|Photo credit Micheal Macintyre|
This happens periodically and usually the road can be re-opened in a day or two but this time it's been closed virtually continuously since 22 December 2011. Highland Council have been advised that the danger of further landslides is so great that the road will have to remain closed until some some radical surgery to the rockface is undertaken which could take weeks if not months.
|Road closed at point "X"|
Two vessels are being used - the first is the Sula Mhor, a boat which normally operates summer seal and dolphin spotting cruises out of Plockton (see Calum's Plockton Seal Trips):-
|Picture credit trawlerphotos.co.uk|
The other vessel will be the car ferry Glenachulish. She is the six car turntable ferry which normally operates the summer only Kylerhea ferry to Skye and is laid up in winter at the former oil rig construction site in nearby Loch Kishorn. She was originally built for the Ballachulish Ferry in 1969 but superseded by the Ballachulish Bridge in 1975. The Glenachulish will shuttle across the Strome Ferry between 9am and 5pm. See this link for the Council's arrangements for marshalling vehicles at the Golf Course on the north side and "at the cattle grid" on the south side. I must say, I can't quite visualise how this is going to work - and I'm not sure the Council can either. In the old days, you just drove up and joined the queue. There was no "marshalling" involved! I bet calling 40 year old infrastructure back in to use at short notice is causing a few Health & Safety grey hairs!
Below is the only photo or Youtube I've been able to discover online so far. I believe it shows the Glenachulish conducting a berthing trial at North Strome last week rather than on actual service this week:-
The only remaining turntable ferry, the Glenachulish is of exactly the same configuration as the last ferries to operate at Strome Ferry in 1970:-
That is the Pride of Strome whose remains are still visible beached a short distance up the loch:-
EDIT - a nice series of the Glenachulish's first day in operation by Donald Morrison here
|Picture credit - Donald Morrison|