‘Highland Chieftain’ on the Forth Bridge

While major engineering work was being carried out at Falkirk, the northbound ‘Highland Chieftain’ was diverted to traverse the cantilevers of the Forth Bridge on Friday, October 19, bringing this rare photo opportunity, writes Ian Lamb.

Ironically this was the originally proposed route to Perth, through Fife, when the train was established in the mid-1980s – yet although it meant a longer mileage, it made more commercial sense when the service was inaugurated to direct it through Stirling and Falkirk to ensure that both towns had direct daytime access to London.

Enjoy it while you can! When the HSTs are replaced by Hitachi ‘Azuma’ trains, there will be no more lowering of windows to take photos like this.

When the ubiquitous HSTs are eventually replaced by Hitachi ‘Azumas’, it will no longer be possible to slide down a window and create such a memorable photograph.

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