Near the highest point on the UK main line rail network

Glasgow to Inverness by train

How to travel from Glasgow to Inverness on the beautiful train journey

Share

Routes

From Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness

Travel Information

Final Destination: Inverness

All trains also call at: Perth, Pitlochry, Kingussie and Aviemore

Inter7City trains are now used on most departures, but the Turbostar trains are also used, particularly at weekends.

Connecting to the Far North Line:

If you will be continuing a journey north from Inverness, the connections on towards Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso and Wick are much better timed when travelling from Glasgow, compared to journeys from Edinburgh.

On Mondays to Saturdays the first two trains of the day from Glasgow have the most convenient connections into trains on to both Kyle of Lochalsh (for Skye) and Wick via Thurso
You can also depart Glasgow in the afternoon and head for Kyle of Lochalsh, though the journey involves taking the 13:40 train, which will be heading to Aberdeen, and making connections in both Stirling and Inverness.
The 15:07 departure from Glasgow typically has a five minute connection in Inverness into the final train of the day on to Wick.

On Sundays there is only one end-to-end journey option available which typically involves departing Glasgow at 13:05 on a train heading to Aberdeen and then connecting in Stirling (see below) or Perth and in Inverness.

Monday to Saturday = 5 x trains per day
Sunday = 3 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 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, so they won't be valid if you miss the train due to any circumstances not attributable to the train operator.
(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 less than a couple of hours prior to departure, you will have to purchase non-discounted Off-Peak or Anytime tickets, with Anytime tickets being the most expensive of all.
On this route you will have to pay the Anytime rate on departures between 16:30 and 19:00 when Mondays to Fridays are working days
Because if you do depart Glasgow at those times only the more expensive type of Anytime tickets will be available

Deals and offers

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 - YesMountain views

Good to Know

Additional connections are available by taking other trains from Glasgow Queen Street, which typically depart at these times

  • 08:41 on Tues, Weds, Thurs and Friday
  • 09:33 on Sunday
  • 10:41 on Monday to Saturday
  • 13:40 on Monday to Saturday
  • 13:45 on Sunday
  • 15:45 on Sunday
  • 17:41 on Monday to Saturday
  • 19:37 on Monday to Saturday

The station and on train announcements will suggest that the connection can be made at Perth.
However, at Perth the transfer between the trains involves crossing the station from one side to the other, so if you have luggage etc, it's easier to make the connection at Stirling instead.
Because at that station the trains from Glasgow to Aberdeen and Dundee and the trains from Edinburgh to Inverness, which you will be connecting into, typically use the same platform; which therefore saves the bother of having to use the footbridges within Perth station.

The connecting time between trains at Perth or Stirling will typically be 10 - 20 mins, but as SMTJ discovered recently the connection is not guaranteed!
The Edinburgh to Inverness won't be held back if the train from Glasgow is delayed by more than a couple of mins.

North of Larbert the views on the left stretch into the distance North of Larbert the views on the left stretch into the distance
Looking to the right north of Stirling Looking to the right north of Stirling
Passing by The River Earn on left to the south of Perth Passing by The River Earn on left to the south of Perth
Through the foothills of The Cairngorms near Blair Atholl Through the foothills of The Cairngorms near Blair Atholl
Between Dalwhinnie and Newtonmore Between Dalwhinnie and Newtonmore
Approaching the Highlands between Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Approaching The Highlands between Pitlochry and Blair Atholl
Crossing The River Findhorn north of Carrbridge Crossing The River Findhorn north of Carrbridge
Near the highest point on the UK main line rail network Near the highest point on the UK main line rail network
Passing by Loch Insh on the right, south of Aviemore Passing by Loch Insh on the right, south of Aviemore
Heading through the mountains south of Dalwhinnie Heading through the mountains south of Dalwhinnie
The River Tummel is on the left south of Pitlochry The River Tummel is on the left south of Pitlochry
Arriving into Inverness and looking over the Moray Firth Arriving into Inverness and looking over the Moray Firth

This is a journey which becomes ever more dramatic the further the train travels from Glasgow.

It offers a preview of what's to come once you have travelled through Stirling, because between there and Perth, the railway passes through a rolling landscape.

Then after Perth the remainder of the journey will be on the Highland main line, which lives up to its name, because the highest elevation on the British rail network is attained on this line.

For the final two hours epic views of the rugged highland landscape can be appreciated from both sides of the train!

Take the stress out of your journey Everything planned to your specification, so sit back and relax… Try Concierge

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest travel news stories and to hear about what we've been working on for you.

See if there’s a unique journey guide for your trip, featuring info on the trains, tickets & stations.
Leaving From
Going To
ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 1000 journey guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.