Blair Atholl

Location type


Names and dates

Blair Athole (1863-1893)
Blair Atholl (1893-)

Station code: BLA National Rail ScotRail
Where: Perth and Kinross, Scotland
Opened on the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway.
Open on the Highland Main Line.


This two platform station has a two storey stone building on the up (southbound) platform and a timber one on the down platform. It is at the south end of a long double track section north to Dalwhinnie, the line to the south is single track.

When the station was built there was little nearby, Blair Castle, a few houses by the station and a larger settlement at Bridge of Tilt. The original station had two platforms, a timber building on the up platform and a single road, single ended shed at the east end of the station, south of the line accessed from the west.

The present station building, ^B^ listed, is a superior stone building dating from 1869. As this station served Blair Castle it was built to plans approved by the Duke of Atholl (probably John Stewart-Murray, the 7th Duke of Atholl). The building was symmetrical with, originally, two single storey wings. A small canopy/veranda extends out from the roof. The central block bears a strong resemblance to station buildings elsewhere on the Highland, such as Ardgay. The southern/east wing was demolished in the 1970s, possibly due to subsidence. Due to the importance of the Duke this was the only stone built building on the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway until 1879.

A lattice footbridge joins the platforms. The station has a third platform - a north facing bay in the yard. The yard is accessed from the north and is on the west side of the station. The yard, after several years as a permanent way depot, has been out of use for some time and is now extremely overgrown although track is still present.

Twin water columns were provided for northbound double headed trains.

The goods shed was at the west end, north side of the line, just west of the platform.

The signal box, of McKenzie and Holland Type 3 design, remains next to a level crossing at the south/east end of the station beyond which, going south, the line singles to pass over the Tilt Viaduct.

There were two boxes, the surviving box is the south box. The north box was at the west end of the station, north side. It closed in 1968.

At the west end of the station, south side of the line is the former locomotive shed, Blair Atholl Shed. This was approached from the north and replaced the earlier structure at the east end of the station, Blair Atholl Shed [1st]. Blair Atholl was served by local trains from Perth and the shed provided locomotives for banking duties north over Druimuachdar Summit.

The line north to Dalwhinnie is double track. It was doubled as far as Dalnacardoch Signal Box in 1900, eventually extending to Dalwhinnie. The route was singled in 1966 when the goods yard also closed.

The line was redoubled in 1978 and the surviving former south box controls the colour lighting on the southern part of the redoubled line.

The date of change of the spelling of the name is either 1888 or 1893, sources vary.

The line is supported and promoted by the Highland Main Line Community Partnership .


Blair Castle is north of the station.

Blair Atholl

The Atholl Arms Hotel is just by the station, to the north east.


Station McKenzie and Holland Type 3

External links

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


Listing: B


09/09/1863Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Line opened from Pitlochry to Aviemore, thus throughout from Inverness to Perth. Additional stations opened at Blair Athole, Struan, Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kingussie and Boat of Insh.
07/09/1893Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Blair Athole becomes Blair Atholl.
  /  /1960Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
The double track between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinnie was singled with passing places at Dalnacardoch and Dalnaspidal.
  /  /1970Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Line between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinnie re-doubled. This was done in connection with the oil industry and anticipated extra traffic. The traffic did not increase as much as expected but the double track has been retained.
28/09/1990Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Official launch of Class 158s by Cyril Bleasdale at Blair Atholl, with invited guests. 158s converge on the station from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.


Highland Railway Album: No. 1

Highland Railway Album: No. 2

Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons

Highland Railway: People and Places - From the Inverness and Nairn Railway to Scotrail

The Highland Railway

The Highland Railway : The History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands - Vol 2