This 40 mile long railway line runs through some of the most scenic mountainous and seaside terrain crossed by a railway in Britain. A measure of this is that there are 11 tunnels and 6 viaducts. The railway provides a service between Fort William and Mallaig. ScotRail provides a service on this line. The line is open to passengers. Ferries run by Caledonian MacBrayne operate between Mallaig and Armadale Pier in Skye. A number of smaller concerns also operate other services out of the port.
For much of the year the line is traversed by the superb steam hauled 'The Jacobite ' train, operating from Fort William to Mallaig.
The 21 arch Glenfinnan Viaduct has been made famous by the Harry Potter films. (The line passes over several viaducts and through many tunnels on its way to the western seaboard.) Nearby this is the Glenfinnan Monument and visitor's centre, close to where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his Jacobite Standard.
Glenfinnan station is host to a station museum, which can be visited during the pause in the journey of the westbound 'Jacobite'.
The line is supported by the Friends of the West Highland Lines who were formed in 1983 and have promoted the line ever since. The society publishes the excellent West Highland News Plus.
The line is single track with passing places at Glenfinnan and Arisaig.
Engineers: Simpson and Wilson.
|21/01/1897||West Highland Railway|
First sod of Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway) cut at Corpach by Lady Margaret Cameron of Lochiel.
|01/04/1901||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Line opened from Banavie to Mallaig, extending the West Highland Railway to Mallaig.
|/ /1983||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Re-introduction of observation cars in the summer.
|/ /1984||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Steam trains return to the line. This is now a regular occurrence each summer.
|27/05/1984||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Steam returns to the West Highland Line as a tourist attraction. The first such train ran on Sunday the 27th of May.
|27/06/1995||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
The West Coast Railway Company commences running the steam service on the Mallaig Extension as The Jacobite.
These locations are along the line.
This is a single platform station. At the north end of the platform is Banavie Swing Bridge and the modern signalling centre, built in the style of a signal box. Unfortunately the West Highland extension style station building (similar to those at Glenfinnan and Arisaig has been demolished, in the early 1980s.
This single track railway swing bridge is immediately north of Banavie station. It carries the Fort William to Mallaig line at the foot of Neptune's Staircase, a series of interconnected locks on the Caledonian Canal.
This is a single platform station. It is close to the basin of the Caledonian Canal and its Corpach Basin and the sea lock. Corpach retains its small timber station building, not typical of the line. The platform is on the north side of the line and there is a barrier protected level crossing to its west.
During the Second World War two loops were installed on the south side of the line in the east of Annat Point. From the loops a siding ran from the east end to serve a jetty.
This signal box opened in 1964, replacing that at Camus-na-ha Sidings to the west. The box controlled Annat West and Annat East level crossings and the entry into Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills which had led to its opening. It was located on the north side of the line.
This was a Second World War loop, on the south side of the line, controlled by a signal box at its east end. The box was a single storey structure with a sloping back roof. There was a siding from the loop curving back towards Annat narrows.
This is a relatively modern station with a short platform built to serve the nearby Outward Bound Centre, just to the north.
This is a single platform station. It originally had a typical Mallaig Extension building such as that at Glenfinnan or Arisaig, but this has been lost. There is a shelter. The platform is on the north side of the line with Loch Eil just across the track.
This viaduct is one of the highlights of the Mallaig Extension. It is much photographed both from the train and the surrounding land.
Glenfinnan is one of the great railway destinations in Scotland. The station itself is superbly preserved and has a museum, to the east is the world famous 21 arch Glenfinnan Viaduct (both famous in its own right and through the Harry Potter books and films) and to the south east is where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the start of the second Jacobite uprising, celebrated with ...More details
This halt was west of Glenfinnan station, east of Lochailort. It was a private halt used, initially, for shooting parties on the large Lochailort Estate. During the Second World War it was used in connection with the extensive training grounds for soldiers.
This is a six arches of 50 ft single track mass concrete viaduct on the Mallaig line between Polnish No 107 Tunnel (to the east) and Loch nan Uamh Viaduct. The viaduct is 52 ft high. The viaduct is on a gentle curve and crosses the Arnabol Burn.
This is an eight arch single track mass concrete viaduct between Arnabol Viaduct (to the east) and Loch nan Uamh No 116 Tunnel]] to the immediate north of the viaduct. The viaduct is at the east end of Loch nan Uamh (loch of the caves). It is also known as Gleann Mama Viaduct, for the glen to the east.
This is a single platform station. The building adjoining the station is a railwayman's house, in a style typical of such buildings on the line. There is a timber waiting room on the platform.
This is a broad single arch mass concrete viaduct. It is 127.5 ft long, thought to be the longest such bridge when built. It is 86 ft high and approached by 20 ft arches at either end. The bridge has dressed stone additions and parapets, added for the benefit of the landowners at Arisaig House and Borrodale House (which are to the south). The bridge crosses the very deep chasm of the ...More details
This is a two platform station with a passing loop. The original station buildings still stand, the larger on the down (Mallaig bound) platform. The signal box (closed in 1983 and 'B' listed) still stands at the Fort William end of the station on the northbound platform. The station is to the north of the village of Arisaig.
This is a four arch single track mass concrete viaduct crossing the River Morar at the Falls of Morar. The viaduct is south of Morar station.
This is a single platform station which retains its single storey station building. To the immediate south is a level crossing.
This was a single road locomotive shed on the west (sea) side of Mallaig station. It was approached from the south and had a turntable on its west side. A line extended from the south to the pier, running between the station and the locomotive shed.
This is a two faced island platform terminus on the western seaboard of Scotland. Nearby is the Caledonian MacBrayne pier for Armadale Pier in Skye. A number of locations are served from Mallaig Pier. The station building is at the north (buffer) end of the station. It is of two storeys and in house style.
A Mallaig Boyhood (Flashbacks)
|All Stations to Mallaig!: West Highland Line Since Nationalisation|
Captains and Commanders: Memoirs of a Scottish West Coast Fisherman
Chapels of the Rough Bounds
Highland Steam: A Scrapbook of Images from the 'Kyle, Mallaig and Highland Lines
History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands: West Highland Railway v. 1
History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands: West Highland Railway v. 1
Iron Road to the Isles: A Travellers and Tourist Guide to the West Highland Lines
Iron Roads to the Isles: A Travellers and Tourists Souvenir Guide to the West Highland Lines
Landranger (40) Mallaig & Glenfinnan, Loch Shiel (OS Landranger Map)
Mallaig Line: An Illustrated History and Guide
Old Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig
On West Highland Lines
Railway World Special: Fort William and Mallaig
Railway World Special: West Highland Lines
Rannan Rathad Iarainn nan Eilean =: The West Highland Line
|Steam to Mallaig|
The Mallaig Railway
|The Mallaig Railway: The West Highland Extension 1897-1901 (RCAHMS Broadsheet)|
The Story of the West Highland
The Story of the West Highland: The 1940s LNER Guide to the Line
The West Highland Mallaig Extension in B.R.Days
The West Highland Railway
The West Highland Railway (Railways of the Scottish Highlands)
The West Highland Railway 120 Years
Walks from the West Highland Railway (Cicerone Guide)
West Highland Extension: Great Railway Journeys Through Time
West Highland Railway
|West Highland Railway (History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands v. 1): West Highland Railway v. 1|