Location type


Name and dates

Mallaig (1901-)

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


This is a two faced island platform terminus on the western seaboard of Scotland. Nearby is the Caledonian MacBrayne pier for Armadale Pier in Skye. A number of locations are served from Mallaig Pier. The station building is at the north (buffer) end of the station. It is of two storeys and in house style. The terminus building lost its glazed platform canopy in 1977. A sea wall protected passengers from the element, but this was lost in 1987 during new road preparation works.

There had been a locomotive shed, Mallaig Shed, and sidings continued to the pier, but are lifted. The siding on the east side of the station was used until the 1980s to deliver oil for the Caledonian MacBrayne vessels.

The signal box was south of the station and on the east side of the line. It was considered to have the best view from any signal box in Scotland with its view out to the islands. It became a ground frame in 1982 and has since been replaced with a ground frame.

With the building of the new road into Mallaig in the late 1980s the railway no longer borders the rocky shoreline and the new road has absorbed the area of the sidings on the west side of the station.

Despite the reduction in facilities this is a fine station which retains its station building. In summer it can be very busy with the Jacobite and during other train arrivals. A turntable to allow steam engines to turn would be a good addition.

Near the station a double row of railway cottages are now privately owned.

The bay is an ancient harbour. Before the coming of the railway the bay was called Acairseid na Coille Moire with a small pier on its west side, Port Faochagach (built in 1846, to improve for local people after the potato famine, by Lord Lovat the landowner). Mallaig itself was a few scattered buildings to the north east. The hill of Cnoc na Malaidh or Cruach Mhalaig is above.

Just before the arrival of the railway a small village with a post office was developing on the west side of the bay which had become Mallaig Harbour.

The railway approached the harbour from the south, running along the coast. The railway built an additional pier to the north of the existing pier on the west side of the bay.

A breakwater was later added north of the railway pier.

In recent years the village has undergone a transformation from an almost shanty town utilitarian location to a tourist destination, which still supports the fishing industry and a port for the isles.


Mallaig Pier is the port for Armadale Pier on Skye, Lochboisdale Pier on South Uist, Inverie in Knoydart and the Small Isles; Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna. Caledonian MacBrayne

The Jacobite steam train operates in the summer between Fort William and Mallaig. The Jacobite

Mallaig Heritage

Mallaig Harbour Authority


Terminus Pier Ferry Station scenic

External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Gaelic name: Malaig

Chronology Dates

  /  /1896West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
West Highland Railway (Guarantee) Act passed, setting up the guarantee for the Mallaig extension. A second West Highland Railway Act then passed, specifying completion to Mallaig by 31/07/1902.
08/12/1897Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
In poor weather, the SS Clansman [II] arrived at Mallaig carrying 2,200 navvies for the railway's construction. (Some possibly ex of the Kyle of Lochalsh Extension, opened 11/1897).
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.
31/12/1908North British Railway West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
North British Railway formally takes over the West Highland Railway line from Craigendoran to Fort William [1st], Mallaig and the branch to Banavie [1st].
  /  /1955West Highland Railway
British Aluminium Co Ltd erects the Inverlochy Footbridge, roughly where the temporary line of the Lochaber Narrow Gauge Railway passed over the Mallaig line, in order to link housing at Inverlochy to the Aluminium Smelter.
  /  /1956Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Former 'Coronation' 'Beaver Tail' observation car introduced on trains between Fort William [1st] and Mallaig.
  /  /1963Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
The The Reshaping of British Railways (Beeching) report proposes the closure of Banavie, Locheilside and Mallaig but retaining a limited stop Fort William [1st] to Mallaig service.
14/03/1982Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Mallaig signal box becomes a ground frame only with one-engine-in-steam working.
  /  /1987Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Mallaig station's screening wall, which protected passengers from the elements, removed. Mallaig Shed demolished. Both removed for road development.
  /06/1988Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
The railway owned dormitory at Mallaig was demolished after a fire (in June). This dormitory was formerly used by staff handling the considerable fish traffic.
10/02/1998Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Part closure due to flooding. With closure of the Lochy Viaduct [Fort William] a stranded Sprinter operates between Mallaig and Loch Eil Outward Bound until the line re-opens on the 18th.
05/03/2005West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Class 50s reach Mallaig on a Pathfinders tour for the first time (50031 Hood and 50049 Defiance). Arrived Fort William on the 4th, Mallaig on the 5th (having to run to Arisaig and back to pass a Sprinter due to its length before the return journey) and to Dundee from Fort William on the 6th.

News items

28/11/2023End of the line? Harry Potter train waits for ruling on Hogwarts route [BBC News]
06/10/2023Trains suspended in 'do not travel' weather warning for Scotland [BBC News]
25/09/2023Warning over delays and cancellations on West Highland railway line due to heavy rain and strong winds [Press and Journal]
14/06/2023A86 reopens as ScotRail disruption continues on West Highland Line between Fort William and Crianlarich [STV]
14/06/2023Scotrail services from Glasgow affected due to 'trapped' trains [Glasgow Times]
04/06/2023Hundreds of islanders, cars and lorries in demo over CalMac ferry cuts [The Herald]
23/05/2023Uist ferry disruption 'worse' than lockdown impact [BBC News]
19/04/2023ScotRail adds more carriages to Mallaig on its Highland Explorer services [Global Railway Review]
29/03/2023Lochboisdale ferry to be cancelled for five weeks [BBC News]
05/03/2023Scenic trains with larger windows planned by ScotRail for Highland lines to Mallaig and Thurso [Scotsman]


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