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Mallaig Extension Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Banavie Junction (New)
Banavie
Annat Signal Box
Corpach Paper Mill
Corpach
Loch Eil Outward Bound
Locheilside
Glenfinnan
Lochailort
Beasdale
Arisaig
Morar
Mallaig

This site
West Highland Railway

Other sites
ScotRail
Caledonian MacBrayne


Mallaig Extension Railway

This line is open and runs through some of the most scenic terrain in Britain. The railway provides a service between Fort William and Mallaig. ScotRail provides a service on this line. The line is open to passengers and the portion nearest Fort William for freight. Ferries operated by Caledonian MacBrayne operate between Mallaig and Armadale in Skye. A number of smaller concerns also operate other services out of the port.

Survey To be entered
Engineers To be entered
Act To be entered
Contractors Robert McAlpine
Opened 1 April 1901
Closed No
Banavie JunctionCaledonian CanalCaledonian CanalWest Highland RailwayWest Highland RailwayClickable map of the Mallaig Extension Railway

Local area 

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This railway runs through some rugged terrain in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Chronology 

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Description of route 

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From Fort William to Mallaig.
 
Banavie Junction (New) 

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This is where the Mallaig Extension Railway joined the Banavie Branch of the West Highland Railway. The formation of the junction is no longer visible.

Banavie 

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This is a single platform station equiped with a bus-type shelter. The signalling centre for the Mallaig line and West Highland Railway is located here. The left hand photograph shows the station (and signalling centre) looking towards Mallaig. The right hand photograph shows the swing bridge over the Caledonian Canal with the station beyond looking towards Fort William.

Annat Signal Box

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This box controls a series of level crossing and access into he Corpach Paper Mill sidings.

Corpach

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This is a single platform station. The station is located by the sea-locks of the western end of the Caledonian Canal.

Corpach Paper Mill

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This paper mill creates traffic for the line.

Loch Eil Outward Bound 

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This is a single platform station opened in connection with the nearby Outward Bound centre.

Locheilside 

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This is a single platform station equiped with a bus-type shelter located by Loch Eil.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

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This is a magnificent viaduct built in mass concrete with many arches. The location is very photogenic. A road runs to the bridge but it is a private road.

Glenfinnan 

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This is a two platform station in a good state of preservation. The station retains its platform buildings and signalbox. A museum operates out of the main station building. The shelters provide good protection from the elements. The station is similar to the one at Arisaig. In the summer the steam trains pause here for a few minutes for passengers to have a look around.

Nearby is the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie's first army assembled.

The viaduct cannot be seen from the station. without a small walk.

Lochailort 

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This was a two platform station like Glenfinnan, but one track has been lifted (the east-bound one) and the station buildings demolished. There is a bus-type shelter here.

Beasdale 

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This is a single-platform station. The station building has been renovated but does not provide accomodation for passengers. The photograph shows the station before renovation.

Loch-nan-umbh viaduct.

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This is a large concrete viaduct, with a tunnel at its north end.

Arisaig

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This is a station with two platforms. The station platform buildings are intact along with the old signalbox. The sea can be seen from this station. This is the western-most station in Britain.

Morar 

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This is a single platform station. The station building has been used for various purposes including a bakery. The level crossing gates here used to require operation by the train crew which led to delays until being replaced with the modern crossing.

Mallaig 

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This is the terminus of the line. In former times the station had a large glazed roof, locomotive shed, turntable and sidings into the harbour. The photographs above were taken before the new approach road from the south was built to the seaward side of the railway. Since then the disused signalbox has been demolished. This signalbox was reputed to have the best view from any signalbox in the country; viewing the 'cocktail' islands of Eigg, Muck and Rhum.

The town and port of Mallaig was expanded drammatically by the arrival of the railway. Formerly the local port had been located at Arisaig, a fairly difficult port to enter and leave due to submerged rocks.

Mallaig is visited by Caledonian MacBrayne vessels operating to Armadale in Skye.


Page created in 1996
Page last edited on: 24/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford