Dismantled tramway between Fersit and Coire Lair, rideable?

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  • Dismantled tramway between Fersit and Coire Lair, rideable?
  • Just plotting a route for the cross bike between Dalwhinnie and Spean Bridge/Glen Nevis.

    An option would be to take the dismantled tramway from Fersit onwards, but is it rideable?

    I’ve heard bits are a bit boggy, are we talking hike-a-bike boggy?



    Oooh – interesting….

    Last time I did this was many moons ago, descending from Stob Coire Easain into Coire Lair and back to the car at Fersit. IIRC, it was still pretty rough in places – corrugated as a result of the railbed. I take it you’ve been on the track further West already – or are you not going that way?

    Ha, I should just have asked you directly Druidh 😀

    I’ve answered my own question, very quickly, by finding some amazing pictures of disused bridges across gullies, some of which look distinctly unsafe, and certainly not for inclusion in a long route where time might be pressing.

    Certainly looks an exciting trip, it should REALLY be made into a sustrans route!


    First time I walked the Leanachan section, a lot of the bridges were “passable with care”. I’ve been back and it’s definitely safer to go down into the (sometimes quite steep/deep) gullies.

    Yeah, read some rumours that a landowner deliberately made one of the bridges impassable to prevent a cycle route being made? Sounds a little paranoid..


    The gullies are also complete midge-fests. Just what you need when you’re trying to manhandle a bike across a rocky river bed.

    I think this could be a blinder, 85km from Dalwhinnie to Glen Nevis Hostel, all good CXable landy tracks with some amazing looking bridges and ‘puggy line’ singletrack in Leananachan forest, not only that, you finish 350m lower than you start.

    Scheduled for 29th January, who’s in? 😀


    Slightly off this section, but you 2 guys obviously the ones in the know Scotland wise

    Spot of Munroing end Feb, driving to Rannoch station then heading up towards Sgor Gaibhre / Carn Dearg, how much of the track leading north into Allt Eigeaach is rideable, it`s a big 25km walk circuit otherwise
    ta 🙂

    I’ve only followed it as far as the junction with the Loch Ossian/Road to the Isles track, and it was perfectly good until then. Vague recollection of it looking like it continued good, but don’t hold me to that!

    Geograph is your friend 😉

    Premier Icon ton

    me and the lads did a section of this last september.

    i thought it was ace, bit damp, bit midgey, dodgy bridges and dodgy gully crossings.

    have it……… 8)

    Heather Bash

    Puggy line isnt worth the faffage imo – unless you’re on some sort of industrial heritage mission. Easier to pop on to the road at Inverlair Falls then nip down the road to Monessie Gorge (both spectacular)then follow the riverside trail to Corriechoille. Can’t vouch for the state of it West of that – I was on a train assisted circular back over the Lairig Leacach 😉

    Heather Bash, thats exactly the route I’ve plumped for. I like the idea of an industrial heritage mission, but not in January, and not as part of a fast’n’light CX romp.

    West of Corriechoille, I’ll start up the Lairig Leacach, then head west on a forest road that takes you into the forest, wee descent onto a footbridge then reascend on a forest path which brings you back on to the puggy line within the Leanachan Forest (some of which is the WC race course I think!).

    Premier Icon mangoridebike

    I think you’re right with that 13thfloormonk. I’ve gone a bit of the way along the puggy line from the forest path, but not all the way along to where it meets up with the Witches trails area. I’ve been trying to explore round that area when I can, but my time is pretty limited at the moment.

    the forest path going up to puggy line is a lot more fun going the other way, I’ve been looking for a way of connecting it up with a loop, but the bridge I wa hoping to use looked rather dodgy, and the path on the other side was essentially a bog, so not ideal for a quick blast.

    Heather Bash

    Sounds good – there’s a “this cant possibly be right” moment as you lift over the farm gate at the front door of a dilapidated farm cottage (297 805) and wade through a shit filled section of field but the trail becomes obvious again after you’ve negotiated the gates 😉

    Hope you get a frost – many of the estate roads up there suffer really badly with frost heave, wouldnt fancy traversing them with skinnny cx tyres.


    13FM are you doing this on 29th and looking for company? I’m nice in real life, honest 😎


    Heh thread killer LOLs

    haha, no no, no thread killer, I’m just trying to cement plans a bit.

    Think it’ll be this weekend now, my sort of girlfriend is back from 1 month in china next week so I should probably hang around next weekend if I want to keep her ‘sort of’ for a while longer…

    Al, train to dalwhinnie sat morning (22nd) ride to Glen Nevis is 85km, if the trails are slow re: Heather Bash’s advice we can bail onto tarmac for the a lot of the second half if needs be.

    Day 2 is following WHW from Glen Nevis to Kinlochleven, then whimpering around the coast road to Glen Coe, up the Glen on whatever trails we can find, back onto WHW to Bridge of Orchy/Tynrdrum for the 19:00 train back to civilisation.

    All welcome, so long as you can manage 85km on a CX bike in approx 5-6 hours!

    Premier Icon mangoridebike

    I might be interested in joining you for all or part of this too, depending on my availability. Young kids and long days in the saddle don’t really mix.

    EDIT – having read the above, I’m out – looks good though


    Ah no can do this weekend, have offered to babysit. Shame, this is exactly the sort of thing that I get excited about these days.

    Ah fook I remembered I’m doing the Inners enduro 29th anyway 🙄

    Hmm, sorry guys! I’d be glad to reschedule but my mate’s already on board and I’ve bailed/rescheduled on him so many times its not funny.

    HOWever, there’s all sorts of potential for big CX that I want to explore, next on the list is Dunblane to Killin via Sustrans, over to Pubil then through to Bridge of Orchy via Loch Lyon. I reckon there’s some local boys who post on here who would join us for that one.

    Find a weekend and we’ll book it in!

    Hope you get a frost – many of the estate roads up there suffer really badly with frost heave, wouldnt fancy traversing them with skinnny cx tyres

    13FM – might have been up for it a bit later in the year – getting a bit soft in my twilight years. Can confirm what Heather Bash said. The tracks have had their first thaw since November and even the well used ones are suffering from frost heave so the unused ones will be seriously heavy going. Seems like it’s worse even than last year


    I reckon there’s some local boys who post on here who would join us for that one.


    Premier Icon bullroar

    whimpering around the coast road to Glen Coe, up the Glen on whatever trails we can find, back onto WHW”

    Follow the old road through Glen Coe village, passed the Clachaig to where it meets the main road again, cross this and pick up a track on the south side of the road. The track goes between the Loch and road. Follow it passed and below the parking areas on the main road to Allt Na Ruigh. Cross the road and pick up a trail on the North Side (you may have to do a short road section here). You should be able to follow this all the way to the big layby opposite Lagangarbh where you can rejoin the WHW.

    … I’m not liking this chat about frost heave…

    Thankfully, the only off-road we’re committed to is the first section from Dalwhinnie to Kinlochlaggan, if its stinking we can just hop on the road.

    Premier Icon mangoridebike

    The frost heave around Spean has been pretty bad, the last few rides have not been much fun. I’ve not ventured very far afield though.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    We did this in late october, big mistake. boggy, bridges out, complete time waste imho…

    Are you referring to the tramway Rickmeister?

    We’ve planned around avoiding most of it now, other than the stuff in Leanachan forest where NevisRange have developed the trails.

    Not that I think it matters to anyone now (Hi cynic-al, nice to have met you 😀 ) but prohibitively expensive tickets to Dalwhinnie have resulted in a change of plan. Its now an almost circuit from Corrour station to Fersit and back to Glen Nevis.

    £41 single to Dalwhinnie or £31 return to Ft William, is this First Scotrail profiting on all the extra commuters that use the East Coast line?

    Premier Icon irc

    £41 single is robbery. There are cheaper fares booking in advance. Checking on Trainline.com for example the 7.06 Sat 29th Jan Glasgow – Dalwhinnie single is £19. Though book on the same train for Glw – Inverness and it is £10. Not much Scotrail can do if you get off early?

    On the Inverness line if you booked a ticket to Inverness with the idea of getting of early you would just have to make sure your train stopped at every station. I believe some fast trains don’t stop at every station.

    The drawback with Trainline.com is you can’t book bikes online. There is another site http://tickets.eastcoast.co.uk which allows online bike bookings.

    Yeah, in fairness I have enjoyed some spectacularly cheap journeys after booking in advance, I’ve just not got it into my thick skull that booking 2 days prior to travelling = expense!


    So how was the trip?

    Brilliant, I’ll post some photos later.

    Corrour Station/Loch Ossian was stunning, the roads were frozen solid and there was some ice about, but nothing that slowed us down. Once we left Loch Ossian behind the track got a little wetter from thaw, then turned back to mushy/slidy stuff on our way into the Loch Laggan forest.

    I feel we may have missed an opportunity with the tramline, because the farm tracks we rode after the Monessa gorge bridge would normally be very deep churned mudded, but they were frozen solid. Makes me wonder how the tramline would have ridden after all.

    Once we got into Leanachan we mostly followed the puggy line straight through, although some of it had been obliterated by forest roads and there was a 100metre section that had some fallen trees and unrideable forester tracks on it. We ended up getting a bit lost and found ourselves on the flat ‘middle’ section of the DH track (after the steep stuff, before the motorway) which we had no choice but to ride. I loved every moment of that but my mate was less sure. After that it was puggy line all the way (in the dark by this point) into Ft William. I feel I missed out on this bit, I’d forgotten my headlights so was riding a bit blind but my impression was fast, easy singletrack on a slight gradient all the way to the aluminium works. We met a couple of guys out on a night ride halfway down who pointed us in the right direction.

    We then rolled in to Glen Nevis hostel watching a string of headtorches coming down off Ben Nevis in the dark, all the way from the summit, which was pretty epic.

    Next day was a fairly standard route from Ft William to Glen Coe on the road, through Glen Coe on the little track (thanks Bullroar, although you forgot to warn us about the massive, rotten deer carcass down there! 😕 ) across the top on the old road again (stopping to investigate ‘The Squirrel’s Drey’) then onto the WHW to Tyndrum (skipping the techy bits where possible, we were on ss CX bikes).

    Great ride that I’d do again for sure, once I figure out how to stop my knees hurting so much! Would recommend the route although it would probably be a bit dull on mountainbikes.

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