After an excellent week in Scotland, we took a train from Glasgow Queen St, back to Edinburgh with enough time for us to have an enjoyable lunch at our favourite restaurant in the capital (Maxies!) before catching our LNER service back south of the border and home. Having paid to leave our bags at left luggage (this one was open, however as it’s staffed it costs a fortune), we made sure to pick them up within the 3 hour time period and so headed to the first class lounge for somewhere to dump them and sit in the warmth until our train.
In 2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released in cinemas and from that point the Glenfinnan Viaduct became world famous as ‘the Harry Potter Bridge’. Operating since 1984, The Jacobite is a steam locomotive-hauled service that runs from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the famous viaduct, and giving tourists the amazing view of a steam train passing over ‘the Harry Potter Bridge’.
Having spent the night in Glasgow, we were back at the shiny and new Queen Street station bright and early ready to continue our journey north to Fort William. Covering almost two thirds of the picturesque West Highland Line, the journey was due to take us just shy of 4 hours along what has been voted the top rail journey in the world.
My Monday morning started earlier than planned as my excitement building caused me to wake up six hours before our train and the not so pleasant hour of half four. Ahead of us lay a week on the rails as we explore some of Scotland up and along the stunning West Highland line. But first, the longest single train journey I had ever made, just short of four hours onboard one of LNER’s Azumas.
At just after half past 8 on the penultimate Friday in July, I pulled out of St. Pancras International (STP) on a momentous day, my first railday in months! The Government guidance had recently changed to allow the use of public transport for non-essential travel and so with my facemask in hand (well on face) I headed down to King’s Cross and crossed the road, ready to review the UK’s fastest domestic rail service.
So, June 2020, a very strange time in the UK due to Covid-19, and after 10 weeks of living in London, I was finally travelling home in the middle of lockdown. Obviously, this is going to be a slightly different ‘Train Review’ post to normal, but given it was my first time on one of Greater Anglia’s new intercity trains, I decided to still do a review of sorts. I won’t be including the usual rating due to the measures in place as part of the situation.