This grainy photograph, courtesy of my pal Ken Webb, is me at the line side, at Buckie Bay, between Aberdeen and Stonehaven, in the Summer of 1964. The trip was organised around a Freedom of Scotland Rail Rover ticket for my chums and a free pass and a couple of ‘privs’ for me as I was, at the time, a BR footplateman.
One feature of the trip was utilising as many overnight trains as possible, sleeping on the seats or in the luggage rack. I have memories of ‘Angus steak burgers’, a novelty in 1964, in the buffet at Fort William, after one over night run from Carlisle. It was also my first introduction to ‘mutton pies’, in a little cafe, close to Buchanan Street Station, called ‘Super Eats’. Buchanan Street is now a huge shopping mall, back then it was a busy station.
Carlisle was used several times during the trip as a starting point for runs over the Waverley route and along the Glasgow & South Western through Dumfries to Ayr and Kilmarnock, (Hurlford). An overnighter from Carlisle to Inverness was followed by a run on the Highland line down to Keith and then over the Great North of Scotland to Aberdeen with a bunk round Inverurie works thrown in. The now preserved Ex-LNER D49 class 4-4-0, No.62712 Morayshire, was in storage there when we visited.
From Aberdeen we journeyed down to Dundee, Thornton Junction, and Dunfermline in Fife. We didn’t make it up to Wick or Thurso, but we did get to Bathgate, and all the Edinburgh and Glasgow sheds.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: