Glasgow to Fort William

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aoa123

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Hi folks, long time lurker first time poster.
Booked a week in Fort William in July. Just wondering what the train (the normal one not the sleeper) from Glasgow to Fort William would be likely to be like in terms of numbers of passengers bearing in mind we'll be travelling on a weekend in July and with the popularity of holidaying in the UK at the min. I noticed it is not possible to reserve a seat so I have visions of 500+ people on the platform in Glasgow waiting to cram onto a 2 car sprinter or worse (does it split at Oban?) and much pushing and shoving with people getting left behind, especially with so few trains daily, or perhaps I am letting my worst case scenario take over! Any info would be really useful.
 
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simonw

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Hi folks, long time lurker first time poster.
Booked a week in Fort William in July. Just wondering what the train (the normal one not the sleeper) from Glasgow to Fort William would be likely to be like in terms of numbers of passengers bearing in mind we'll be travelling on a weekend in July and with the popularity of holidaying in the UK at the min. I noticed it is not possible to reserve a seat so I have visions of 500+ people on the platform in Glasgow waiting to cram onto a 2 car sprinter or worse (does it split at Oban?) and much pushing and shoving with people getting left behind, especially with so few trains daily, or perhaps I am letting my worst case scenario take over! Any info would be really useful.
Not sure why you can't book, we did when we went, albeit back in 2018. The train was busy but not full and standing.

The train to Fort William doesn't run via Oban
 

Highlandspring

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Hi folks, long time lurker first time poster.
Booked a week in Fort William in July. Just wondering what the train (the normal one not the sleeper) from Glasgow to Fort William would be likely to be like in terms of numbers of passengers bearing in mind we'll be travelling on a weekend in July and with the popularity of holidaying in the UK at the min. I noticed it is not possible to reserve a seat so I have visions of 500+ people on the platform in Glasgow waiting to cram onto a 2 car sprinter or worse (does it split at Oban?) and much pushing and shoving with people getting left behind, especially with so few trains daily, or perhaps I am letting my worst case scenario take over! Any info would be really useful.
Normally it would be heaving but what effect Covid will have this year I wouldn’t like to speculate. It’ll be a 6 car 156 which will split at Crianlarich with 4 going to Fort William and 2 to Oban. I’ve seen it quite a few times over the years that ScotRail will organise a bus (or once, memorably, 42 black cabs) from Queen Street if the train is at capacity and they know a load of folk would be left behind.
 

scotraildriver

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In normal times the Fort William portion is rarely full. The only time I've seen it particularly busy is if a large group is booked with the likes of Great Rail journeys. Of course this year is a bit of a unknown quantity but bear in mind foreign tourists make up a large percentage of summer travellers, and I doubt there will be high numbers of them this year. If the exit from lockdown goes to plan seat reservations should become available during June. The West Highland services are still very quiet currently.
 

Goofle

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Normally it would be heaving but what effect Covid will have this year I wouldn’t like to speculate. It’ll be a 6 car 156 which will split at Crianlarich with 4 going to Fort William and 2 to Oban. I’ve seen it quite a few times over the years that ScotRail will organise a bus (or once, memorably, 42 black cabs) from Queen Street if the train is at capacity and they know a load of folk would be left behind.
Anybody else find the idea of a 42 vehicle long procession of black cabs winding its way along the A82 alongside Loch Lomond and through Glen Coe amusing? That’s be a hell of a picture....
 

Bald Rick

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Anybody else find the idea of a 42 vehicle long procession of black cabs winding its way along the A82 alongside Loch Lomond and through Glen Coe amusing? That’s be a hell of a picture....

Especially for anyone heading to Corrour!
 

steamybrian

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I travelled in July 2020 and the 2 car portion of train for Fort William carried about 75 passengers. Plenty of room for everyone including socially distancing.
Please ensure that you are in the correct portion of the train as the train from Glasgow Queen Street splits at Crianlarich with 2 cars for Oban and 2 (or maybe 4 ) cars for Fort William/Malliag
 

Richard P

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Running as 4 cars at present splitting in to 2x2 car sets at Crianlarich, 1 set to Oban, the other to FW/Mallaig. Travelled the line today & reasonably busy but not on a par with pre-covid. Timetable due to be revised again mid May 2021 when FW portion might revert back to 4 cars as used to be the case. Currently no facility to reserve seats on the line - even as a disabled person I couldn't get access to a guaranteed seat. Not an issue now but will be post lockdown if that policy continues
 

Journeyman

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I intend to travel the WHL at some point in the next couple of weeks, so will report on loadings.
 

Richard P

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Hope you enjoy, just note that if travelling to Mallaig the 16.05 service isn't in the timetable before mid May at the earliest so impossible to travel there & back in a day. Caledonian Sleeper not taking foot passengers either. Cafe currently closed at Crianlarich due to electrical issues nor are there any toilet facilities there either. No catering on any services
I intend to travel the WHL at some point in the next couple of weeks, so will report on loadings.
 

Watershed

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The tea room/cafe at Crianlarich had just reopened when I passed through there last Saturday. It makes for an ideal stretch of the legs, especially if you're in the Fort William/Mallaig portion as that has around 10 mins' standing time at Crianlarich (in the westbound direction). There's also currently no trolley service onboard.
 

Butts

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The tea room/cafe at Crianlarich had just reopened when I passed through there last Saturday. It makes for an ideal stretch of the legs, especially if you're in the Fort William/Mallaig portion as that has around 10 mins' standing time at Crianlarich (in the westbound direction). There's also currently no trolley service onboard.

Crianlarich is where smokers are able to have a sly burn on the Platform prior to departure as they sort the split out - often joined by Rail Staff :E
 

Richard P

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The tea room/cafe at Crianlarich had just reopened when I passed through there last Saturday. It makes for an ideal stretch of the legs, especially if you're in the Fort William/Mallaig portion as that has around 10 mins' standing time at Crianlarich (in the westbound direction). There's also currently no trolley service onboard.
Not sure whether electrical fault applies just to the tearoom but departure boards were also blank. When operating the tearoom is open 9.30am to 2.30pm at present, probably reflecting the paucity of trains, more than 5 hours between services from early afternoon. I was only able to travel the line from Oban to Crianlarich & back due to service limitations this year. Even allowing for Covid-19 the Stations were all looking very run down which is a real shame as at one time they were well maintained
 
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