Glenfinnan: Both 'The Jacobite' trains pass each other at Glenfinnan. Black 5 No.44871 is hidden by the trees heading back to Fort William, and, sister engine 45407 has just arrived with the afternoon train to Mallaig.
John Gray 24/08/2016


Location type


Name and dates

Glenfinnan (1901-)

Station code: GLF National Rail ScotRail
Where: Highland, Scotland
Opened on the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).
Open on the West Highland Line.


Glenfinnan is one of the great railway destinations in Scotland. The station itself, nestled among mountains, is superbly preserved and has the Glenfinnan Station 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 Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) raised his standard at the start of the second Jacobite uprising, celebrated with the Glenfinnan Monument. The scenery is a superb vista of mountains and lochs. Loch Shiel, with no public road, stretches south. For much of the year steam engines operate on the line, supplementing the ScotRail trains, and westbound steam trains pause here for some time, to allow visitors a quick visit to the station and museum. There are well built paths to vantage points to see these trains.

The station has two platforms. The main station building is on the westbound platform with an original timber waiting shelter on the eastbound. There is no footbridge, but footways at either end of the platforms (that at the west end is the original). The museum is in the main building. Glenfinnan Station Museum

There are restaurant cars, serving food, in the former goods yard, and a camping coach. The yard was approached by reversal and is at the east end of the station, south of the line. The signal box ('B' listed, closed 1986) still stands, no longer in active use and part of the museum. There is no footbridge between the platforms, there are footways at either end.

There is a car park, but it has limited space. There is an overflow car park by the station entry.

To the west the line runs uphill to a summit of the line, at 361ft, to Loch Eilt and runs along its south bank, separate to the road, to Lochailort.

To the east the line runs over the Glenfinnan Viaduct and then east to Loch Eil whose west end is served by Locheilside station.

14.58 miles from Banavie Junction [2nd].

Glenfinnan was a railhead for a large area. Via boats on Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan also served locations along the loch.


The Jacobite

NTS - Glenfinnan Monument

Nearby, to the south of the station, is a pier on Loch Shiel served by Highland Cruises .

Glenfinnan Estate

Strictly speaking the station is not in Glen Finnan, but in the glen of the Amhainn Shlatach river, which is just to the west.


Station museum scenic

External links

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


Gaelic name: Gleann Fhionnain
Listing: B

Nearby stations
Lech-a-vuie Platform
Loch Eil Outward Bound
Fort William [1st]
Fort William
Banavie Pier
Ballachulish Ferry
Queen^s Tree
Brein Choille Navvy Camp
Glenfinnan Viaduct
Craigag No 62 Tunnel
Abhainn Shlatach Navvy Camp
Leachabhuidh No 78 Tunnel
Leachabhuidh No 79 Tunnel
Allt Lon a^ Mhuidhe Pneumatic Power Station
East Loch Eilt Navvy Camp
Fionn Lighe Bridge
St Mary and St Finnan^s Church
Glenfinnan Pier
Loch Sheil
Glenfinnan Monument
Craigag Lodge
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Glenfinnan Viaduct on foot

The viaduct is east of Glenfinnan station. There are two convenient walking routes to the viaduct.

The easier is to walk down the hill from the station and turn left onto the main road, follow the pavement downhill past the church and turn left before the road crosses the River Finnan (just beyond is the Glenfinnan Visitors' Centre) and follow the dirt road to the viaduct.

The other route is to use the scenic footpath which climbs above the station and east, past a viewpoint which looks out over the station, to approach the viaduct from above at its west end.

The two can be combined to make a circular walk.

Chronology Dates

19/08/1745Jacobites under Charles Edward Stuart
The Prince's standard is raised at Glenfinnan.
30/03/1901West Highland Railway
Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Banavie Junction [2nd], Banavie Canal Bridge, Tomonie Signal Box, Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Arisaig, Mallaig signal boxes opened. Banavie Junction [1st] signal box and junction renamed Mallaig Junction.
01/04/1901Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Line opened from Banavie (Banavie Junction [2nd]), over the Caledonian Canal and on through Banavie, Corpach, Locheilside, Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Beasdale, Arisaig and Morar to Mallaig, extending the West Highland Railway to the western seaboard. There was no official opening ceremony.
06/12/1987West Highland Railway
Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
RETB, based at the signalling centre at Banavie, comes into operation. Takes over Glenfinnan, Arisaig. Annat Signal Box reduced to gate box.
  /  /2012Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Footpath between Glenfinnan station and Glenfinnan Viaduct opened.
05/05/2019Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Footpath between Glenfinnan station and Glenfinnan Viaduct re-opened after repairs and improvements.

News items

07/12/2023And the nation's favourite movie location is Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous for Harry Potter steam train [Press and Journal]
08/08/2023Barrhead's new £18m railway station supported by city region cabinet [STV]
01/08/2023Repair plans submitted for Glenfinnan viaduct [Network Rail]
21/07/2023Cancellation of journeys on Jacobite Steam Train known as Hogwarts Express across Glenfinnan Viaduct extended [STV]
12/07/2023West Highland CRP helps drive Glenfinnan towards a more sustainable future [Community Rail Network]
02/07/2023Glenfinnan: How a Highland hamlet is cracking under Harry Potter mania [The National]
01/06/2023Glenfinnan biodiversity project on track [Network Rail]
30/04/2023Its no a wizard, Harry! Warning over Scottish Pottermania as tourists mistake Bonnie Prince Charlie for spellbinding schoolboy [Sunday Post]
22/03/2023Fort Williams lost railway station rebuilt in miniature [Oban Times]
12/03/2023Harry Potter bridge set to be repaired as Network Rail vow to fix urgent defect [ScottishDailyExpress]


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