West Highland Railway
|West Highland Railway|
The West Highland Railway was one of the last main lines to be built in Scotland. It is one of the most scenic railway lines in Britain, linking Fort William on the west coast to Glasgow. It was originally operated by the North British Railway.
Construction was authorised in 1889, with the Act of Parliament being passed on 12 August and construction starting 23 October. The following year the branch line to Banavie Pier was authorised. The line was publicly opened to Fort William on 7 August 1894.
The West Highland Railway was absorbed by the North British Railway on 21 December 1908. The North British Railway was then absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923.
Brief description of line
The West Highland Railway begins at Craigendoran Junction heading towards Garelochhead and emerging alongside the northwesterly shores of Loch Lomond. Significant points on the journey include Crianlarich, an important Highland junction of both road and rail where the line crosses - and is linked to - the Callander and Oban Railway and Tyndrum, the smallest place in Scotland to boast two railway stations. After Tyndrum, the line climbs onto Rannoch Moor. The station at Corrour on the moor is one of the most remote stations in Britain. Carrying on northwards, the final stop before Fort William is Spean Bridge. A branch line was constructed from Fort William to Banavie Pier at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal.
Connections to other railways
- At Craigendoran Junction with the Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway
- At Faslane Junction with the Faslane Branch
- At Crianlarich with the Callander and Oban Railway
- At Spean Bridge with the Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway
- At Banavie Junction (New) with the Mallaig Extension Railway
Apart from the last section of the Banavie Branch, and several of the southern stations, the line is still open, being operated by First ScotRail as part of the West Highland Line services (which also encompasses services to Oban and Mallaig).
- Awdry, Page 169
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- 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.
- Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. OCLC 22311137.
- Thomas, John (1965). The West Highland Railway. Newton Abbot: David and Charles (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 0-7153-7281-5.
- RAILSCOT on the West Highland Railway