Oban railway station

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Oban National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: An t-Òban[1]
Oban Railway Station - June 2011.jpg
Local authorityArgyll and Bute
Coordinates56°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 referenceNM857298
Station codeOBN
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.129 million
2014/15Increase 0.170 million
2015/16Increase 0.176 million
2016/17Decrease 0.164 million
2017/18Increase 0.181 million
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 Oban from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG 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


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 22 June until 24 August. From 2 November, there is just one train to/from Glasgow Queen Street.


The Monday to Friday service remains the same as 2014 and also runs on Saturdays (save for the afternoon Dalmally train, which doesn't run at weekends). On Sundays, there are 4 trains each way in summer (with one through train to Edinburgh) and 3 in the winter months.[2]


Caledonian MacBrayne
Lochboisdale, South Uist
Ardmore, Barra
Castlebay, Barra
Baile Mòr, Iona
Fionnphort, Mull
Tobermory, Mull Right arrow Kilchoan
Fishnish, Mull Right arrow Lochaline
Craignure, Mull
Scarinish, Tiree
Arinagour, Coll
Achnacroish, Lismore
Scalasaig, Colonsay
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(winter only) 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
Craignure   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Mull
Achnacroish   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Lismore
Scarinish   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Coll & Tiree
Castlebay   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – Barra
Lochboisdale   Caledonian MacBrayne
Oban – South Uist (winter only)
  Historical railways  
Connel Ferry
Line and station open
  Callander and Oban Railway
Caledonian Railway


  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.
  2. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016 Edition, Table 227


  • 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.