Yesterday was glorious! Fabulous weather and a steam train. What more could anyone want? I have seen the Strathspey steam train sitting in Aviemore station on several occasions, but have never been on it. The railway runs from Aviemore through Boat of Garten to Broomhill, and is usually pulled by a steam engine. The route is scenic, with lovely views. For the first part of the journey it passes through areas of open birch forest, with paths for both walkers and bikers. In these photos, it looks as if the birches and willows are still leafless, but in fact closer inspection shows that the catkins are nearly over and the buds have broken open. The mid-way stop is at Boat of Garten. Here the old DMU (diesel multiple unit), which is used regularly on the line, is kept. The journey then continues to Broomhill, where the engine comes to the other end of the train…. … to run backwards for the return journey. We were now in the front carriage. All have been lovingly restored to British Rail days and were so shiny the reflections were perfect! The engine hauling our train is an ex-GWR 2-6-0, built in Swindon and rebuilt in Aviemore, as plates on each side of the front show: We had enough time to get out and investigate the engine, as everyone should. I was travelling with Steve and Nigel (who enjoyed it thoroughly, but who didn’t want to smile for the camera!!) The cab was shining almost as much as the carriages. The children got to go inside if they wanted to – what a waste – kids get all the fun and don’t remember it!! Running back to Aviemore, there was plenty of steam on the gradients. And the views of the Spey with the Cairngorms beyond were beautiful. We also passed work on the line – much of it is, at present, single track, but they were doubling it in places. The whole trip took about 90 mins. It would have been good fun whatever the weather, but the blue, blue skies made everything even better!!