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Loch Eilt


Headed by Birmingham RCW Type 2 (Class 27) No. D5349, the 10.05 Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig train passes along the south side of Loch Eilt, between Glenfinnan and Lochailort, on 6th July, 1965. At the trailing end of the train is Sc1719E, one of the pair of ex-LNER observation cars built in 1937 for the Coronation high-speed train. These had to be removed from the train and turned on locomotive turntables at each end of the journey. [Michael Mensing]
Edinburgh

Locheilside

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Locheilside Station is located on the north shore of Loch Eil between Loch Eil outward Bound and Glenfinnan. It has a single platform with a bus shelter.

Wikipedia page.


NBL Type 2 (Class 29) No. D6129 heads the morning Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street train past the shores of Loch Eil at Locheilside in April 1967. [Derek Cross]
Edinburgh

Lochailort

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Lochailort Station was opened by the Mallaig Extension Railway on 1st April, 1901, and serves the village of Lochailort. The station had two platforms and was an electric token block post, working to Glenfinnan on one side and Arisaig on the other, until the 'up' loop was lifted in 1966. The loops were lengthened during the Second World War and a new brick signal box erected, the foundations of which can be seen at the Arisaig end of the single platform now in use. The original station buildings were of a similar design to those at Glenfinnan and Arisaig but fell into disrepair after de-staffing, and were demolished during the 1970s.

Wikipdedia page.


Headed by ex-LNER Class K1 2-6-0s Nos. 62034 and 62012, a Mallaig to Fort William train departs from Lochailort Station on 24th July, 1957. The loop here was lengthened during the Second World War to allow longer trains to pass; however, it has since been removed. [Colour-Rail]
Edinburgh

Glenfinnan

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Glenfinnan Station was opened by the Mallaig Extension Railway on 1st April, 1901. It is located approximately 1km to the west of Glenfinnan Viaduct, and serves the village of Glenfinnan. The station has two platforms, one on each side of a crossing loop. There are sidings on the south side of the station. From its opening in 1901 the Mallaig Extension Railway was worked throughout by the electric token system.

Glenfinnan signal box, which had 15 levers, was located at the east end of the 'down' platform, on the south side of the line. The method of working from Glenfinnan to Mallaig became One Train Working with train staff on 13th November, 1983. Electric token block was reinstated to Arisaig on 29th April, 1984, but One Train Working continued to be used when Arisaig token station was switched out. The Arisaig to Mallaig train staff would then be padlocked to the Glenfinnan to Arisaig key token. Glenfinnan lost its semaphore signals on 13th April, 1986, in preparation for Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) signalling. The RETB was commissioned between Mallaig Junction (now Fort William Junction) and Mallaig on 6th December, 1987, being controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie Station. This resulted in the closure of Glenfinnan Signal Box. The Train Protection & Warning System was installed in 2003.

Glenfinnan Station was extensively refurbished during the summer of 2007. Glenfinnan Station Museum is located in the station building, on the 'down' platform. The museum's exhibits focus on the construction, impact and operation of the Mallaig Extension Railway in the late 19th century. The restored booking office includes the original tablet instruments and, since early 2012, various artefacts specific to the local area. There is also an exhibition of railway photography and a gift shop. The museum is open seasonally. During 2011 and early 2012, the entire Museum site underwent extensive refurbishment. This included major work to the signal box, a new external staircase, repairs to cladding, and installation of a theatre and teaching-space. The main station building underwent alterations to meet current access requirements and weather-proofing was applied to the the roof. Ongoing work includes expansion of the museum archives and rebuilding the path linking the station and Glenfinnan Viaduct, the site of filming for several Harry Potter films.

Glenfinnan is served by The Jacobite steam trains during the summer, and by normal service trains throughout the year. There are four 'down' trains to Mallaig plus three 'up' trains to Glasgow Queen Street High Level and one to Fort William that connects with the Caledonian Sleeper to London Euston on weekdays. On Sundays there are three trains per day each way in summer, but just one in winter.

Wikipedia page.


North British Railway Class K (LNER Class D33) 4-4-0 No. 65 and an NBR 0-6-0 enter Glenfinnan Station with a train from Mallaig to Fort William during the early years of the 20th century. [Locomotive Publishing Company/Peter Tatlow Collection]

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Edinburgh

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct was constructed in concrete by the civil engineering contractor Robert McAlpine & Sons. It is 1,248 ft. long and has 21 arches.


Ex-LNER Class K4 2-6-0 No. 61997 Cameron of Locheil heads a Fort William to Mallaig train onto Glenfinnan Viaduct in March 1956. No. 61997 can be identified by the angled steam-pipe on its left-hand side, this being a feature unique to this example of the class. The viaduct, like most major structures on the Mallaig Extension Railway, is constructed from concrete, a material first employed extensively on this line by contractor, Robert McAlpine. [J.M. Jarvis]

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Edinburgh

Corpach

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Corpach Station serves the village of Corpach in the West Highlands of Scotland. This station was opened by the Mallaig Extension Railway on 1st April, 1901, and consists of a single platform on the north side of the line.

Wikipedia page.


Ex-Great Northern Railway Class H3 (LNER Class K2) 2-6-0 No. 61764 heads a train for Mallaig, largely composed of Conflat wagons loaded with insulated containers, near Corpach during July 1959. [Colour-Rail]

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Edinburgh

Arisaig

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Arisaig Station serves the village of Arisaig in the West Highlands of Scotland. The station is situated on the West Highland Line, 34 miles west of Fort William, and is the westernmost station on the National Rail network. It is the only one of the four cardinal points of the national network that is not a terminus.

Arisaig Station was opened by the North British Railway on 1st April, 1901. It was laid out with two platforms, one on each side of a crossing loop. There is a siding on the south side of the line, east of the 'down' platform. From the time of its opening, 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 14th 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 taken out of use on 13th November, 1983, and all the semaphore signals were removed. All trains then used the 'down' loop. The One Train Working section became Glenfinnan to Mallaig. On 29th April, 1984, the crossing loop was reinstated in order to cater for steam services, 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 to Mallaig train staff would be padlocked to the Glenfinnan to Arisaig key token.

The Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system was commissioned between Mallaig Junction (now Fort William Junction) and Mallaig on 6th December, 1987, by British Rail. This resulted in the closure of Arisaig Signal Box, along with the others on the Mallaig Extension. The RETB is controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie Station. The Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) was installed in 2003.

Four trains per day presently serve Arisaig to and from Fort William, three of which commence or terminate at Glasgow. Arisaig is also served in the summer by 'The Jacobite' steam-hauled service for the benefit of tourists.

Wikipedia page.


Ex-LNER Class K1/1 2-6-0 No. 61997 'MacCailin Mor' tackles the sharp 1-in-50 incline past Kinloid Farm on the approach to Arisaig with the 2.45pm Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street train on 31st August, 1959. At Fort William, a buffet car for Glasgow and through carriages and a sleeping car for London King's Cross will be attached. The leading two vehicles of the train are vacuum brake-fitted cattle vans, probably loaded with sheep for Fort William. [Peter Tatlow]

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Edinburgh

Mallaig

Opened: 1st April, 1901.

Mallaig Station serves the ferry port of Mallaig, Lochaber, in the Scottish Highlands. It is the western terminus of the West Highland line and is situated 41 miles from Fort William and 164 miles from Glasgow Queen Street Station. The station was laid out as an island platform with tracks on either side. There were sidings on each side, and a turntable to the south of the station on the west side of the line. From the time of its opening, the Mallaig line was worked throughout by the electric token system. Mallaig Signal Box was situated to the south of the station, on the east side of the line. Until 1968, two tracks continued onto the pier, which was built and originally owned by the West Highland Railway Company. The tracks were removed when the harbour passed from the ownership of British Rail to the Mallaig Harbour Authority. The glass overall roof was removed during 1975, and the ticket office was extended at the same time.

On 14th March, 1982, the method of working on the section between Arisaig and Mallaig was changed to One Train Working (with train staff). Mallaig Signal Box was closed as a token station, but retained as a ground frame with four levers. All the semaphore signals were removed. On 6th December, 1987, the Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system was commissioned between Mallaig Junction (now renamed Fort William Junction) and Mallaig. The RETB is controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie Station. In November 1992, the former signal box was demolished and replaced by an ordinary ground frame. The Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS) was installed in 2003.

Scheduled train services from Mallaig Station are operated by ScotRail. Currently, from Monday to Saturday, four trains depart daily from Mallaig for Fort William, three of which continue to Glasgow. On Sundays during the summer, four trains depart from Mallaig for Fort William and Glasgow, but during the winter this reduces to one train only. The Mallaig Extension line is a noted scenic route, passing through wild Highland scenery. Glenfinnan Viaduct is a famous feature of the line.

Mallaig is the destination of 'The Jacobite', a special tourist steam-hauled train operated by the West Coast Railway Company, which runs sightseeing trips from Fort William to Mallaig from May to October. The service runs twice daily from Monday to Friday with additional weekend services during the summer months. 'The Jacobite' is known for its association with the Harry Potter film series, particularly due to Glenfinnan Viaduct having featured in the films.

Wikipedia page.


Ex-North British Railway Class K (LNER Class D34) 4-4-0 No. 9405 'Glen Spean' stands at the head of a train at Mallaig Station on 19th June, 1937. [H.C. Casserley]

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