Railcam starts live online streaming of Glenfinnan and its famous viaduct

The Railcam camera, pictured high above Glenfinnan, started streaming live images online from Sunday. NO F18 Glenfinnan Camera
The Railcam camera, pictured high above Glenfinnan, started streaming live images online from Sunday. NO F18 Glenfinnan Camera

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A popular streaming service that brings live lineside footage to rail enthusiast around the world has now added Glenfinnan Viaduct to its list of sites.

Railcam UK Ltd has over 10 years experience in bringing live lineside footage to train fans, with cameras at locations such as Crewe, Doncaster and Derby, which are rich in railway history.

Announcing the addition of the iconic Lochaber location to its live streams as of last Sunday, Railcam said the Covid lockdown has seen a huge upturn in the use of its cameras, allowing rail enthusiasts to maintain their interest in the hobby during the  pandemic.

However, Railcam says the lockdown has also seen its cameras reaching beyond the usual train enthusiasts circle, with a number of other uses, including keeping children entertained during lockdown, to featuring in early years classes allowing children to recognise different colours of trains, and counting the coaches.

On the back of a recent feature by the popular railway YouTuber Geoff Marshall (of All The Stations fame), Ali Hodnett, network operations manager with Locheilnet contacted Railcam regarding a potential location overlooking Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Locheilnet has been providing broadband to households and businesses in rural Lochaber for almost 10 years and today has some 500 customers.

Lochelinet manager Chris Pellow said: ‘Locheilnet is delighted to help Railcam bring footage of a very popular and loved location to the wider world.

‘Apart from serving the nearly 500 customers in the rural areas of Lochaber, Locheilnet gladly contributes to the success of many local events such as the Six Day Trials, Glenfinnan games, Nevis Radio and of, course, the worldwide attraction of the osprey nest camera on Loch Arkaig.

‘We hope that rail enthusiasts and fans of Glenfinnan all over the word, will enjoy the views through this fantastic initiative.’

Perhaps one of the most famous locations in Scotland, made all the more so after featuring in the Harry Potter series of films, Glenfinnan has always been a bucket list location for rail enthusiasts and travellers from around the world.

The legendary viaduct celebrated its centenary on April 1, and has served the northern section of the West Highland Line ever since.

Railway historian and friend of Railcam, Tim Dunn, added: ‘I’ve spent a significant chunk of the last few months travelling to see fascinating railway buildings for The Architecture The Railways Built on TV, but now this Railcam has been launched there’s almost no need to go and see Glenfinnan at all!

‘At least I’m not going to get extremely wet, as I have done every other time I’ve been to see this incredibly historically important structure. It’ll be fun seeing live chat reactions from all over the world when the ‘Harry Potter’ trains steam over too.’

Harry Potter fans will be well aware of the Hogwarts Express, which crosses the viaduct in the popular films, but the real life service is known as The Jacobite, which is operated by the West Coast Railway Company with their fleet of LMS Stanier Class 5 locomotives, or Black 5s as they are called.

Railcam director Adrian Bradshaw explained that until a few years ago this would not have been possible, but teaming-up with Locheilnet has enabled Railcam to broadcast from this remotest of locations – in ultra-HD.

‘We feel sure that the spectacular views will find new audiences around the world, not just from rail enthusiasts, but from anyone with an interest in the fabulous Scottish Highland scenery,’ he added.

‘For our own subscribers though, the main attraction will be the famous Jacobite steam service which runs over the line every year. No doubt the legions of Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise Glenfinnan and will be able to watch steam services crossing the famous curved viaduct, just as the Hogwarts Express did in the movies. In short, Glenfinnan has something for everyone.’

Glenfinnan Camera will be available ad-free to Railcam Supporters, and free to view for all Railcam members via the Railcam website www.railcam.uk. There will also be a stream available via the Railcam YouTube page at www.youtube.com/c/RailcamUKLive