By Malcolm Tattersall
CROWDS of railway enthusiasts turned out last week to watch Black 5 steam locomotive “Lancashire Fusilier” hauling the Jacobite’s vintage carriages back to Scotland for this summer season.
Photographs of the train – which doubled as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies – were posted on the Facebook page of operators West Coast Railway.
And they drew appreciative comments from people who have travelled on the Jacobite between Fort William and Mallaig over the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct – a trip which has been voted the world’s greatest train journeys.
Christine Stuart posted on Facebook: “Fantastic journey – one for the memory box.” Rosemary Mitchell, who has made the trip three times, added: “It’s amazing.”
The Jacobite’s first scheduled run this summer will be next Monday, April 26, the day the Scottish Government lifts restrictions on travel following the Coronavirus lockdown.
Then there will be two journeys on the 84-mile round trip every day until October.
A spokesman said: “Special precautions with social distancing mean that to keep passengers and staff safe mean we have had to reduce the capacity of our trains.
“But we are desperate to get back on track again. And a trip on the Jacobite is just the ticket!”
Among other anti-Covid precautions, traditional paper tickets will be replaced with e-ticket and special signs will be erected at stations to show passengers where to stand,
All passengers must wear face masks except when eating or drinking, and instead of an onboard buffet car there will be a buffet trolley service through the train.
Cream teas, champagne and chocolates will have to be ordered in advance.