The West Highland Railway Line
- Short History Of The Line
- The Route
- The Line Today
- The Stations
- Dumbarton Central Station
- Former Craigendoran station
- Helensburgh Upper Station
- The line to Rhu
- Former Rhu and Shandon stations
- Garelochhead Station
- Former Glen Douglas and Whistlefield stations
- Arrochar and Tarbet Station
- Fatalities around Arrochar during construction
- The line north of Ardlui
- Crianlarich Station
- The Crianlarich viaducts
- Tyndrum Upper station
- Bridge of Orchy Station
- The snow shed and old snow fence near Rannoch station.
- Corrour station
- Loch Treig derailment, June 2012
- Loch Treig tunnel
- Former Fersit station
- Tulloch station
- Roy Bridge station
Most of the stations were of a similar single island design, with a chalet style building, many of which survive today.
If you have a few hours to kill, you might find this youtube video of the journey from Queen Street to Mallaig, taken from a cab, of interest Link .
The line splits into separate branches for Oban and Fort William at Crianlarich. Both lines from Crianlarich run through separate stations in neighbouring Tyndrum (Upper and Lower) which make Tyndrum the smallest village in the world to have two main line stations.
Crianlarich also had a junction with the Callendar & Oban Railway which closed in 1966.
The section of line over Rannoch Moor was a challenge to the builders who decided to "float" the line over the moor on a bed of timber and earth.
The major engineering work on the line is the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Link and the services are run by First Scotrail Link. There are three services in each direction each day, with trains splitting at Crianlarich to go to Oban in the west or Fort William & Mallaig in the north. The trains are joined together at Crianlarich for the south-bound journey.
Scotrail also runs the Caledonian Sleeper Link from various points in Scotland, including Fort William and the stations to the south.
The stations are small, but well maintained, kept in picture postcard condition which befits a line which was voted the most scenic in the world in 2009 and 2010 by readers of the independent travel magazine Wanderlust Link .
Link Dumbarton Central station which opened in 1854.
Some general views of the station and trains.
The upper station closed in 1964, along with several other stations which were served by local trains which ran from here to Arrochar and Tarbet. The station was a few hundred yards west of the junction with the Helensburgh line which marks the beginning of the West Highland Line proper.
The pier closed to commercial traffic in 1972 and has since been removed (there were actually two parallel piers).
The photo below shows the West Highland Line in the foreground, with the Helensburgh line beyond.
View SW under the line to Helensburgh Upper, Arrochar and Fort William and then the branch to Helensburgh Central: ex-North British Glasgow Queen Street - Fort William 'West Highland' line, Helensburgh Central being the western terminus of the electrified North Clyde Lines of Strathclyde Transport, to The left being Dumbarton, Clydebank and Glasgow, then Shettleston, Coatbridge and Airdrie.
by Ben Brooksbank
Some more photos of Craigendoran station and peir.
The station is convenient for the nearby Hill House which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is open to the public Link .
The span of the road bridge in the second photo below shows that the line was once double track here.
From this section of the line, we get the first glimpse of the West Highland scenery for which the line is famed.
This photo shows the line at Whistlefield in 2009. Here is a Link to a local website which has photos of the station when it was in active use.
The West Highland Line heading towards Garelochhead station. Trees have been felled on either side of the railway recently.
by Mark Nightingale
A push-pull local train at Glen Douglas in 1958. Glen Douglas station closed in 1964. Here is a Link to the RailScot web site which has photos of the site of the station in more recent times.
Until the 1960s, the main line service between Glasgow and Fort William was supplemented by a shuttle service between Craigendoran and Arrochar and Tarbet. Here one of these trains approaches Glen Douglas on its way to Craigendoran, where connections were available to Glasgow.
by Flying Stag
Get your camera ready as we approach Arrochar.
This photo from 1963 shows the station buildings, most of which have since been removed.
Some more recent photos of the station.
line an this area. This local website Link provides great detail about
the causalties and the successful efforts of the local community
to erect a memorial to mark the centenary of the tragic events.
Between Arrochar & Tarbet and Ardlui, the line passes through mature oak woods and crosses Inveruglas Water at Inveruglas. There was a temporary station at Inveruglas (opened 1945) to serve construction of the nearby hydro-electric power scheme. The line crosses the hydro-electric pipelines at Inveruglas power station to the north of the site of the old station. There is also a sizeable stone-built viaduct just north of Inveruglas, by the A82.
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