Connel Ferry railway station

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Connel Ferry National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Aiseag na Coingheil[1]
Connel Ferry railway station, West Highland Line, Argyll & Bute. View north.jpg
Local authorityArgyll and Bute
Coordinates56°27′09″N 5°23′00″W / 56.4524°N 5.3834°W / 56.4524; -5.3834Coordinates: 56°27′09″N 5°23′00″W / 56.4524°N 5.3834°W / 56.4524; -5.3834
Grid referenceNM916340
Station codeCON
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 8,564
2015/16Decrease 6,592
2016/17Decrease 6,262
2017/18Increase 7,272
2018/19Decrease 6,996
Original companyCallander and Oban Railway
Pre-groupingCallander and Oban Railway operated by Caledonian Railway
1 July 1880Opened
National RailUK railway stations
  • Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Connel Ferry from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Connel Ferry railway station is a railway station serving the village of Connel in western Scotland. This station is on the Oban branch of the West Highland Line, originally part of the Callander and Oban Railway.


Station facilities are somewhat basic, consisting of a shelter and a telephone for obtaining train running information. Platform lighting is installed.


Connel Ferry station opened on 1 July 1880, when the final section of the Callander and Oban Railway, between Dalmally and Oban, came into use. The original layout at Connel Ferry comprised a crossing loop with a platform on each side, with some sidings on the north side.

Considerable enlargement of the station took place in 1903, with the opening of the branch line to Ballachulish. The original Down platform became an island platform, with the Down Main line routed alongside the new south face, and the Up Main line (the original Down line) to its north. The former Up platform became the Branch Platform and a bay platform was constructed at its west end. A goods loop ran to the south of the Down Main line. A turntable was provided in the goods yard for turning the branch line locomotives.

A short distance beyond the junction, the branch line spanned Loch Etive by means of Connel Bridge, a cantilever bridge with a span length that was at the time second only to the Forth Bridge. In 1940, additional sidings were laid in on the south side of the station for the wartime traffic, these being removed in 1948. Prior to closure of the Ballachulish branch 1966 both trains and vehicles crossed the bridge. The extensive track layout was reduced to just a single line routed via the former Branch Platform (the original Up platform). The island platform was taken out of use. The layout grew again in 1968 when an oil storage depot with two sidings was built on the site of the goods yard. A run-round loop was laid alongside the single line to the east of the station, connected at each end by points controlled from a ground frame.

The disused island platform was demolished in 1985.


Looking towards Crianlarich at Connel Ferry

From the time of its opening in 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.

The enlarged layout of 1903 was controlled from two large wooden signal boxes, the East box having 42 levers, and the West box 56. The latter controlled the branch line junction and a signal gantry located nearby spanned three tracks. The signal gantry was replaced on 22 January 1953. Both signal boxes closed on 8 January 1967 and all signals were removed.

During the 1968 demolition of Connel Ferry West signal box, contractors burning the wooden remains set fire to the track formation. Despite efforts to put the fire out, it continued to burn for several days, causing the embankment to crumble and smoke to issue from fissures in the trackbed. This resulted in a 5 mph speed restriction being imposed and, at the time, caused concerns that the line may be forced to close.[2]

In 1988, the station became a Token Exchange Point in connection with the new Radio Electronic Token Block signalling system. The Train Protection & Warning System was installed in 2003.


There are 7 departures in each direction Mondays to Saturdays(6 on Saturdays), eastbound to Glasgow Queen Street and westbound to Oban. On weekdays only, an additional service in each direction between Dalmally & Oban calls here in the late afternoon. On Sundays, there are three departures each way throughout the year, plus a fourth in the summer months only to Edinburgh Waverley which only runs from late June–August.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Taynuilt   Abellio ScotRail
West Highland Line
  Historical railways  
Line open; Station closed
  Callander and Oban Railway
Caledonian Railway
Line and station open
  Callander and Oban Railway
Ballachulish Branch

Caledonian Railway
  North Connel
Line and station closed



  1. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. "Gaelic/English Station Index". Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ "Locomotive News". Railway Magazine: 684. November 1968.


  • 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.