As there is nothing to report on the modelling front this week I thought I would post another railway-related article following our holiday in Scotland last week.
This time I am focusing on the Caledonian Sleeper which stops at Newtonmore twice during the day - in the London direction at 21:45 and on its way to Inverness at 07:11. This is one of two sleeper services that ScotRail run from London Euston to Scotland - this one being the Caledonian Highland Sleeper while the other is, naturally enough, the Caledonian Lowland Sleeper.
The Highland Sleeper service departs Euston at 21:15 behind a Class 90 and runs, as one train, to Edinburgh. This is, at around 15 carriages, possibly the lengthiest regular passenger train running in the UK and is at the longest permitted length for the platforms at Euston Station.
Anyway, I digress a little. Upon arrival at Edinburgh, where passengers are not allowed to disembark, the train divides into three portions and these then head off in different directions to Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William. As there are no overhead wires on any of these routes all three trains have to be diesel hauled and, where once this would have been allocated to a Class 37, a pool of Class 67s are now dedicated to the task.
The Lowland Sleeper service, meanwhile, departs London Euston at 23:30 and heads for Carstairs where the train divides into two; one portion being bound for Edinburgh while the second portion proceeds to Motherwell and Glasgow.
The sleeper service runs every night of the week, except Saturday, and has both First Class cabins (with a single berth) and Second Class cabins (with twin berths) as well as two lounge cars and seated accommodation, for those who do not mind sleeping while seated.
Only one other sleeper service now operates in the UK and that is The Night Riviera from London Paddington to Penzance in Cornwall.
This service was under threat of withdrawal recently but, thankfully, the powers that be eventually saw sense and saved it.
If there is anyone who has not yet travelled on a sleeper train I can whole-heartedly recommend it; okay, you may not get too much sleep but it is a thrilling and magical experience.