Boisdale Life Magazine (Issue 18) - Flipbook - Page 70
The refurbished Caledonian
Sleeper to Inverness delivers all
the storied, windswept romance
of train travel, as a delighted
Rob Crossan discovers
rains, like time and tide, stop for no one,” wrote
Jules Verne in Around the World in Eighty Days,
his joyous adventure novel of 1872. I’m inclined
to agree with Verne as I hurtle through
undulating hills, brooding forests, and squat
crofter’s cottages tucked into the corners of olive-green and
tobacco-brown fields. Trains, at least the very best ones, feel
as much part of the landscape as the amber hues of sunlight
bleaching Scotland’s early-morning winter sky.
It’s 8am and we’re running at least an hour late on
Britain’s longest train: 16 carriages that contain things seen
nowhere else on the UK rail network – such as single malt
whiskies, comfortable sofas, double beds, and Eggs Royale on
fresh muffins. These have all been drunk, sat in, slept on, and
consumed since I left Euston at just past 9pm yesterday.
But the rarest sighting of all is the expression on the faces
of my well-heeled fellow passengers. Abandoning motorways
and budget flights to be here, all along the train are people
who look positively happy.
The Caledonian Sleeper has had a rough time over the last
year, though nowhere near as rough as it’s sometimes been for
fanatical fans of sleeper trains such as myself, who put up
with what was on offer before.