OVERNIGHT trains will run to Oban for the first time for 51 years to gauge demand for a permanent service, the Caledonian Sleeper announced today.
Sleeper trains have not served the west coast port, apart from occasional diversions, since 1965.
They will operate to and from Oban from 12-14, 19-21 and 26-28 February.
Fort William passengers will be transferred by bus.
Caledonian Sleeper managing director Peter Strachan said: “We are altering our service in February due to planned engineering works by Network Rail.
“We have chosen to stop at Oban rather than provide bus travel from Tulloch [near Fort William] because we would like to receive feedback on this route from guests and local businesses to inform our long-term planning.
“As we continue to progress our plans for the Caledonian Sleeper service over the next 15 years, we are keen to explore the possibility of extending our route.
“While stopping in Oban is a short-term solution for a few weekends in February, it will give us the chance to test the appetite locally.”
The service’s ageing carriages are due to be replaced with brand new coaches that have en suite facilities including showers in some cabins, and lie-flat seats, in 2018.