Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Got up at 7 am to catch the 7.55 train from Inverness to Edinburgh. The day was bright and sunny, although cool to start with. The train set off on time, but ground to a halt some 13 miles out of Inverness. The train conductor came on the tannoy to announce that the front locomotive had broken down, and the rear locomotive did not have sufficient power to push the train all the way up to the Slochd summit, 1400 feet above sealevel. So we sank back to Inverness, where coaches were provided to take us to Edinburgh. My coach left at 9.30 for the 170 miles to the capital. The ride was long but fairly scenic, passing by all the places where the train would normally stop; Carrbridge, Aviemore, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Dalwhinnie to the Drumochter Pass, 1550 feet above sealevel; on to Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Dunkeld and Perth. Beyond Perth, the coach went down the M90 motorway to the Forth Road bridge and into the city. The timetable stated that the train would have got there by 11.20; the coach arrived at 12.50. I had an appointment at 1pm, so I had to hire a cab to get me there on time. A walk round the city took me to the second appointment, and before 3pm, I was clear of the lot. I couldn't help but notice that Edinburgh was full of the tender green of new leaves. But Edinburgh was also full of traffic and people, something this country bumpkin is not really used to. Went to Waverley Station to await the 4.32pm train back to Inverness. I was quite happy to roll out of town into the countryside again. The evening sun lit up the mountains and hills as we passed the way I had come in the morning. The A9 north of Perth is never far from the railway line. Got back into Inverness at 8pm.