It’s one of the best train rides in the world, and the video footage shows the best view possible: from the driver’s cab.
The fascinating film shows a driver’s point of view view of a ScotRail train moving along an incredible 42 mile section of Scotland’s West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig.
The journey on the line, completed in 1901, begins with a sight: Ben Nevis. Britain’s highest mountain (1,345m/4,412ft) looms over Fort William as the train heads west.
A few minutes after departure, the line crosses the Banavie Swing Bridge, which stands at one end of ‘Neptune’s Stairs’, the longest stair lock in Scotland, which raises the Caledonian Canal by 19m (62 feet).
The train then skirts the eight-mile-long (13 km) Lough Eil before the majesty of the 1,250-foot-long Glenfinnan Viaduct, which crowns one end of picturesque Lough Shiel.
The fascinating images show a driver’s point of view view of a ScotRail train moving along an incredible 42-mile section of Scotland’s West Highland Line from Fort William (above, with Ben Nevis to the right). to Mallaig
This image from ScotRail video shows the starting point: Fort William train station
The 21-arch, 100-foot-high (30-meter) bridge was completed in 1901, but it was 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second film in the Harry Potter franchise, that brought the bridge to the world’s attention. .
In the film, we see Harry and his friend Ron Weasley in a Ford Anglia flying car being chased by the Hogwarts Express as it puffs over the viaduct.
The bridge returns in Harry Potter 3 – The Prisoner of Azkaban – with the train stopping on the bridge on a stormy night as terrifying ‘dementors’ go on the attack.
A few minutes after the start, the line crosses the Banavie swing bridge.
The train skirts the eight-mile-long (13 km) Lough Eil before the majesty of the 1,250-foot-long Glenfinnan Viaduct (above)
The Glenfinnan Viaduct was completed in 1901, but it was 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that brought the bridge to the world’s attention.
Harry Potter’s debut of the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the film Chamber of Secrets, with Harry and his friend Ron Weasley in a flying Ford Anglia chased by the Hogwarts Express.
When the viaduct appeared in the fourth Potter installment, The Goblet of Fire, it was a celebrity among concrete constructions.
Then comes pretty Glenfinnan Station, mainland Britain’s most westerly station, Arisaig, and stunning Loch Eilt.
Harry Potter fans may recognize Loch Eilt from The Prisoner of Azkaban: Hagrid throws rocks at it, and one of its small islands, Eilean na Moine, is used as Dumbledore’s final resting place in the latest Potter film, The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
The line skirts the coast, with the A830 – ‘The Road to the Isles’ – hugging the one opposite.
Before Mallaig on the ‘Iron Road to the Isles’, the train passes Ailort and Nan Uamh lakes (they are also pretty to look at) with the line and the A830 looping around each other before arriving shoulder to shoulder at Mallaig, about hundreds of meters from the port.
Pretty Glenfinnan station (above) precedes mainland Britain’s westerliest station: Arisaig
The line hugs the shoreline of Loch Eilt, which Harry Potter fans may recognize from The Prisoner of Azkaban and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The line skirts the shoreline of Loch Eilt, with the A830 – ‘The Road to the Isles’ – hugging the one opposite
The line was completed in 1901 and in places loops around the A830.
The video was posted on YouTube by ScotRailwhere it has been viewed more than 37,000 times and praised by dozens.
User ‘AndrewG1989’ said: ‘Wonderful video – Scotland is an amazing country to visit and explore.’
And ‘Alisonsimpson125’ wrote: ‘Great video, ScotRail – the scenery is absolutely beautiful.’
For more information on the Fort William to Mallaig service, visit www.scotrail.co.uk/train-times/fort-william-to-mallaig. To view the original full-length video, click here.
The striking viaduct over Loch Nan Uamh, which lies just south of Mallaig
The line runs alongside the A830 at Mallaig (above), a few hundred meters from the port.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the most famous highlight of the Fort William to Mallaig line