Follow their train of thought in new documentary

The lives of Scots rail passengers feature in a new TV documentary.

Part of BBC Scotland’s Modern Lives series, Brief Encounters captures a range of remarkably frank and entertaining conversations as rail passengers share their experiences of life and the views of the world they see out of the window.

The conversations in Brief Encounters are as varied as the people on the trains. From a mother on her way to Aberdeen talking of the challenges she has had to overcome in bringing up her autistic son, to the beatboxer arguing and singing with his friend about how to date women, on their way to Glasgow airport.

Almost one hundred train travellers were filmed over a two-month period on rail lines from Stranraer in the south-west of Scotland, to Thurso on the North Coast, and from the Kyle of Lochalsh in the west, to Tweedbank in the Borders.

One of the most intriguing travellers through Fife is Bob, an ex-detective, violin dealer, musician and hillwalker who has lived life to the full. Back in the 1970s as a young policeman, he remembers having to fingerprint three dead murder victims. “That’s quite a harrowing experience,” he explains, “but you went home, had your dinner and got on with the next job.”

Some people are just passing through Scotland. Among them, a German tourist scouring the Highlands for a man in a kilt whose ideal shape she draws with her arms. On the route to Oban, a gun-owning American couple debate the merits of living in Scotland without firearms.

A moving, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting series of Brief Encounters with Scotland and its people that reflects modern life in all its diversity: births, marriages and death – silence, laughter and tears. Brief Encounters is a Timeslip Media production for BBC Scotland

Brief Encounters will be shown on Tuesday, 10 December, on BBC Scotland from 10–11pm.