Ballachulish (Glencoe): The terminus of the former Caledonian Railway branch line from Connel Ferry to Ballachulish at Easter 1966, just two weeks after its 28th March closure. The goods shed and loco shed can be seen north of the passenger station, with Loch Leven beyond. During the last decade of the railway's life it had been mooted that the line could be extended across Loch Leven to Fort William, less than 15 miles to the north, to allow closure of the 63 miles of circuitous West Highland Line over remote Rannoch Moor north of Crianlarich - but this imaginative proposal came to nothing.
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /04/1966

Ballachulish (Glencoe)

Location type


Names and dates

Ballachulish (1903-1905)
Ballachulish and Glencoe (1905-1908)
Ballachulish (Glencoe) (1908-1966)

Opened on the Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway).


This was a two platform terminus opened at East Laroch next to the Ballachulish Slate Quarries and their tramways. Unusually a house which predated the station ended up on the platform and now, with the station gone, still stands. The Ballachulish Medical Practise is based in the former station building.

The goods yard was to the north of the passenger station and a locomotive shed was just to the north of the yard. Bauxite traffic for the Kinlochleven Smelter was handled. A tightly curved siding ran from the goods yard to a pier at Rudha na Glas-lice (the pier still exists in other uses). There was interchange with the narrow gauge quarry lines.

A ferry service continued east to Kinlochleven, replaced by a road built by German Prisoners of War in the Great War.

The large signal box was at the west end of the northern station platform. The passenger line ran in front of the box, to the south, and goods yard line to its north. The box was of the large size typical of the line.

The line closed to goods in 1965, the yard headshunt being removed just in advance of closure, and the line closed completely in 1966.

The name 'Ballachulish' applies to the area, generally west of the station, on both the north and south banks of Loch Etive. Ballachulish House is to the west, south of Ballachulish Ferry station. It was the station which led to West and East Laroch becoming known as the village of Ballachulish. Glen Coe is to the east.


Terminus Station

External links

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

Chronology Dates

24/08/1903Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway)
Line opened to passengers and goods. Stations opened at Benderloch, Creagan, Appin, Duror, Kentallen, Ballachulish Ferry, Ballachulish. For the opening Connel Ferry and Oban stations were rebuilt. Two large bridges were required Connel Ferry Bridge and Creagan Viaduct.
  /  /1917Burntisland Aluminium Works
Bauxite reduction works opened. Traffic commences to Ballachulish (Glencoe) for the Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter.
  /  /1960Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter
Pier and tramway at Kinlochleven close. Bauxite continues to be brought, carried in Presflo wagons, to the railhead at Ballachulish (Glencoe) station and then to Kinlochleven by road.
14/06/1965Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway)
Ballachulish (Glencoe) to Connel Ferry closed to goods. Traffic for the Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter is diverted to the Lochaber Smelter (Fort William) and carried by road from there south to Kinlochleven.
26/03/1966Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway)
Line closed completely between Connel Ferry and Ballachulish (Glencoe). North Connel, Benderloch, Barcaldine Halt, Creagan, Appin, Duror, Kentallen, Ballachulish Ferry, Ballachulish (Glencoe) closed.
  /  /1979Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway)
Completion of A82 improvements with partial realignment onto the course of the line east of Ballachulish Ferry through to Ballachulish.
  /10/1991 Ballachulish Branch (Callander and Oban Railway)
Ballachulish station building, having been renovated, opened as doctors' surgery.


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

Birth and Death of a Highland Railway: Ballachulish Line

Callander & Oban Railway Through Time

Callander and Oban Railway (Library of Railway History)

History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands: Callander and Oban Railway v. 4

Scotland’s Lost Branch Lines: Where Beeching Got It Wrong

The Birth and Death of a Highland Railway: Ballachulish Line

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