Arisaig railway station

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National Rail
Arisaig railway station 03.jpg
LocationArisaig, Highland
Coordinates56°54′47″N 5°50′22″W / 56.9130°N 5.8395°W / 56.9130; -5.8395Coordinates: 56°54′47″N 5°50′22″W / 56.9130°N 5.8395°W / 56.9130; -5.8395
Grid referenceNM663867
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Other information
Station codeARG
Original companyMallaig Extension Railway of West Highland Railway
Pre-groupingNorth British Railway
Key dates
1 April 1901Station opened[2]
2015/16Decrease 7,058
2016/17Decrease 6,262
2017/18Increase 6,886
2018/19Decrease 6,226
2019/20Decrease 5,942
Listed Building – Category B
Designated29 May 1985
Reference no.LB326[3]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Arisaig railway station serves the village of Arisaig on the west coast of the Highland region of Scotland. This station is on the West Highland Line, 34 miles (55 km) west of Fort William on the way to Mallaig. The westernmost station on the Network Rail network, it is the only one of the four cardinal points of the national network that is not a terminus.


Arisaig in 1979

Arisaig station opened on 1 April 1901.[2] The station was laid out with two platforms, one on either side of a crossing loop. There is a siding on the south side of the line, east of the Down platform.

Opened by the North British Railway, it became part of the London and North Eastern Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The station was host to a LNER camping coach from 1936 to 1939.[4] The station then passed on to the Scottish Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

A camping coach was also positioned here by the Scottish Region from 1952 to 1960, the coach was replaced in 1961 by a Pullman camping coach which was joined by another Pullman in 1966. From 1967 to 1969 there were 2 standard camping coaches here, all camping coaches in the region were withdrawn at the end of the 1969 season.[5]

When sectorisation was introduced by British Rail in the 1980s, the station was served by ScotRail until the privatisation of British Rail.


Monday to Saturdays currently four trains a day call at Arisaig on the way to Mallaig or Fort William, and three of the latter go on further to Glasgow.[6] The last eastbound train of the day connects into the overnight Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow, Edinburgh Waverley and London Euston at Fort William on weekdays. Sunday services are less frequent, with just one train each way in the winter and two extra in the summer.

Arisaig station is also served by The Jacobite steam trains in the summer for the benefit of tourists, attracted to its views of the small isles, such as Eigg and Muck.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Beasdale   Abellio ScotRail
West Highland Line
Glenfinnan   West Coast Railways
The Jacobite
  Historical railways  
Line and Station open
  North British Railway
Mallaig Extension Railway of West Highland Railway
Line and Station open


From the time of its opening in 1901, the Mallaig Extension Railway was worked throughout by the electric token system. Arisaig signal box was situated at the east end of the Down platform, on the south side of the line.

On 14 March 1982, the method of working on the section between Arisaig and Mallaig was changed to One Train Working (with train staff).

The crossing loop and siding at Arisaig were temporarily put out of use on 13 November 1983 and all the semaphore signals were removed. All trains then used the Down loop. The One Train Working section became Glenfinnan - Mallaig.

On 29 April 1984, the crossing loop was reinstated to cater for the steam trains, but with train-operated points at each end. Arisaig token station could be switched in or out as required. When it was switched out, the Arisaig - Mallaig train staff would be padlocked to the Glenfinnan - Arisaig key token.

The Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system was commissioned between Mallaig Junction (now called Fort William Junction) and Mallaig on 6 December 1987 by British Rail. This resulted in the closure of Arisaig signal box (amongst others). The RETB is controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie railway station.

The Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) was installed in 2003.



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b Butt (1995)
  4. ^ McRae 1997, p. 11.
  5. ^ McRae 1998, pp. 26–28.
  6. ^ Table 227 National Rail timetable, May 2016


  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • 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 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • McRae, Andrew (1997). British Railway Camping Coach Holidays: The 1930s & British Railways (London Midland Region). Scenes from the Past: 30 (Part One). Foxline. ISBN 1-870119-48-7.
  • McRae, Andrew (1998). British Railways Camping Coach Holidays: A Tour of Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. Scenes from the Past: 30 (Part Two). Foxline. ISBN 1-870119-53-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

External links[edit]