British Rail Scotland in the 1980s and early 1990s

26037 and 27005 Stirling Railway Station

Class 26 & Class 27 - Stirling

28 May 1982

Travelling Post Office (TPO) Up Special Train Glasgow Central 1989

TPO Up Special - Glasgow Central

10 Jul 1989

Deltic Scotsman Farewell 55022 Royal Scots Grey 1982 - Edinburgh

Deltic Farewell - Edinburgh

02 Jan 1982

The Freedom of Scotland that's what British Rail in the 1980s offered with their rail rover of the same name. An opportunity to both see Scotland and to photograph the railway scene. The railways in Scotland at that time still offered locomotive hauled trains, sempahore signalling and character in its stations. As time has gone by modernisation and rationlisation have continued to sadly remove what made the railways interesting.

The photographs displayed here are a selection of 150 photos from around 2,000 photos that I took during the 1980s and early 1990s on British Rail in Scotland.

The Freedom of Scotland rail rover also allowed rail travel just across the border into England at Carlisle on the West Coast main line and to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the East Coast main line. Photos from these locations are included in this selection. The photos though are mainly concentrated on the Central Lowlands, the Highland line and the line to Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland.

Photo Locations

Click the name of a location below to see photos from that area (number of photos is in brackets)

All the photographs were taken with a Canon A1 film camera using either Kodachrome 64 or Kodak Ektachrome colour slide film or for the black and white images Kodak Plus-X (125 ASA) or Kodak Tri-X (400 ASA).

The images were digitised using a Nikon D7200 camera on a tripod, with a Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8 G lens and the Nikon ES-2 Film Digitising Adapter Kit. The transfer of images from the camera to the PC was carried out using the Nikon ViewNX 2 software and the post processing of the images was done using Adobe Lightroom 3.0.

The Freedom of Scotland rail rover, now called Spirit of Scotland, is still offered today by ScotRail in two formats of either four days unlimited travel over eight consecutive days or eight days unlimited travel over fifteen consecutive days.

Freedom of Scotland

Freedom of Scotland Tickets 1980s

Some of my Freedom of Scotland rail rover tickets from the 1980s.

The Clansman
The Clansman Inverness to London Train
The Clansman Timetable Inverness to London Esuton 1976

A sadly lamented train of the time period even if it did take a long time to get to London!

Recommended Books
Trains of Thought - A W Hobson

Trains of Thought

A W Hobson

ISBN 0043850812
Allen & Unwin 1981

Phoenix Railway Photographic Circle - History and Ethos Video



British Rail Northern Scene - Andy Sparks

British Rail Northern Scene

Andy Sparks

ISBN 0750942584
History Press 2006



Stirling Railway Station

Stirling Railway Station

Faye McPherson & Jim MacIntosh

ISBN 0992824702
Caledonian Railway Association 2014

Caledonian Railway Association Shop