Arrochar and Tarbet: Train for Glasgow Queen Street about to leave Arrochar and Tarbet on 28 May 2007.
John McIntyre 28/05/2007

Arrochar and Tarbet

Location type


Name and dates

Arrochar and Tarbet (1894-)

Opened on the West Highland Railway.
Open on the West Highland Line.


This is an island platform station, typical of the West Highland Railway. The station building was removed in the late 1990s/early 2000s after several years of being vacant. This was of the Swiss chalet style typical of the line. Access is via a subway and this also gives access to the hillside to the west.

The station is located at Ballyhennan and named for Arrochar, a village and former steamer pier (Arrochar Pier) to the west at the head of Loch Long, and Tarbet, a small settlement and pier on Loch Lomond, to the east (Tarbet Pier). The station is midway between the two villages. Ballyhennan was the name of the station used in the Act for the railway.

The signal box (opened with the station, closed 1986 and 'B' listed) remains to the west of the subway and a new waiting shelter in the style of a signal box has been provided to the east. On introduction of the Sprinters the platform was lengthened at the southern end, putting the station into a offset position on the platform.

There is a goods yard, sometimes used for timber loading and formerly for staging the oil from Oban. This is on the east side of the line and is accessed, by reversal, from the north.

There is a stationmaster's house, typical of the line and a railwayman's cottage on either side of the entryway. Both are now private houses.

The station was the northern end of a local service serving the lochside communities from Craigendoran Upper. For much of its existence this was operated with a push-pull service. This local service served the smaller stations allowing the longer distance trains to Fort William [1st] to pass by without calling. The service was withdrawn in 1964.

There is a small burial ground for 37 men who died building the railway ('Navvies') in the Arrochar area at Ballyhennan Burial Ground (to the east of the station). A memorial has been erected in recent years. Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage - Navvies Graveyard

The second Navvy Camp, coming north from Craigendoran, was located at Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long, with materials coming in by sea.


The station was known, or at least signposted, as 'Arrochar and Tarbet For Argyll National Forest Park' when the park was first opened.

Argyll Forest Park

Tarbet Hotel

Arrochar Hotel

The route of the Three Lochs Way directly passes through the underpass entrance to the station. It may be followed north to Inveruglas (where there is no station) or south to Helensburgh.

The West Highland Way may be gained by taking a short ferry crossing over Loch Lomond from Tarbet Pier (east of the station).

The Cobbler is to the west, the starting point reached via the A83 around the head of Loch Long. This is one of the Arrochar Alps.



External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Gaelic name: An t-Archar & An Tairbeart
Listing: B

Nearby stations
RNTR Arrochar Pier
Glen Douglas Halt
Whistlefield Halt
Glen Falloch Platform
Faslane Port
Faslane Platform
Helensburgh Upper
Crianlarich Lower
Arrochar Shed
Arrochar Gravel Pit
Manse Viaduct
High Morlaggan Railway Cottage
Inveruglas Viaduct
Tarbet Hotel
Tarbet Pier
Arrochar Pier
RNTR Arrochar
Loch Lomond
Ardgarten Hotel
Beinn Narnain
Inversnaid Pier
Inversnaid Hotel
Inveruglas Castle
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.


The pass by which the railway crosses from Loch Long to Loch Lomond is the same route used by Vikings in 1263 as a portage way. Supporters of King Haakon carried boats over to Loch Lomond to raid the lochside communities. The Vikings were to be defeated at the Battle of Largs.

Chronology Dates

31/07/1894West Highland Railway
Helensburgh Upper, Shandon, Garelochhead, Glen Douglas, Arrochar and Tarbet, Ardlui, Crianlarich, Tyndrum [WHR], Bridge of Orchy, Gorton, Rannoch, Corrour, Inverlair, Roy Bridge, Spean Bridge signal boxes opened.
07/08/1894West Highland Railway
Public opening from Fort William to Craigendoran. Stations opened at Craigendoran Upper, Helensburgh Upper, Row, Shandon, Garelochhead, Arrochar and Tarbet, Ardlui, Crianlarich, Tyndrum [WHR], Bridge of Orchy, Gortan (private), Rannoch, Corrour (private), Inverlair, Roy Bridge, Spean Bridge and Fort William [1st].
01/11/1894West Highland Railway
Refreshment baskets available at Arrochar and Tarbet.
14/06/1964West Highland Railway
Craigendoran (West Highland, high level), Rhu, Shandon, Whistlefield and Glen Douglas closed as the local service from Craigendoran to Arrochar and Tarbet is withdrawn.
19/01/1986West Highland Railway
Arrochar and Tarbet signal box closed.
27/03/1988West Highland Railway
Garelochhead, Glen Douglas, Arrochar and Tarbet, Ardlui, Crianlarich block posts eliminated by RETB.

News items

23/11/2023Rush hour trains to and from Glasgow facing delays after tree found blocking line [STV]
23/11/2023ScotRail train punctured by fallen tree on railway line [BBC News]
13/11/2023Major rail line in Argyll closed due to flooding as Storm Debi brings heavy rain to Scotland [STV]
04/08/2023Arrochar and Tarbet railway station could move in Luss Estates plans [Helensburgh Advertiser]
01/11/2022Air-drop is key to efficient fencing renewal on West Highland line [Network Rail]
20/02/2022Fallen tree blocks ScotRail route from Oban and Mallaig to Glasgow [Press and Journal]
17/09/2021Loch Lomond cycle path offers 'sustained scenic splendour'. Shame about the bumpy ride Alastair Dalton [The Scotsman]
12/11/2020Helensburgh and Lomond commuter train services to be suspended [Helensburgh Advertiser]
18/11/2019Highland railway line reopens following 'urgent repairs' [Press and Journal]
05/12/2002Scottish Executive awards EWS with £1m for timber traffic [Railscot]


All Stations to Mallaig!: West Highland Line Since Nationalisation
Argyll and the Highlands Last Days of Steam

Argyll and the Highlands' Lost Railways

Ben Nevis and Fort William, The Mamores and The Grey Corries, Kinlochleven and Spean Bridge (OS Explorer Map)

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

Mountain Moor and Loch on the Route of the West Highland Railway

On West Highland Lines

Railway World Special: West Highland Lines

Rannan Rathad Iarainn nan Eilean =: The West Highland Line

Road To The Isles Dvd: Part One The West Highland Line Between Crianlarich to Fort William, From the Drivers Cab Of A Class 37, With The Caledonian Sleeper
The Mallaig Railway: The West Highland Extension 1897-1901 (RCAHMS Broadsheet)
The New Railway: The Earliest Years of the West Highland Line

The Story of the West Highland

The Story of the West Highland: The 1940s LNER Guide to the Line

The West Highland Railway

The West Highland Railway (Railways of the Scottish Highlands)

The West Highland Railway 120 Years

Trossachs and West Highlands: Exploring the Lost Railways (Local History Series)

Victorian Travel on the West Highland Line: By Mountain, Moor and Loch in 1894

Walks from the West Highland Railway (Cicerone Guide)

West Highland Line: 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
West Highland Railway: Plans, Poltics and People