Oban railway station

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Oban National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: An t-Oban
Oban Railway Station - June 2011.jpg
Place Oban
Local authority Argyll and Bute
Coordinates 56°24′44″N 5°28′30″W / 56.4121°N 5.4749°W / 56.4121; -5.4749Coordinates: 56°24′44″N 5°28′30″W / 56.4121°N 5.4749°W / 56.4121; -5.4749
Grid reference NM857298
Station code OBN
Managed by Abellio ScotRail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05   0.114 million
2005/06 Decrease 0.110 million
2006/07 Decrease 0.109 million
2007/08 Steady 0.109 million
2008/09 Increase 0.157 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.120 million
2010/11 Increase 0.122 million
2011/12 Increase 0.126 million
2012/13 Decrease 0.123 million
2013/14 Increase 0.129 million
Original company Callander and Oban Railway
Pre-grouping Callander and Oban Railway operated by Caledonian Railway
1 July 1880 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Oban from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Oban railway station is a railway station serving Oban in Scotland. It is the terminus of one branch of the highly scenic West Highland Line 101.3 miles (163 km) north of Glasgow Queen Street. It was originally the terminus of the Callander and Oban Railway. Services are operated by Abellio ScotRail.

Oban station provides interchange with the adjacent ferry terminal, offering connections to a number of destinations in the Inner and Outer Hebrides via ferry services operated by Caledonian MacBrayne (Cal Mac). Known as the "Gateway to the Isles", Oban is Cal Mac's busiest ferry terminal,


Oban station in 1948

Oban station opened on 1 July 1880. A ticket platform (long since disused but still in situ) was located on the west side of the single line, about half a mile to the south. Just south of there, a short branch line diverged to the east, towards a goods yard and engine shed.

Two additional platforms were constructed on the west side of the station in 1904, following the opening of the branch from Connel Ferry to Ballachulish.

Following closure of the goods yard and engine shed, a rail-connected oil storage depot occupied part of the site for a number of years, although this has itself since closed.

Since 1982, only the 1904-built platforms remain in use (still numbered as Platforms 3 and 4). The present small station building was officially opened on 3 January 1986, the occasion being marked by the naming of two Class 37 locomotives. Despite it being a listed building, the original station building was subsequently demolished.


Since its opening on 1 July 1880, the single line between Dalmally and Oban was worked by the electric token system, this being the first ever application of that system in everyday service.

Oban originally had two signal boxes, namely Oban Station signal box (the larger of the two), and Oban Goods Junction signal box. The latter was situated about a quarter mile further south, where the line to the goods yard and engine shed diverged from the single line. The original signal boxes contained 21 and 5 levers, respectively. The single line between the two boxes was doubled in 1881.

In connection with the station's enlargement, Oban Station Signal Box was replaced (on the opposite side of the line and slightly nearer the station) in 1904. The new box contained a frame of 64 levers, subsequently shortened to 48. Oban Goods Junction S.B. was replaced in 1929.

Oban Goods Junction S.B. closed on 4 May 1969. Oban Station S.B. closed on 5 December 1982, when a 'no signalman' system of electric token working was introduced on the section from Taynuilt signal box. The last remaining semaphore signals were removed at that time, including the signal gantry.

The Radio Electronic Token Block system was introduced in 1988 and the Train Protection & Warning System was installed in 2003.


A Class 156 with a train to Glasgow

Summer 2007[edit]


Monday-Friday, there are 7 trains a day, 6 going to Glasgow Queen Street, and 1 terminating at Dalmally. On Saturdays, there are 5 services to/from Glasgow Queen Street. On Sundays until 26 October, there are 3 trains to/from Glasgow Queen Street, with a 4th train running to/from Edinburgh Waverley from 22nd June until 24th August. From 2nd November, there is just one train to/from Glasgow Queen Street


Caledonian MacBrayne
Lochboisdale, South UistCaledonian MacBrayne to Mallaig
Ardmore, Barra
Castlebay, Barra
Baile Mòr, Iona
Fionnphort, Mull
Tobermory, Mull Kilchoan
Fishnish, Mull Lochaline
Craignure, Mull
Scarinish, Tiree
Arinagour, Coll
Achnacroish, Lismore
Scalasaig, ColonsayCaledonian MacBrayne to Port Askaig & Kennacraig
ObanUK road A85.PNG National Rail to Glasgow Queen Street
A Cal Mac ferry berthed next to Oban Railway Station

Oban station is located next to Oban ferry terminal. Caledonian MacBrayne ferries sail daily from here to the islands of Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, to Craignure on Mull, to Castlebay on Barra and to Lochboisdale on South Uist. The times of connecting trains to/from Glasgow Queen Street are included on Cal Mac timetables.

In 2005 a new ferry terminal was opened, and in 2007 a second linkspan opened, allowing two vessels to load/unload at the same time.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Connel Ferry   Abellio ScotRail
West Highland Line
"boat icon" Ferry services
Scalasaig   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Colonsay
Achnacroish   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Lismore, Mull, Coll & Tiree
Castlebay   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Outer Hebrides
Historical railways
Connel Ferry
Line and station open
  Callander and Oban Railway
Caledonian Railway


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Fryer, Charles (1989). The Callander and Oban Railway. Oxford: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1377-X. OCLC 21870958.