Scottish Holiday May 2011 Part Two
After a relaxing Wednesday evening spent in the bar, the following morning after a hearty breakfast, we left for Aviemore. Free time in the town gave enough time for refreshments and a wander around the few shops, before entering the station to board the Strathspey Heritage Railway train to Broomhill.
Whilst we were on the platform, waiting for our train, the Royal Scotsman called into the station.
With a splendid set of luxury Pullman carriages, including an end observation car, this renowned train tours Scotland, at a cost to passengers of £1000-00 per day. (I’ll stick with Wicksons).
As I was told my Heritage pass did not cover the Royal Scotsman, I stood on the platform and watched its departure, and waited as the steam train from Broomhill arrived pulled by Ivatt 2-6-0 No 46512.
After only returning to steam in March this year (2011), after a 6 year overhaul which attracted a £50,000-00 lottery grant, the ex Barry locomotive stood gleaming in its new glossy black repaint. The 1952 Swindon built loco E V Cooper Engineer named after Strathspey’s founder director Eric Cooper, then ran round its train, ready to depart for Broomhill chimney first.
A steady ride through the scenic Spey valley, calling at Boat of Garten, bought us to Broomhill. With only a single track in the platform area, the train passed through the station, and then 46512 ran round the train in the double track section before pulling back into the platform , for the passengers to alight.
This picturesque little station of Broomhill had the role of Glenbogle in the TV series Monarch of the Glen
With the train now ready to return tender first to Aviemore, we rejoined the Wicksons coach to leave for a tour of Glenlivet Whiskey distillery.
Staggering back to the coach, we left for our hotel for a Scottish themed evening meal.
Friday morning, with the holiday over, it was time to head for home, and after breakfast we duly headed South towards the Midlands. A short stop in Pitlochry, where Marion found and bought an eight inch coloured tile, depicting the Jacobite train crossing the Glenfinnan viaduct. A true souvenir of our Scottish railway tour.
On then to Gretna Green where we stopped for lunch (not marriage).
On leaving Gretna, we had one more comfort stop at Forton services on the M6.
Arriving back in Walsall Wood I now had a project of making a stand to display the Jacobite tile as a momento of our tour of the Scottish Highlands.
For anyone participating this trip of a lifetime, then Wicksons will be repeating this magical tour on September 26th 2011. For full details of this and holiday brochure, ring Wicksons on 01543 372247, or visit the web site www.wicksons.co.uk