One of the most attractive service innovations for visitors to Argyll was ScotRail’s introduction for the summer of 2010 of a day return train between Edinburgh and Oban.
As well as giving people the opportunity to take a quick taster day out to the west coast at Oban, arguably the most scenically beautiful town on this coast, the train also cuts directly to the west without first going east through Glasgow.
This is done by routing the train via the Cowlairs incline through what is now the Pinkston Junction. So for train buffs as well as travellers, this trip is something of a collectors’ item.
Last season, the inaugural one for the journey, Oban and Lorn Tourism Association (OLTA) arranged a lively reception at Oban Station for their welcome visitors. There were pipers from the Oban Pipe Band – this year they’re world champions.
There were OLTA members there handing out maps, discount vouchers and information. It was party central.
Tickets are now on sale for for the 2010 Sunday service which launches on 26th June 2011.
A day return ticket costs £36 from Edinburgh, Haymarket, Linlithgow, Polmont and Falkirk High. Railcard holders can obtain their usual discounts for this journey.
Graeme Macfarlan, Scotrail’s Marketing Manager, says: ‘This new direct service between Edinburgh and Oban is convenient, excellent value and a great day out – especially as there’s no need to change at Glasgow. We’ll be offering cream teas and other refreshments on board so people can relax and enjoy the fantastic scenery unfolding outside the window’ (provided some inroads have been made on the trackside scrub which, last year, obliterated most of the genuinely staggering views. (The wild west: route notes for the Sunday Edinburgh-Oban direct train.)
The service will run for 10 weeks, until 28th August inclusive, giving people five hours to explore all that Oban has to offer.
The train departs from Edinburgh Waverley each Sunday at 08.10 and arrives in Oban at 12.06. The return service departs from Oban at 17.04, arriving in Edinburgh at 21.09.
Customers can book tickets:
- at Scotrail online
- via ScotRail Telesales on 08457 55 00 33
- or at any staffed station.