I’ve been cutting about the Ft Bill to Laggan stretch a few times recently, and it’s shuffled previous thoughts to the surface again. I love industrial stuff, the visit to the pipes on the recent Ben Vorlich trip was, oddly perhaps, a highlight. And the narrow gauge railway that ran from Loch Treig to the Ft Bill smelter has always caught my imagination as so much of the infrastructure still exists.
The film footage I’ve got of it in use showed the possibilities, the stories from locals about how it was sabotaged by deliberate neglect so that it wouldn’t pass into tourist use tells of a depressingly familiar attitude. So, if it can’t be a railway again without spending big bucks, couldn’t it be a proper path and cycleway? I passes through the Aonach Mor tracks anyway, but I suppose that would forever block the rail option though.
There’s a cracking collection of photies here, and an out-of-print book. I really fancy walking the route of the line from end to end, a train from Ft Bill to Fersit and then a walk back. I wonder how many fences you would have to climb and how many security men would chase you as you got further west? No summits to tick which is nice, instead there’s confrontations to collect, bridges to bag, sleepers to stockpile, rails to er, round up?
My to-do list is getting longer all the time.