Railcam at Glenfinnan Viaduct

Railcam UK Ltd are proud to be partnering Locheilnet to bring live views of the world famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, as never seen before.

Railcam has over 10 years experience in bringing live lineside footage to rail enthusiasts around the world, with locations such as Crewe, Doncaster and Derby, which are rich in railway history, to more scenic locations including Ribblehead Viaduct, Ryde Esplanade & Pier (Isle of Wight), Teignmouth Estuary and York’s historic railway station.

Recently we’ve seen a huge upturn in the use of our cameras, allowing rail enthusiasts to maintain their interest in the hobby during the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns across the UK, but our cameras have reached beyond the enthusiasts circle, with a number of other uses including keeping children entertained during lockdown, to featuring in early years classes allowing children to recognise different colours of trains, and counting the coaches!

On the back of a recent feature by the popular railway YouTuber Geoff Marshall (of All The Stations fame) featuring our popular Ryde Esplanade & Pier camera, Ali Hodnett, Network Operations Manager with Locheilnet, contacted us regarding the potential of hosting a camera overlooking Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Locheilnet has been providing Broadband to households and businesses in rural Lochaber, Scotland for almost 10 years and today have some 500 customers enjoying Superfast connections. Locheilnet has a robust and well established community business whose local Directors give their time voluntarily to ensure that their customers continue to get great service.

 Chris Pellow, Locheilnet Manager added:

“Locheilnet, a local community broadband provider, is delighted to help Railcam bring footage of a very popular and loved location to the wider world.Apart from serving the nearly 500 customers in the rural areas of Lochaber, Locheilnet gladly contributes to the success of many local events such as the Six Day Trials, Glenfinnan games, Nevis Radio and of course the worldwide attraction of the osprey nest camera on Loch Arkaig. We hope that rail enthusiasts and fans of Glenfinnan all over the word, will enjoy the views through this fantastic initiative.”

 Find out more about the work of Locheilnet by clicking here

Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Scotland, made all the more so after featuring in the Harry Potter series of films, Glenfinnan has alway been a bucket list location for rail enthusiasts and travellers from around the world. The legendary Gelnfinnan Viaduct was opened on 1st April 1901 and has served the northern section of the West Highland Line ever since.

The West Highland Line connects Glasgow with Fort William and Mallaig, and was a crucial artery for the local fishing industry and the Highlands economy in general, which suffered enormously after the Highland Clearances of the 1800s. The line is used by passenger trains operated by ScotRail between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig, usually Class 156 diesel multiple units. Additionally a number of charter services visit the West Highland Line throughout the year.

Friend of Railcam, Rail Historian and host of the popular TV series The Architecture The Railways Built, Tim Dunn said,

“I’ve spent a significant chunk of the last few months travelling to see fascinating railway buildings for ‘The Architecture The Railways Built’ on TV – but now this Railcam has been launched there’s almost no need to go and see Glenfinnan at all! At least I’m not going to get extremely wet, as I have done every other time I’ve been to see this incredibly historically important structure. It’ll be fun seeing Live Chat reactions from all over the world when the ‘Harry Potter’ trains steam over too…”

Harry Potter fans will be well aware of the Hogwarts Express, which crosses the viaduct in the popular films, but the real life service is known as The Jacobite, which is operated by the West Coast Railway Company with their fleet of LMS Stanier Class 5 locomotives, or ‘Black 5’s’. Two return trips per day operate during the season, between Fort William and Mallaig, a majestic sight that is enjoyed by thousands of travellers each year, and one that we are delighted to bring to many thousands more via our live camera stream. Another popular visitor to look out for will bee the luxury Royal Scotsman, operated by Belmond with specially liveried GB Railfreight Class 66 diesel locomotives. You never know, if you look really hard, you may spot a light blue Flying Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe……

Railcam Director Adrian Bradshaw added:

“At Railcam, we have a wish-list of iconic UK railway locations, which we would love to be able to bring to our members. We are delighted to be able to tick one of those off the list today! A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible, but teaming-up with Locheilnet has enabled us to broadcast from this remotest of locations – in glorious ultra-HD! We feel sure that the spectacular views will find new audiences around the world, not just from rail enthusiasts, but from anyone with an interest in the fabulous Scottish Highland scenery. For our own subscribers though, the main attraction will be the famous Jacobite steam service which runs over the line every year. No doubt the legions of Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise Glenfinnan and will be able to watch steam services crossing the famous curved viaduct, just as the Hogwarts Express did in the movies. In short, Glenfinnan has something for everyone!

Glenfinnan Camera will be available to ad-free to Railcam Supporters, and free to view for all Railcam members via the Railcam website. There will also be a stream available via the Railcam YouTube page.

Launch date Sunday 25th April, 10am UK time


About Railcam

Railcam UK Ltd operate a network of railway themed live streaming cameras, based in the United Kingdom. Since 2009 we have grown from a small enthusiast group with a single camera in Preston, to a globally accessed rail enthusiast hub with in excess of 100 cameras both owned and maintained by Railcam, and guest cameras from around the world. The Railcam portfolio has expanded to include access to train schedules and live signalling diagrams to accompany the viewing experience. Despite the growth, Railcam UK is still run by a dedicated group of rail enthusiasts and relies on the sterling efforts of its team of volunteers.

An extremely popular social media community has grown over the years and now boasts 45k YouTube, 25k+ Facebook and 15k+ Twitter followers/subscribers, this to add to 40k+ Railcam members.

 Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

www.railcam.uk

email – admin@railcam.uk

New video showcases ScotRail fight against Covid-19

A new video is showcasing the work ScotRail staff have put in to keeping customers and colleagues safe and moving during the coronavirus pandemic.

It highlights the fact that since March, deep cleans on trains to prevent the spread of the virus have increased by 270 percentage points.

Cleaning staff are concentrating their efforts on all areas people frequently come into contact with, known as ‘touch points’. These include ticket machines, gates, handrails, lift surfaces, pay phones, and door handles.

During the pandemic almost one million disposable gloves and 19,000 litres of anti-viral cleaner have been used and more than 8,000 hours of additional cleaning has been carried out.

The video-diary style programme also shows ScotRail staff coming together each Thursday evening at eight o’clock to clap, and sound their train horns, for key workers.

The impact of the pandemic on ScotRail’s passenger numbers is also reflected in scenes featuring significantly less busy stations and trains, with passengers observing the train operator’s five rules for safer travel, which include wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“This video has been made by ScotRail as a tribute to colleagues who have worked so hard to keep Scotland moving by rail.

“All of our staff have always gone the extra mile to make sure customers are able to use Scotland’s Railway safely and get to and from their destination with the minimum of fuss.

“I am so proud of the work that has been done and this video is a testament to ScotRail’s efforts during the pandemic.”

Investigation into a passenger train derailment near Carmont, Aberdeenshire, 12 August 2020. : Rail Accident Investigation Branch release

The RAIB is investigating a fatal accident that occurred near Carmont on the national rail network in Scotland.

At around 09:40 hrs on Wednesday 12 August 2020, all six vehicles of a passenger train derailed after striking a landslip around 1.4 miles (2.25 km) north-east of Carmont, Aberdeenshire. There were nine people on the train at the time of the accident; three train crew (the driver, conductor and a second conductor travelling as a passenger on this train) and six passengers. Tragically, the driver of the train, the train’s conductor and one passenger suffered fatal injuries in the accident. The remaining passengers and member of train crew were taken to hospital.

The site of the accident was approximately four miles (6.4 km) south-west of Stonehaven and 20 miles (32 km) north of Montrose, on the double track main line which runs between Dundee and Aberdeen. The train, which was operated by Abellio (trading as ScotRail), was a High Speed Train set with a leading power car, four Mark 3 passenger coaches and a rear power car. It had originally been operating as train reporting number 1T08, the 06:38 hrs service from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street. Train 1T08 had departed on time from Aberdeen and then from Stonehaven, its next scheduled stop. After departing Stonehaven, the train continued past Carmont on the up (southbound) line until it was stopped by the signaller at Carmont, using a radio message. This was because the signaller had just received a report from the driver of a train on the down (northbound) line that a landslip was obstructing the up line between Carmont and Laurencekirk.

Google Earth image showing key locations
Google Earth image showing key locations

When it became apparent that train 1T08 could not continue its journey south, the decision was taken to return it to Aberdeen, and it was routed back over a crossover at Carmont onto the down line. After travelling for approximately 1.4 miles (2.25 km), the train struck a landslip covering the down line and derailed. As the track curved to the right, the train continued in a roughly straight line for around 100 yards (90 metres) until it struck a section of bridge parapet, which was destroyed. The leading power car continued over the bridge and then fell from the railway down a wooded embankment, as did the third passenger carriage. The first passenger carriage came to rest on its roof, having rotated to be at right angles to the track. The second passenger carriage also overturned onto its roof and came to rest on the first carriage. The fourth passenger carriage remained upright and attached to the rear power car; it also came to rest on the first carriage. All wheelsets of the rear power car derailed, but it remained upright.

Aerial photograph of derailment site
Aerial photograph of derailment site

We are currently collecting evidence needed to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences. The scope of the investigation is likely to include:

  • the sequence of events and the actions of those involved
  • the operating procedures applied
  • the management of earthworks and drainage in this area, including recent inspections and risk assessments
  • the general management of earthworks and drainage and associated procedures designed to manage the risk of extreme weather events
  • the behaviour of the train during, and following the derailment
  • the consequences of the derailment and a review of the damage caused to the rolling stock
  • underlying management factors
  • actions taken in response to previous safety recommendations

We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.

The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, and of the joint investigation instructed by the Lord Advocate to be carried out by British Transport Police, Police Scotland and by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.