Glasgow to Fort William by train

How to make the fabulous train journey from Glasgow to Fort William

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Routes

From Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William

Travel Information

Final destination: Mallaig

All trains also call at: Arrochar & Tarbet; Crianlarich; Bridge Of Orchy; Rannoch and Spean Bridge

Mon - Sat = 4 x trains per day
Sundays = 2 x trains

Tickets

Book Early and Save: Yes

Online Bookings Usually Open: from 12 weeks ahead of the travel date (usually)

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the three key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets in usual circumstances are:
(1) You can only travel on the specific departure you select when making a booking.
(2) The ticket(s) cannot either be refunded, if you subsequently change your plans, or be exchanged to another departure.
(3) These tickets have seats specified on them, so in effect they come with seat reservations, though you won't have to sit in the seats you have been assigned for the ticket to be valid.

Travelling on Saturday-Sunday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.

If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and Advance tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date.
It can be worth checking this on the National Rail website - enter ScotRail as the operator.

Booking at the station

If you will be booking at the station on the travel date , you will have to purchase non-discounted Off-Peak or Anytime tickets - with Anytime tickets being the most expensive of all.

Offers and deals

ScotRail offers ticketing deals when Adults travel with children or in groups, so when booking online it's worth checking to confirm whether the total price being charged is inclusive of these deals.
Or you can book these deals at a station ticket office.
If Advance tickets are available the booking clerk will ask if that's your preference, though be aware that Advance deals can't be refunded or exchanged if one or more members of a party subsequently can't make the trip.

If you do opt to book these deals at the station you won't ever charged more than the online price and the booking clerk may be able to point out a money saving option.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
ScotRail *

ScotRail Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain viewsCoastal viewsRiver views

Good to Know

Two trains are usually joined together on departure from Glasgow, the front train will be heading to Oban and the rear train will be the train travelling to Mallaig via Fort William.

To make the most of the train journey from Glasgow to Fort William ShowMeTheJourney's recommendation is to be at Queen Street station, ready to board, a minimum of 20 - 30 minutes before departure.
You can then be among the first passengers to step on to the train and seek out spare window seats on the left-hand side; as the overwhelming majority of the best views during the journey can be appreciated from that side of the train.

Ignore your seat reservations when you first board, because you may have been assigned seats on the right-hand side; and by the time you have found your seats, the optimum seats over on the left may have been occupied.
The ultimate travel experience when taking the train to Fort William, is to have a table seat by the windows on the left, but most of the seats on the train aren't at tables.
The table seats line up with the windows, so they have the best views, which is why such seats on the left are worth seeking out.

The unreserved seats don't have paper labels stuck on them.
You won't have to sit in the seat(s) you have been assigned for your ticket to be valid.

If you've struck lucky and found such seats, you can then take a look as to where your reserved seats are located - if they happen to be the same type of seat, by the table, on the left, then you should move to them instead, it will stop other passengers from assuming that they're not available.

Though particularly in the summer months these can be fairly busy trains, so on Fridays and Saturdays you may be grateful to have assigned seats, even if they happen to be over on the right.

Passing by Loch Gare after departing from Helensburgh Passing by Loch Gare after departing from Helensburgh
Looking down on the aptly named Loch Long Looking down on the aptly named Loch Long
Passing by the village of Arrochar Passing by the village of Arrochar
Looking at the notes this was taken between Clanriach and Tyndrum Looking at the notes this was taken between Clanriach and Tyndrum
The railway follows a horseshoe curve north of Tyndrum - this is the view looking right The railway follows a horseshoe curve north of Tyndrum - this is the view looking right
Passing by Loch Tulla Passing by Loch Tulla
This image was captured near Bridge Of Orchy station This image was captured near Bridge Of Orchy station
The view further north approaching Rannoch station The view further north approaching Rannoch station
Crossing Rannoch Moor Crossing Rannoch Moor
Passing by Loch Treig on route to Tulloch station Passing by Loch Treig on route to Tulloch station
Sharing the valley with the River Spean Sharing the valley with the River Spean
Arriving in Fort William Arriving in Fort William
Along the north bank of The River Clyde Along the north bank of The River Clyde
After Garelochead looking down on the left where Loch Goil meets Loch Long After Garelochead looking down on the left where Loch Goil meets Loch Long
There are views over Loch Lomond until Ardlui station There are views over Loch Lomond until Ardlui station

Step on board for Britain's most beautiful train journey, the ride along the West Highland Line.

Around 25 minutes into the journey, after the train has departed from Dalmuir (where connections are available with trains from Glasgow Central), the railway begins to travel along the north bank of The Clyde Estuary.
The train will spend around 20 minutes travelling by the river until it arrives in Helensburgh.

Between Helensburgh and Arrochar & Tarbet there are spectacular views on the left down over two sea lochs, Loch Gare followed by Loch Long.

Between Arroacher & Tarbet and Ardlui, Loch Lommond is over to the right; though the railway is set back from shore, so for most of this part of the journey, the loch can only be glimpsed through the trees.

Since leaving Arroacher & Tarbet the train will have been travelling the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national park and between Adrlui and Tyndrum it is the hills of The Trossachs which surround the train.

North of Tyndrum the railway travels through a series of wildly desolate Highland glens, which comprise one of the most spectacular parts of the journey.

After departing Bridge of Orchy station Loch Tulla comes into view on the left.
Between there and Rannoch, the railway provides exclusive access to a lonely landscape with no roads and few signs of habitation.
The landscape becomes even more barren when the train departs the station to cross Rannoch Moor.

Then shortly after departing Corrour station, the beautiful Loch Treig is on the left and the train will spend around 15 minutes travelling by it.

Between Tulloch and Spean Bridge stations the railway follows the valley carved by the River Spean and the river is yet another highlight of the journey, which can be seen on the left when heading north.

Then for the final part of the journey the landscape opens out, so the sweeping distant views once again become the dominant feature, Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain peak, can be seen on the left near journey's end.

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