The railway really changed the whole community.
Before it was built travel into and out of the parish was mainly by boat, across the lochs and by sea to Oban and beyond.
It's main purpose was to bring slate from the quarries at Ballachulish to the main line.

Archives of the Caledonian Railway - http://www.crassoc.org.uk
The railway brought people into the area for work, and took people away to new opportunities.
(a new national railway resource Railway Work, Life & Death project
It was originally built for trains only.
1/4/1896 or 7/8/1896 Callander and Oban Railway (Ballachulish Extension) Act passed.
The line was built by Robert McAlpin
1914 they was adapted to accommodate both road and rail traffic. As it was too narrow for both simultaneously the road traffic was halted when the trains passed.

1941 War office maps have good detail of the line in our area

14/6/1965 Ballachulish line closed to freight
26 March 1966 the railway was closed and the bridge set to road traffic only.
several websites with significant detail and many images of the railway

The Ballachulish line1
The Connel Ferry bridge is the second largest cantilever bridge in the world. Beneath the bridge is the Falls of Lora, a tidal phenonmena caused Loch Etive meeting the sea in a narrow channel with a sudden change in depth. A "standing wave" occurs here when the tide is running at its fastest.
A charabanc which formerly operated between Clarkston (on the East Kilbride Line) and Eaglesham was converted to run on rails and operated a service over the bridge for a few years.
For a time the railway ran a car carrying service ran over the bridge and a ramp was built at either end for loading cars. The ramp at the south end remains. Today the bridge here carries only cars. The road is single track and traffic lights control the flow.


railway images..~~.. Old Appin Collection of images

Books in the archive

  • Fall and Rise of the Ballachulish railway
  • Oban Railway


Accidents and incidents on Highland railway - Martin Briscoe

Ballachulish Line..~~..Connel Bridge..~~..creggan-bridge
Connel Ferry Station..~~..Benderloch Station..~~..Barcaldine Station
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