Recently, my husband Steve, and I visited Edinburgh for a long weekend, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. During the course of the weekend, we visited the Castle and the Scotch Whisky Experience, as well as a few other attractions. However, the main reason for the visit was a day trip to Aberdeen and back on Tornado. Although I’d seen Tornado before, neither of us had been on any of the rail tours, and this one was special as it also took us over the Forth Bridge.
Tornado arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Station, ten minutes before departure and, judging by the number of people waiting to board, it wouldn’t be ready to leave on time. However, I needn’t have worried – with everyone looking for the right carriage, it didn’t take long for seats to be found and bags stowed.
As we had booked the First Dining seats (well, it was a special occasion, after all), it wasn’t long before the Welcome drinks were being poured and breakfast orders were being taken.
The journey took us over the Forth Bridge and, despite the grey and cloudy weather, we had a good view of the Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. We passed stunning views of the Lomond Hills, as we approached Perth. Where modern trains would cross the Tay Bridge to get to Dundee, Tornado had to take the long route around to Dundee, via Perth. As our guide book informed us, “Tornado is not currently cleared for passage of the Tay Bridge”.
After Perth, we followed the estuary and mouth of the river Tay, which then led into Golfing territory, passing through stations like Golf Street and Carnoustie. Onwards we continued through Arbroath and over the viaduct across Montrose Basin, a 2 square mile inland tidal lagoon. From Montrose, we passed through Stonehaven, on through breathtaking scenery until we reached our destination, Aberdeen.
We had a few hours to pass in Aberdeen, so we spent some time in the Maritime Museum, near the ferry. As you’d expect, there was much on the history of the area and associated trades like fishing, whaling, shipbuilding and oil. What I didn’t expect to see was a Punch and Judy exhibition!
The return journey started on time and soon after we left Aberdeen, the orders were taken for the starters and the evening meal was served. Despite the amount of movement on these old carriages, there was remarkably little in the way of spills – at least, not much that I could see.
By the time the meals were cleared away, the light was going and there wasn’t much that could be seen, at least until we got closer to Edinburgh. As I’d already put my phone away, I wasn’t prepared for the new Queensferry Crossing, which was now lit up and looked incredible.
We arrived back at Waverley Station pretty much on time, just before 10.00pm, and joined the crowds to take a few last photos of Tornado before leaving the station. In all, it was a long day, but very enjoyable. I doubt that we’ll be able to do anything like this again, at least for a few years, but it was worth doing.
Tornado’s Main Line Trial Run R43B £20
125th Anniversary of the Forth Rail Bridge R264A £12.95
All the best
P.S. You can view either of the covers shown above in more detail by clicking on the image