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My wife thinks I'm loosing it

A weekend of preserved steam railways

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martin perman23/02/2019 17:33:27
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Apart from restoring and showing IC Stationary Engines I love visiting preserved steam railways, one in particular that I have longed to ride on is the Fort William to Mallaig run and I sorted this out for May this year, the reason my wife thinks I've lost it because I'm driving from Bedford to Fort William on the Friday, spending Saturday on the railway and traveling home on the Sunday.

I looked at travelling up and back by train but compared the worst case mpg with the train ticket and found the ticket £40 dearer and it was an eleven and a half journey plus the start time was mid morning and three changes so arrival at my B&B would be after midnight. By car I can leave early and arrive at mid to late afternoon that also allows time for breaks etc. May cant come quick enough.

Martin P

John Rudd23/02/2019 17:49:45
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Hope you enjoy the experience Martin..👍

Ian McVickers23/02/2019 18:00:34
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We've done the train trip a couple of times and it's fun. The only complaint is that you don't have a lot of time in Mallaig, about 2 hours I think if you travel back on the next return. But it's long enough to grab a snack and cuppa in the Tea Garden Café. No affiliation to it just happy customers.

martin perman23/02/2019 18:09:20
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Posted by Ian McVickers on 23/02/2019 18:00:34:

We've done the train trip a couple of times and it's fun. The only complaint is that you don't have a lot of time in Mallaig, about 2 hours I think if you travel back on the next return. But it's long enough to grab a snack and cuppa in the Tea Garden Café. No affiliation to it just happy customers.

I am returning on the next return, it is about two hours between runs but I'm on my own so no ties.

Martin P

Ian McVickers23/02/2019 18:21:34
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We will be in FW 1st week in April. No train this time but a trip up the mountain is planned. I hope you enjoy it Martin.

Rik Shaw23/02/2019 18:26:46
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"My wife thinks I'm loosing it"

My wife agrees with her laugh. Enjoy yourself Martin.

Rik

Frances IoM23/02/2019 18:32:21
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I and a friend drove from SE England to Skye but it was over 2 days - once north of Glasgow Scottish roads can be somewhat slow but they may have improved over the last few years but all too easy then to get stuck behind a slow moving lorry and I suspect too tired to appreciate the trip - however I'm old enough to have done Glasgow to Mallaig rail trip when most trains were hauled by black-fives tho the diesels had just started to take over.
martin perman23/02/2019 18:46:13
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Tiredness is obviously an issue but as a type 2 Diabetic who injects Insulin I am legally required to stop every two hours to check my sugars so minimum of 10 minute breaks not including rest breaks.

Martin P.

Mick B123/02/2019 20:01:09
1082 forum posts
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I've done the Western Isles twice and Skye once from West Midlands, the last one 4 years ago. You might be tougher than I am, but I wouldn't attempt what you propose.

Brian Oldford23/02/2019 20:05:42
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Did you investigate splitting the journey over a number of tickets? So long as the train you are on stops at the station where you change from one ticket to another you haven't even got to leave your seat. With a bit of research it's amazing how much can be shaved off the cost of a long journey.

Incidentally Fort William to Mallaig isn't a preserved railway as might be inferred from your first post.

P.S. Being actively involved with a heritage railway my wife know I lost it donkey's years ago. smiley

 

 

 

Edited By Brian Oldford on 23/02/2019 20:10:10

not done it yet23/02/2019 20:16:18
3030 forum posts
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The last twice we have gone to Drumnadrochit (50 miles further on than FW), I have driven it all both ways.

Last time, it was Inverness to Wetherby services between stops, using the A1 via Edinburgh/Newcastle. No particular difficulty as it was over-night, roads quiet and the car like an armchair.

Going up, it was stops at Edinburgh and Perth. Again, middle of night. I won’t drive up in the daytimme as too many idiots on the road.

But I slept before and for quite a while afterwards! I would not want to do it over only three days!

KWIL23/02/2019 20:30:47
3088 forum posts
56 photos

Martin, is this based solely on fuel costs (since you mentionmpg) or is it all in with the true mileage costs considered?

Edited By KWIL on 23/02/2019 20:31:14

Colin Heseltine23/02/2019 20:52:32
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The year before last I did 1200 miles round trip from Lichfield up the west coast, over to Skye, over to Inverness, down through the Cairngorms, through Edinburgh, down through Pennines and last bit back down the A1 to home. Six days, camped 4 nights, guesthouse 1 night, If I remember correctly we were a group of 10 all in Caterham 7 sports cars.

Did trip to Nurburgring in the Seven four years ago and did around 1300 miles in 5 and a bit days.

Did a similar run end of last year round the Los Picos National Park in Northern Spain.

We go for the good driving rounds and set the satnav to find the bendiest roads it can.

I'm 69 in a few weeks but these trips are great fun and keep the reactions up to spec for quick driving and competing.

Colin

martin perman23/02/2019 21:28:10
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Posted by KWIL on 23/02/2019 20:30:47:

Martin, is this based solely on fuel costs (since you mentionmpg) or is it all in with the true mileage costs considered?

Edited By KWIL on 23/02/2019 20:31:14

I worked out the mileage and then used the worst mpg my car does at 70mph, I rarely go over 60 mph, I drove a van for 20 years as part of my service engineering job which meant I never went over 60 and old habits die hard. The driving doesnt bother me, I've driven to Aberdeen in a day, worked a day and driven home on the third day. My best journey was to Venice from Bedford in one hit, I did have a collegue on the trip and we switched every two hours, left home at eight in the morning and got to the hotel in Venice at midnight.

I know the line is not preserved, I said that as an interest of mine but the train is steam hauled which is my interest.

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 23/02/2019 21:34:56

J Hancock24/02/2019 08:02:53
288 forum posts

You might consider timing your visit to coincide with the steam specials stopping at Appleby in Westmorland

station or crossing the Ribblehead viaduct on the way to or returning from Scotland.

Gordon W26/02/2019 15:13:39
2011 forum posts

We've done the trip a few times, but from the north. Last year got a bit of a shock, stalls selling broom besoms in the station yard and bus loads of eastern tourists. It is now the hogwart express, for the few like me who did not know it has something to do with a fictional childrens book. This is ok , except passengers wanted windows closed to keep out the cold. On return I opened windows so the exhaust could be heard, better than the other way I think.

Martin Johnson 126/02/2019 16:30:07
116 forum posts
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My wife knows I've lost it, but I took her along with me when we did that run.

If you are not used to (very) long drives, make sure you take plenty of breaks, and leave plenty of time - the roads get a lot slower (and a lot more dangerous) north of Glasgow / Edinburgh.

If you are coming back on the return service two tips -

There is a very good fish restaurant in Mallaig, not far from the station. Highly recommended from a satisfied customer.

If you go out of Fort William station, into the estate with Morrisons (I think) and head in a direction to keep the railway on your right, you will pass the "shed" area, where the loco will probably be being put to bed for the night. We walked it, but you could do at least part by car.

These days we live in Strathspey - so Fort William is a day trip!

Martin

mark costello 126/02/2019 18:43:51
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515 forum posts
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We took a small line train ride last year along about a 5 mile rail line along a creek bed. Train was advertised as the "high speed" model at 20 MPH. Every other one at the time must have been about 8 MPH. The Conductor wanted Us to set in the covered dining room car, We sat behind the engine and enjoyed (at least Me) the smoke and power and ashes of the engine. Everyone thought Us daft, Wife did not as there was no doubt in Her mind. Added a picture of a 12" universal joint on the train for the newbies.universal joint.jpg

Edited By mark costello 1 on 26/02/2019 18:50:18

JC5426/02/2019 21:00:56
90 forum posts
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My wife does not think that I am losing it... She knows I am.....

martin perman26/02/2019 21:23:02
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1591 forum posts
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Posted by Martin Johnson 1 on 26/02/2019 16:30:07:

My wife knows I've lost it, but I took her along with me when we did that run.

If you are not used to (very) long drives, make sure you take plenty of breaks, and leave plenty of time - the roads get a lot slower (and a lot more dangerous) north of Glasgow / Edinburgh.

If you are coming back on the return service two tips -

There is a very good fish restaurant in Mallaig, not far from the station. Highly recommended from a satisfied customer.

If you go out of Fort William station, into the estate with Morrisons (I think) and head in a direction to keep the railway on your right, you will pass the "shed" area, where the loco will probably be being put to bed for the night. We walked it, but you could do at least part by car.

These days we live in Strathspey - so Fort William is a day trip!

Martin

Drivings not and Issue, up until retirement 20 months ago I was doing 50,000 miles a year in a company van servicing equipment and as I explained earlier I am legally required to stop every two hours to check my sugars, type 2 diabetic who injects insulin, so plenty of stops.

Martin P

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