Scotland offers thrilling train journeys ahead of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ film release
Brief Encounter, North by Northwest, The Lady Vanishes, Some Like it Hot….. What do all of these films have in common? A thrilling train journey. Ahead of the release of Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express in UK cinemas on 3 November, visitors to Scotland can have a train journey to remember with stunning landscapes to explore every corner of the country.
From overnight journeys deep into the Highlands to quick round trips perfect for all of the family, Scotland’s railways offer dozens of options with great service and amazing views. Train fans can also pretend they’re on the Orient Express with a journey across Scotland via the ultra-chic Belmond Royal Scotsman, with afternoon tea and elegant cabins. All aboard!
The Belmond Royal Scotsman The ultra-exclusive Belmond Royal Scotsman train offers a truly glamorous once-in-a-lifetime trip with fine dining and five-star hospitality. The Royal Scotsman whisks travellers around Scotland on unforgettable luxury breaks, stopping off for day trips along the way. Stops en route from Edinburgh include the Rothiemurchus Estate in the Cairngorms, many whisky distilleries and Glamis Castle in Angus, across a variety of bookable excursions.
Scotland’s newest railway is the longest domestic railway to be constructed in Britain for over 100 years. The route runs from the heart of the City of Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders, travelling through outstanding scenery and giving visitors the opportunity to stop off and explore some of Scotland’s off the beaten track but incredibly beautiful urban and rural landscapes. From literature and history to fashion and mountain biking, the one hour journey will intrigue and excite travellers.
The West Highland Line Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest train journeys, the West Highland Line is known to millions as the railway that took Harry Potter from Platform 9 ¾ all the way to Hogwarts. The route leads from Glasgow to Mallaig on the west coast, passing over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and offering breathtaking views of locations such as Loch Shiel, Loch Eilt and Ben Nevis, many of which can also be seen in the Harry Potter films. For a truly magical day out, hop on the old-fashioned Jacobite steam train at Fort William, pack a picnic to enjoy as you explore the charming Mallaig Bay, or stop off at Arisaig to take a walk along one of the Highlands’ best beaches.
Visitors travelling from England can catch the Caledonian Sleeper at London Euston and be swept up to the Highlands overnight, waking up to stunning views of Rannoch Moor before arriving in Fort William. Other options include waking up in Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen or Glasgow before continuing your Scottish adventure.
The Far North Line Britain’s most rural railway, the Far North Lines connects Inverness with Thurso and Wick at the northern limits of the Highlands. The full journey takes around four hours and follows hundreds of miles of beautiful varied landscapes, from peatland bogs and minuscule hamlets to the gates of the magnificent Dunrobin Castle.
The Kyle Line Departing from Inverness, the Kyle Line leads through charming Highland villages such as Achnasheen and Plockton before arriving in Kyle of Lochalsh. Completed in 1897, the line was the most expensive rail project of its day: the last 10 miles between Stromeferry and Kyle needed 31 cuttings and 29 tunnels and had to be blasted out of solid rock. The result is a gem of a railway passing over deserted beaches and through fishing villages, and offering views of mountains and herons and possibly the odd eagle or otter.
Strathspey Steam Railway The majestic Cairngorm mountains can be seen from the comfort of a plush carriage on a trip along the Strathspey Steam Railway. Ideal for all ages, the journey lasts 90 minutes round trip and connects Aviemore with Broomhill: tuck into afternoon tea or a three-course Sunday lunch on board the train, or hop off at Boat of Garten to spot ospreys and other wildlife at the nearby RSPB reserve.
Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Young travellers will enjoy the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, just outside Falkirk, which passes by the local nature reserve, estate and museum at Kinneil and the charming vintage railway station at Birkhill. Wee ones can enjoy a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine, while bigger kids climb aboard heritage locomotives at the Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo’ness, the largest of its kind in Scotland.
The Forth Rail Bridge No Scottish rail experience is complete without a trip across the Forth Rail Bridge. Connecting Edinburgh with Fife, this remarkable structure has the second-longest single cantilever span of any bridge in the world and is currently being considered for UNESCO World Heritage status. There are great views of the Firth of Forth, not to mention the brand-new Queensferry Crossing bridge, to be seen as the train speeds across the rails.
Glasgow to Oban
This is the less well known route of the West Highland Line and well worth the journey. On splitting at Crianlarich, the train powers through Tyndrum, Dalmally, Lochawe, Taynuilt and Connel before reaching the end of the line on Oban’s south pier. Along the way, the train skirts Loch Awe, offering passengers glimpses of Kilchurn Castle before passing beneath the impressive Ben Cruachan. As the train pulls into the terminus, views across Oban bay and its surrounding islands welcome the traveller. The ferry terminal in Oban is a fifteen minute walk from the railway station, connecting visitors to many of Scotland’s idyllic islands.
CairnGorm Funicular Railway
CairnGorm Mountain near Aviemore is home to the UKs highest funicular railway. Open all year round, the railway provides spectacular views from Britain’s sixth highest mountain as well as mountain walks and mountain bike descents for the more adventurous.
For more information on holidaying in Scotland please visitwww.visitscotland.com/railjourneys