Past travels on the Deerstalker etc.

pitdiver

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Going back in time to perhaps the 50s or 60s would the down Highlander have all the kerfuffle at Waverley or were there three seperate trains, ie Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness.
At what sort of time did the leave London and arrive at their respective destinations.
As I have travelied on both the Fort Bill and Inverness services I am interested in previous timings.
 
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MichaelAMW

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Goning back in time to perhaps the 50s or 60s would the down Highlander have all the kerfuffle at Waverley or were there three seperate trains, ie Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness.
At what sort of time did the leave London and arrive at their respective destinations.
As I have travelied on both the Fort Bill and Inverness services I am interested in previous timings.
You're almost comparing apples with oranges there. Looking at the 1963-64 LMR timetable, which has a London - Scotland summary for all routes, there are FIFTEEN sleeper trains from London to Scotland, from Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras! Don't forget that it is not all that long since the ECML lost its overnight services.
 

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pitdiver

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You're almost comparing apples with oranges there. Looking at the 1963-64 LMR timetable, which has a London - Scotland summary for all routes, there are FIFTEEN sleeper trains from London to Scotland, from Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras! Don't forget that it is not all that long since the ECML lost its overnight services.
Thanks for the Info most informative. I don't suppose you have timetables for the route St Pancras to Bedford during the early to mid 70s as my wife is curious about the service. Paricularly Harlington to Luton.
 

Journeyman

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I notice there is no service to Fort William but one to Oban. When did it change to Fort William?
There's always been services to Fort William. There used to be services to both Fort William AND Oban. I could be wrong, but I think traditionally the FW train ran via the ECML and the Oban ran via WCML. Oban services finished years ago - I think they survived the closure of the Callendar and Oban route, but not for long. FW services have occasionally been diverted to Oban due to engineering work. It still happens now and again, although Oban lacks a lot of the infrastructure to support regular sleeper operations these days.
 

Journeyman

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Going back in time to perhaps the 50s or 60s would the down Highlander have all the kerfuffle at Waverley or were there three seperate trains, ie Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness.
At what sort of time did the leave London and arrive at their respective destinations.
As I have travelied on both the Fort Bill and Inverness services I am interested in previous timings.
The current method of operating the Highland services dates from about 1995. Prior to that, the trains also carried Motorail wagons, and there were three services from London every night. I don't think the FW train worked into Edinburgh before 1995. The change came about because the Fort William service was going to be axed, so the Highland service would have just been an Inverness/Aberdeen train, splitting and joining at Edinburgh. A couple of sleepers for FW were hurriedly retained in the train, but took a much more roundabout route.

The Inverness and Fort William services both departed from Edinburgh along the E&G main line, but a few years ago the Fort William started using the Airdrie - Bathgate line instead. This allowed the trains to call at Queen Street Low Level, and the Westerton stop was axed. Previously, ScotRail ran a very early Queen Street - Westerton DMU to allow seated passengers to travel to FW on the Sleeper.
 
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mailbyrail

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23 Dec 2010
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Even the 1977-78 timetable still shows 11 M-F London-Scotland departures - two of them had 'kerfuffle en route. (**)
from Euston
20.50 for Inverness 08.10
20.55 for Stranraer 06.05
21.50 for Inverness 09.05 (sleeping cars only) + Fort William 10.18 **
22.15 for Glasgow 06.53
22.35 for Perth 07.35
23.00 for Glasgow 05.15 (sleeping cars only)
23.30 for Carlisle 04.11 + Glasgow 06.05 (sleeping cars only) **
from Kings Cross
20.00 for Aberdeen 06.48
22.15 for Aberdeen 08.37 (sleeping cars only)
23.35 for Edinburgh 06.35 (sleeping cars only)
23.45 for Aberdeen 10.57
 

30907

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There's always been services to Fort William. There used to be services to both Fort William AND Oban. I could be wrong, but I think traditionally the FW train ran via the ECML and the Oban ran via WCML.
Yes - Fort William was LNER, Oban LMSR (and predecessors).
 

pitdiver

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22 Jan 2012
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Even the 1977-78 timetable still shows 11 M-F London-Scotland departures - two of them had 'kerfuffle en route. (**)
from Euston
20.50 for Inverness 08.10
20.55 for Stranraer 06.05
21.50 for Inverness 09.05 (sleeping cars only) + Fort William 10.18 **
22.15 for Glasgow 06.53
22.35 for Perth 07.35
23.00 for Glasgow 05.15 (sleeping cars only)
23.30 for Carlisle 04.11 + Glasgow 06.05 (sleeping cars only) **
from Kings Cross
20.00 for Aberdeen 06.48
22.15 for Aberdeen 08.37 (sleeping cars only)
23.35 for Edinburgh 06.35 (sleeping cars only)
23.45 for Aberdeen 10.57
Thanks for this info. I can now tell the wife we did well getting to FW last year albeit 58mins late.
 

MichaelAMW

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18 Jun 2010
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There's always been services to Fort William. There used to be services to both Fort William AND Oban. I could be wrong, but I think traditionally the FW train ran via the ECML and the Oban ran via WCML. Oban services finished years ago - I think they survived the closure of the Callendar and Oban route, but not for long. FW services have occasionally been diverted to Oban due to engineering work. It still happens now and again, although Oban lacks a lot of the infrastructure to support regular sleeper operations these days.
Indeed. One of those trains on the London - Scotland timetable I posted will have been or included the FW train.
 

MichaelAMW

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18 Jun 2010
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908
Thanks for the Info most informative. I don't suppose you have timetables for the route St Pancras to Bedford during the early to mid 70s as my wife is curious about the service. Paricularly Harlington to Luton.
As requested - but start a new thread if you want a discussion!

STP BED 1974 page 1.jpg STP BED 1974 page 2.jpg
 

RLBH

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17 May 2018
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Even the 1977-78 timetable still shows 11 M-F London-Scotland departures - two of them had 'kerfuffle en route. (**)
Most would have had some sort of rearrangement en route to add or remove various vans, entirely incidental to the passenger accomodation, or to have day accomodation added for the morning part of the journey - a buffet travelled Inverness to Perth in the evening, and back again in the morning, to provide lounge facilities, whilst at one point the Fort William sleeper descended into Queen Street High Level to be put on the front of the early morning train from Glasgow.
 

pitdiver

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22 Jan 2012
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As requested - but start a new thread if you want a discussion!

View attachment 61026 View attachment 61027
Thanks very much, my wife thought they about hourly even during the week (Off Peak).

I would also like to say a BIG thank you to everbody who has supplied information or made comments. I find the whole story of long distance trains,specially sleepers and Motorail

I always thought and my wife agreed that it was fantastic to be able to go to sleep theoretically in London and wake up in the Scotish Highlands
 
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Traveller54

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21 Feb 2015
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Renfrewshire
There were also overnight services from Glasgow/ Edinburgh to Bristol; I think they joined the sections at Carstairs. I don’t think they went any further south than Bristol.

In 1978 I once travelled from Carmarthen to Perth, taking the above service from Bristol and changing at Crewe at some ungodly hour to the 2235 ex Euston arriving Perth at 0735.
 

mailbyrail

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23 Dec 2010
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Since I have the timetable to hand...……...
that would have been Carmarthen dep 18.35
Swansea arr 19.31 dep 19.43
Bristol Parkway arr 21.14 dep 21.21
Crewe arr 01.07 dep 01.20
Perth arr 07.35
Still possible today
Carmarthen dep 18.08
Cardiff arr 20.03 dep 20.17
Crewe arr 23.04 dep 23.50
Perth arr 05.41
 

Traveller54

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21 Feb 2015
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Location
Renfrewshire
Since I have the timetable to hand...……...
that would have been Carmarthen dep 18.35
Swansea arr 19.31 dep 19.43
Bristol Parkway arr 21.14 dep 21.21
Crewe arr 01.07 dep 01.20
Perth arr 07.35
Still possible today
Carmarthen dep 18.08
Cardiff arr 20.03 dep 20.17
Crewe arr 23.04 dep 23.50
Perth arr 05.41
Brilliant! Memories come flooding back. That schedule would fit as I remember getting a taxi to Carmarthen station about 6pm for a departure about 6.30. Thanks!
 

181

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12 Feb 2013
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The current method of operating the Highland services dates from about 1995. Prior to that, the trains also carried Motorail wagons, and there were three services from London every night. I don't think the FW train worked into Edinburgh before 1995. The change came about because the Fort William service was going to be axed, so the Highland service would have just been an Inverness/Aberdeen train, splitting and joining at Edinburgh. A couple of sleepers for FW were hurriedly retained in the train, but took a much more roundabout route.

The Inverness and Fort William services both departed from Edinburgh along the E&G main line, but a few years ago the Fort William started using the Airdrie - Bathgate line instead. This allowed the trains to call at Queen Street Low Level, and the Westerton stop was axed. Previously, ScotRail ran a very early Queen Street - Westerton DMU to allow seated passengers to travel to FW on the Sleeper.
I think the change to running via Edinburgh was a few years earlier than that -- I remember going that way the first time I used the Fort William train in June 1991. My recollection is that the Fort William portion included Motorail vans and was quite long -- maybe 7 vehicles in total. I don't remember where the rest of the train was going, but I presume it was either Inverness or Aberdeen, but not both.

On that occasion the route was via the E&G all the way to Cowlairs, but at times the northbound train at least ran via Falkirk Grahamston, Cumbernauld and Springburn (I think I remember going this way in 2002).

My guess (but no more than that) is that the sleeper may have started going via Edinburgh when the Sprinters arrived in about 1988 and there was no longer an early loco-hauled departure from Queen Street for the London portion to be added to.

Back in the 1970s the Motorail trains were separate from the others and ran from Kensington Olympia, although I don't know if Fort William was served (we always went to/from Stirling or Perth); if it was, I presume the Motorail arrived there coupled to the Euston/King's Cross train.

There were also overnight services from Glasgow/ Edinburgh to Bristol; I think they joined the sections at Carstairs. I don’t think they went any further south than Bristol.
There was briefly a portion from Poole or somewhere, which must have joined the main train at Birmingham; I used it from Basingstoke to Glasgow in February 1990. It was only 3 coaches if I remember rightly. Splitting at Carstairs had stopped by then, and the whole train reversed in Glasgow to continue to Edinburgh.
 

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