end of the gangway, in possession of a ticket, by 09:40, or else they could refuse boarding. However, CalMac typically do all they can to honour connections.
     
  7. GarethC

    GarethC Member

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    The very helpful staff at Ipswich were able to find an itinerary and issue the tickets, it took a bit of time to find. I'd printed off the page from BR Fares which helped. The staff hadn't booked them before!

    We will see how it works in Scotland. Thanks for the advice, especially the bits about the ferry check in.

    Gareth
     

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