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Steam returns to the Highlands

AT THE HEIGHT of the railway boom at the end of the nineteenth century Britain was covered with a spider's web of railway lines connecting every minutest community to the network. Today many of these heroic lines, often built in the face of fiercely adverse circumstances, are no more than a grassy memory, punctuated by the odd forlorn bridge or abandoned cutting.

The Highlands of Scotland have fared better than much of the rest of the country. With the exception of the odd branch line, the most spectacular of these rail links have been maintained so that today's traveller can marvel, as did his Victorian counterpart, at the ingenuity and daring of the line's builders in conquering the most awesome challenges.

Highland Steam

Add a snorting, snarling steam engine into the equation and you have the most romantic poetry in motion.

Taking advantage of the inspired re-introduction of steam traction to these lines on a more - or often less - regular basis, this book captures some of this magic.

The regular summer run from Fort William to Mallaig forms the first section of the book, following the progress of a number of different restored steam engines on many different dates over the past quarter century on the journey out from Fort William to Mallaig and back again.

The second section covers the longer run from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and back again - a far less regular, but nonetheless welcome affair.

The third section records a number of steam excursions to other far flung Highland destinations where the roar of steam is today very rarely heard.

Large format paperback, 160 pages, all in full colour, just 9.99. ISBN 978 0905 489 902

Publication: March 31, 2010.

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