Visit Fort William in 2024

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The Railroad to Mallaig by Iron Horse

Travel by steam locomotive on the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig.

When the West Highland Line first opened in the 1890s it would have been normal for each train journey to Mallaig and back to Fort William, to have been pulled by a steam-powered locomotive train.

The Victorian's made travelling by train in the Highlands possible when hundreds of miles of line were laid through Highland glens and along the side of our lochs and coastlines. "When the train came..." is something which people all around the world have said - when it changed their lives, brought goods and services, opened up wild and remote territory - whether on the American continent, or in the Scottish West Highlands.

Today, it is fitting, that people can still travel by train, pulled by a steam locomotive. The photos on this page were taken to give you an impression of what you might expect if you decide to take the journey on The Jacobite Train to Mallaig.

We often wonder just how fabulous it would be if all the old railway routes in the Highlands had survived the cuts made to rail travel in the 1960s. In times gone bye, people travelled by steam-powered sea-going vessels and arrived at Fort William to be embarked on a train at Banavie to be taken to Fort Augustus, from where they could cruise Loch Ness on another paddle steamer... if only.