It was the moment we had been waiting for: the 7am wake-up call. The lovely ScotRail’s stewardess, Kathy, had promised to wake us up with tea and bacon rolls so we could catch the dawn rising over Rannoch moor as we sped towards Fort William.
Except it wasn’t. The lovely Kathy was there alright, banging loudly on the door. But it was 5am. Handing us some biscuits and orange juice, she hurried us to dress and get out onto the station — at Edinburgh — as fast as we could.
There had been a landslide on the last stretch of track on the way to Fort William. Our train wasn’t going any further. Instead, those of us on the sleeper train heading for Fort William were hustled out of the station under the coldest and blackest of Edinburgh skies to wait for a coach. Yes, a coach. Those romantic dreams of taking the Highlander sleeper train whistling through the night from Euston to the glorious west coast of Scotland had bitten the dust.