Corrour railway station
|Scottish Gaelic: An Coire Odhar|
|Managed by||Abellio ScotRail|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Original company||West Highland Railway|
|Pre-grouping||North British Railway|
|7 August 1894||Opened|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Corrour from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
Corrour railway station is on the Crianlarich-Fort William/Mallaig branch of the West Highland Line. It is situated near Loch Ossian on the Corrour Estate, Highland Region (formerly Inverness-shire), Scotland. It is the highest mainline railway station in the United Kingdom. Its Scottish Gaelic name, displayed on signs at the station, is Coire Odhar, which means dun-coloured corrie.
The station is one of the most remote in the United Kingdom, at an isolated location on the northern edge of Rannoch Moor. It is not accessible by any public roads. The nearest road, the B846 road from Loch Rannoch to Rannoch station, is a ten-mile (16 km) walk away by hill track, although Rannoch station itself is only 7¼ route-miles (11.5 km) away by rail. Vehicular access is by a 15-mile (24km) private road from a little west of Moy Lodge on the A86. Until the late 1980s, the only electrical power at the station was provided by batteries. The only telephone was the railway's system which linked Corrour only to the adjacent signalboxes at Rannoch and Tulloch, which were on the public telephone system.
At 1,340 ft (408 m) above sea level the station provides a starting point for hill-walkers and Munro-baggers. There is accommodation and a bar/restaurant available at the station and an SYHA youth hostel just over a mile (2 km) away at the head of Loch Ossian.
Corrour station was built by the West Highland Railway between 1893 and 1894 on its line linking Glasgow with Fort William and was operated from its opening on 7 August 1894 by the North British Railway. It has a passing loop around an island platform with a siding on the east side. In common with the line’s two other remote passing places, Gorton and Glen Douglas, it was built with a tall signalbox and an adjacent low building in which the signalman lived. The adjacent low building (in Corrour's case) was also used as a sub post office from 15 December 1896 and a Post Office telegraph office from 16 August 1898; Corrour even qualified as a post town. Later the railway constructed a station house for the signalman on the east side of the tracks and the original building became purely office accommodation for the railway and the post office.
Corrour was originally intended to be merely a passing place on the long section between Rannoch and Tulloch, called Luibruaridh (sic) after the nearest habitation, Luibruairidh, on the old drove road between Rannoch and Spean Bridge, about 1½ miles (2 km) northwest of the passing place. However, from its opening its small island platform was used as a station and the name Corrour was also used although Corrour Lodge at that time was where the drove road crossed Coire Odhar, some 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the station. However, when the station opened estate traffic was facilitated by the building of a mile-long (1.5 km) track connecting the station to the old drove road as it passed near the head of Loch Ossian.
In the early days there was so much estate business that the railway employed an extra clerkess during the grouse season. It was theoretically a private station for the use of the estate but it was also used by the public from the start despite its not appearing in the public timetables until September 1934.
In 1897, the estate built a new lodge at the foot of Loch Ossian, 4½ miles (7 km) northeast of the station. There was however no vehicular access to the lodge from the public road system so all goods (including vehicles) had to come and go by rail via Corrour station. Until the track along the south shore of Loch Ossian was built, the estate ran a small steamer from the lodge to the head of Loch Ossian (where Loch Ossian youth hostel is now) from which the station was only a little over a mile (2 km) away. In 1972 the Forestry Commission built a private macadamized road from the A86 at near Moy Lodge to Corrour Lodge, so for the first time there was vehicular access to the station, via Corrour Lodge and Moy Lodge, a total distance of 15 miles (24 km).
Corrour sub post and telegraph office closed on 5 March 1977.
Since November 1985, all passenger trains have used the original “down” platform. The "up" loop remains and is serviceable but it is no longer used by passenger trains. There was originally a footbridge at Corrour station providing an exit to the east side, but it was moved to Rannoch station following the downgrading of the "up" loop at Corrour. Passengers now cross the line by a barrow crossing.
In 1998/1999 Corrour Estate replaced the former signalman’s house with a new station house. This included business premises and lodging for their managers and had electric power from a diesel generator. The station house subsequently had a number of tenants over the years becoming an independent hostel, an SYHA hostel (in addition to the SYHA’s nearby hostel at Loch Ossian), and a restaurant. In 2015 the estate took over the running of the building and after closure for refurbishment reopened it as a bar and restaurant.
In 2013 Historic Scotland listed the disused signalbox (called the "old watchtower" by Network Rail) and the adjacent building as Category C (the tall boxes at Gorton and Glen Douglas had been demolished). Subsequently, Network Rail, in conjunction with the Corrour Estate and the Railway Heritage Trust, refurbished the signalbox and in 2016 the estate opened three guest rooms in it.
The 3-character code for Corrour is CRR.
Corrour is unstaffed and there are no ticket-issuing facilities, but there is a validator for a "smartcard" paperless card-based ticketing system. There are no departure announcements but there is a telephone help point and an electronic departure display. There is a waiting room with bench seats and a cycle rack. The station is lit by electric lights.
Corrour station is now passenger-only and is served by regular Abellio ScotRail passenger trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Fort William/Mallaig. These local services run generally three times a day in each direction, but less frequently on Sundays (twice each way in summer, but just once in winter). In addition, Corrour is served by the Caledonian Sleeper service between Fort William and London Euston via Glasgow Queen Street (Low Level) and Edinburgh (daily except Saturday nights in each direction). The journey from London to Corrour takes just under twelve hours. The sleeper also conveys seated coaches and can therefore also be used by regular West Highland passengers travelling to or from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Although Network Rail states that Corrour is a "request" stop, Scotrail's 2018 timetable shows it as a compulsory stop.
Its estimated usage in 2015/2016, 11,156, made it the busiest station on the line north of Crianlarich apart from Fort William and Mallaig.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
West Highland Line
Highland Caledonian Sleeper
|Rannoch||North British Railway
West Highland Railway
The signal box, which had 13 levers, was situated to the south of the island platform. From the time of its opening in 1894, the West Highland Railway was worked throughout by the electric token system. The semaphore signals were removed in November 1985 in preparation for the introduction of Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB). At the same time, the loop points came under the control of ground frames. The RETB system was commissioned by British Rail between Upper Tyndrum and Fort William Junction on 29 May 1988. This resulted in the closure of Corrour signal box and others on that part of the route. The RETB is controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie railway station.
In popular culture
The station, and the nearby mountain Leum Uilleim, gained fame when they were featured in a scene from the film Trainspotting. It also appeared in the fourth episode of the 2010 BBC series Secret Britain. The station also featured in the Young Guns video for the single "Weight of the World". The station is the primary location in Jos Stelling's film De Wisselwachter. It was also visited by Paul Merton in Episode 3 of his Channel 4 documentary series Paul Merton's Secret Stations.
The route south from Corrour across the Moor of Rannoch to Rannoch Station itself was used as a filming location in the Harry Potter films where a Death Eater was seen to stand between the rails with an outstretched arm, to bring the approaching Hogwarts Express to a stand for the train to be inspected. Warner Brothers spent a couple of days with equipment based at Rannoch to facilitate the filming sequences.
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-  Channel 4 Programme Information website; Retrieved 16 May 2016
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- Scotland: the Movie Location Guide – Trainspotting, Rannoch Moor Information on the station as it appears in "Trainspotting".
-  Further details on the station.
- Hidden Europe magazine – an article about Corrour from Hidden Europe magazine
- Article on the station by Ian Futers, four pages including track plan, photos, and description in Railway Modeller magazine for April 2008