Loch Awe

Location type


Names and dates

Loch Awe (1880-1965)
Loch Awe (1985-)

Station code: LHA National Rail ScotRail
Where: Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Opened on the Callander and Oban Railway.
Open on the West Highland Line.


This is a single platform station alongside the north east shore of Loch Awe [Loch] with a footbridge over the line giving access to a pier, Loch Awe Pier. Only the former eastbound platform remains in use. High above is the Loch Awe Hotel which may be reached by a staircase up a cliff.

This was a two platform station (originally one platform with a goods loop). The larger building (replaced 1897 after a fire) was on the westbound platform with a waiting room on the eastbound. This station featured a fountain which was to the east of the main station building. The station's west end was formerly connected to the hotel with a baggage lift.

The goods yard with a loading bank was to the west on the north side of the line. Trains from Ben Cruachan Quarry ran to the goods yard from the quarry. On the south side opposite the mains goods yard was a siding for the Loch Awe Pier. A crane on the pier provided transshipment.

The signal box was at the west end of the westbound platform. It was replaced in 1902.

Steamers from Loch Awe Pier ran to other piers on the loch such as Ford Pier, Port Sonachan, Cladich Pier and New York (near Dalavich!). A variation on the Royal Route had passengers arriving at Ardrishaig not use the Crinan Canal but instead travel overland to Ford Pier where a steamer to Loch Awe Pier and train would take them to Oban.

The station closed to passengers in 1965 and the signal box and loop closed in 1966. The station buildings were demolished. British Rail re-opened the now minimal station in 1985. The goods yard side is now the car park.

West from the station the line follows the north bank of Loch Awe to Falls of Cruachan and on the the dramatic Pass of Brander. For much of this length the line runs on a shelf constructed on the steep hillside of Ben Cruachan, protected by the 'stone signals' from falling rocks (see Pass of Brander Stone Signals. Opposite the railway on the south side of the pass are high cliffs and a area scree and boulders down to the water's edge.

East of Loch Awe are the site of the junction for the Ben Cruachan Quarry at Drishaig Junction and the long Orchy Viaduct close to Kilchurn Castle


Kilchurn Castle is to the north east of the station (just over 1.5 miles by foot or road).

Loch Awe Hotel opened with the station.

The Caledonian Camping Coach Company has accommodation in a former railway carriage by the station. This coach was delivered here by unusual means: after arrival here the track was slewed sideways to the south and then new panels laid where the track had been.

One of the routes up Ben Cruachan starts south west from the station, initially following an Old Military Road before continuing up to Cruachan Dam, which dams the reservoir for the Cruachan Power Station.


Station Pier scenic



External links

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


Gaelic name: Loch Obha

Nearby stations
Falls of Cruachan
Tyndrum Lower
Tyndrum [1st]
Glen Falloch Platform
Upper Tyndrum
Bridge of Orchy
Connel Ferry
Barcaldine Halt
North Connel
Drishaig Junction
Orchy Viaduct
Ben Cruachan Quarry
Dalmally Shed
Loch Awe Pier
Loch Awe Hotel
Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle Level Crossing
Duncan Ban MacIntyre Monument [Dalmally]
Loch Awe [Loch]
Stob Garbh
Sron an Isean
Stob Diamh
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

TSMV Countess of Breadalbane [II]

This vessel, by William Denny & Sons, was assembled at the slipway half a mile west of Loch Awe station in 1936. She operated on Loch Awe from the pier by the station called at piers on the loch down to Ford. In 1952 she was removed by the road, crossing the Callander and Oban Railway immediately west of the western distant signal, and taken by road to Loch Fyne, operating on the Clyde until 1981 when she moved to Loch Lomond.

Chronology Dates

02/06/1913Callander and Oban Railway
Motor service introduced between Loch Awe and Inveraray.
01/11/1965Callander and Oban Railway
Loch Awe, Ach-na-Cloich closed.
02/10/1966Callander and Oban Railway
Loch Awe signal box closed and loop closed.
01/05/1985Callander and Oban Railway
Loch Awe re-opened to passengers.
05/04/1997Callander and Oban Railway
Railway blocked by a landslip at Loch Awe which derailed a Sprinter.

News items

30/11/2021Highland train passengers told to expect delays due to heavy rain speed restrictions [Press and Journal]
09/04/2021Here are 12 beautiful views you can see from train journeys around Scotland [Scotsman]
29/06/2014Rail warning system 'ears' can hear landslide [Scotsman]
18/07/2012Passengers escape uninjured in two separate landslide incidents on Scotlands railways [Scotsman]
14/07/2011Rock fall calls after Argyll train derailment [BBC News]
26/04/2011Thank you ceremony for staff from Loch Awe train crash [Oban Times]
19/11/2010Argyll train derailment driver honoured [BBC]
14/06/2010Track reopens after derailment [BBC News]


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

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Routes 3: Stirling to Crianlarich - DVD - Oakwood Press

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

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

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

Oban 1898: Argyllshire Sheet 98.07 (Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Argyllshire)

On West Highland Lines

Railway World Special: West Highland Lines

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

Scottish Central Railway (Oakwood Library of Railway History)

The Birth and Death of a Highland Railway: Ballachulish Line

The Caledonian, Scotland's Imperial Railway: A History

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

Walks from the West Highland Railway (Cicerone Guide)