Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)

Introduction

This 40 mile long railway line runs through some of the most scenic terrain crossed by a railway in Britain, running by the sea, inland lochs and skirting mountains. The landscape is so challenging to a railway^s construction there are 11 tunnels and 6 viaducts, (the former lined with and latter notably built in concrete). It extended the West Highland Railway, which terminated by Loch Linnhe (with a branch to Banavie [1st] by the Caledonian Canal), west to the western seaboard, terminating Mallaig which flourished as a fishing port also served by steamers. It was, and is, an area of low population.

The railway carries a passenger service between Fort William and Mallaig. Caledonian MacBrayne ferries operate out of Mallaig to Armadale Pier on Skye. Other destinations are also served by ferries and the harbour is a fishing port.

For much of the year the line is traversed by the steam hauled ^The Jacobite ^. Charles Edward Stuart^s Jacobite standard was raised at Glenfinnan where today the Glenfinnan Monument and visitors^ centre is located. Nearby is the 21 arch Glenfinnan Viaduct made famous by the Harry Potter films. Glenfinnan station has a railway museum, which can be visited briefly during the pause in the journey of the westbound ^Jacobite^.

The line is supported by the Friends of the West Highland Lines who were formed in 1983 and have promoted the line ever since. The society publishes the West Highland News Plus.

The line is single track with passing places at Glenfinnan and Arisaig.

Engineers: Simpson and Wilson.

Why built

This line extended the West Highland Railway to the open waters of the West Coast, allowing the small fishing station of Mallaig to become a fishing port of note handling considerable quantities of herring. The terminus at Fort William was on Loch Linnhe, but it was a long distance from the western seaboard. In addition to being a fishing port, from Mallaig the Isle of Skye could be reached and its cattle. For tourism it opened up a new area with beautiful views and steeped in history.

Architecture

Station buildings on the extension were similar to, but smaller than, those on the original West Highland Railway. Concrete was used in their construction. Buildings survive at Corpach (not typical - the orginal building burned down), Glenfinnan, Beasdale (different in style), Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. Platforms also were built in concrete. Unlike the original line no stations had an island platform. Glenfinnan, Lochailort and Arisaig had two platforms but no footbridges, just sleeper crossings at the end of the platforms (which can prove tricky in the summer when the Jacobite is running it being so long it covers the crossings!). The Mallaig terminus had a long glazed canopy covering the portion of the platform closest to the building, that being a two storey stone built cottage style. The now lost single road engine shed at Mallaig was also stone built.

Signal boxes, built in timber, were designed and supplied by the Railway Signal Company; a larger form of those found on the West Highland Railway main line. Examples survive at Glenfinnan (restored) and Arisaig. Small gate boxes were at Corpach and Morar.

There were no goods sheds as such, but where needed there were grounded coaches, later replaced by parcel buildings, on the platform.

Station agent and railway staff houses are similar to those on the main line, with surfacemen^s cottages at regular intervals along the line.

A modern signal box style control centre was erected at Banavie to take over from the traditional signalling with the introduction of RETB.



Dates

31/07/1894West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
West Highland Railway (Mallaig Extension) Act passed.
  /  /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.
21/01/1897West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
First sod of Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway) cut at Corpach by Lady Margaret Cameron of Lochiel.
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.
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].
  /  /1912Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Tomonie Signal Box closes and Banavie Swing Bridge signal box becomes a block post.
  /  /1921West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Banavie Junction [2nd] signal box closed, replaced by a ground frame.
02/09/1939West Highland Railway
Banavie Pier to Fort William (Banavie Junction [2nd]) closed to passengers. By closure the service was meagre - a service from Fort William [1st] on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and a reverse working on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. Banavie Junction [2nd] to Mallaig Junction remains open to passengers as part of the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).
06/08/1951West Highland Railway
Banavie Pier to Fort William (Banavie Junction [2nd]) (excluded) closed to goods and completely. Banavie Junction [2nd] to Mallaig Junction remains open to passengers as part of the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).
  /  /1956Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Former ^Coronation^ ^Beaver Tail^ observation car introduced on trains between Fort William [1st] and Mallaig.
  /  /1961 Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Class 27s (BRCW Type 2s) introduced.
  /  /1962Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Closed to steam.
  /  /1963West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
British Railways and Scottish Pulp (Developments) Ltd agree a 22 year plan for a new Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills to receive raw materials and dispatch paper by rail.
  /  /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.
  /  /1965West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Fish carrying vans withdrawn.
  /  /1966West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
The Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills open at Corpach leading to a great increase in traffic for the line at a time when it is under threat.
09/06/1980West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Final timber train leaves Crianlarich Lower for the Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills, Corpach.
  /10/1980West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
As the Pulp Mill at Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills, Corpach, closes much traffic is lost.
  /  /1983Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Re-introduction of observation cars in the summer.
27/05/1984Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Steam returns to the West Highland Line as a tourist attraction. The first such train ran on Sunday the 27th of May.
  /  /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.
  /  /1987Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Banavie signal box closed.
  /03/1987Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Fish traffic briefly returned to the line between March and June, the fish from Iceland being carried south to Grimsby.
  /06/1987West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
New RETB signalling centre opened at Banavie - the first step is to take over operation of the Banavie Swing Bridge.
  /12/1987West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
RETB, based at the signalling centre at Banavie, comes into operation.
  /  /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.
19/05/1988West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Banavie RETB Signalling Centre formally opened by David Mitchell, Minister for Transport.
23/01/1989West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Class 156 ^Sprinters^ introduced, replacing Class 37/4 hauled rolling stock.
27/06/1995Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
The West Coast Railway Company commences running the steam service on the Mallaig Extension as The Jacobite.
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.
  /05/2000Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
While erecting a community hall on the site of Mallaig Shed the foundations of the building, and some track, is found. The rail served oil tanks by the station are to be replaced by a new storage facility in the harbour.
23/02/2003Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Major lineside fire at the Glenfinnan Viaduct attributed to steam train used for filming scenes for the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film.
  /  /2005West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Paper mill at the Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills closes, 135 jobs lost.
14/02/2005Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Line closed from the 14th to the 16th to allow the lining of Borrodale Tunnel to be repaired. Buses replaced trains.
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.
19/10/2007Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)
Line closed temporarily to allow landslip prevention work. Re-opened on the 5th.
  /  /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.

Route described

The line runs generally west from Fort William. It crosses the Caledonian Canal at Banavie and follows the north bank of Loch Eil, generally level with few tight curves.

From Kinlocheil begins the climb to Glenfinnan station, the line passing through a short tunnel and crossing the curved Glenfinnan Viaduct and passing the head of Loch Shiel to reach the station. Beyond Glenfinnan is the summit of the line beyond which via several tunnels and curves it drops to the south bank of Eilt.

At the west end of the loch is a tight turn to the north and then west to reach Lochailort. There is a brief climb to reach Loch Dubh and another drop down to cross the Loch nan Uamh Viaduct by the shore at Loch nan Uamh, where Charles Edward Stuart landed.

Another climb via tunnels, many curves and through forest reaches Beasdale.

Arisaig station is perched above the village and harbour and from here the line turns north, passing by and over Keppoch Moss to reach the Morar Sands, Loch Morar and Morar station.

After another brief climb the last portion runs by the sea approaching Mallaig from the south.


Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Banavie to Mallaig

The signal box here controlled the junction between the Banavie [1st] branch and the West Highland^s extension west to Mallaig. Both lines were single track.
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See also
West Highland Railway
Banavie Junction looking to Fort William with the Mallaig line through the trees on the right and the former Banavie Pier branch in the foreground ...
Ewan Crawford 27/04/2013
1 of 1 images.


This is a single platform station. At the north end of the platform is Banavie Swing Bridge and the modern signalling centre, built in the style of a signal box. Unfortunately the West Highland extension style station building (similar to those at Glenfinnan and Arisaig) was demolished in the early 1980s. It had remained unused, after staff were withdrawn, but was ruined by vandalism.
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The plaque on Banavie Signalling Centre, celebrating its opening in 1988. ...
John Yellowlees 02/04/2017
Heritage Railway Association visit to Banavie: view towards Fort William and Ben Nevis with the signalling centre to the left and swing bridge behind ...
John Yellowlees 02/04/2017
Looking west along the platform at Banavie to the signal box and swing bridge. By this date the West Highland Extension style station building was ...
Bill Roberton //1985
The Banavie Swing Bridge mid swing on an official Heritage Railway Association visit today to Banavie signal box. ...
John Yellowlees 02/04/2017
4 of 13 images. more


This single track railway swing bridge is immediately north of Banavie station. It carries the Fort William to Mallaig line at the foot of Neptune's Staircase, a series of interconnected locks on the Caledonian Canal.
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Caledonian Canal
Black 5 Alderman A.E Draper 5305 crossing Banavie swing bridge on its way to Mallaig in August 1987. Thirty years later this loco is still on the main ...
Gordon Steel 16/08/1987
Classic view of Ben Nevis from the afternoon Jacobite to Mallaig at Banavie on 3rd June 2016. ...
David Spaven 03/06/2016
The midday service to Mallaig crosses Banavie Swing Bridge over the Caledonian Canal in 2013. ...
Ewan Crawford 27/04/2013
Banavie swing bridge viewed from the north. ...
Ewan Crawford //
4 of 14 images. more


This signal box was north west from Banavie Swing Bridge the approach to which it protected. To its west was Corpach station. It worked in conjunction with Banavie Canal Bridge Signal Box, located at Banavie station and which guarded its southern approach.
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37402 at Banavie on a wet 30 April 1986 with the 1005 Fort William - Mallaig. ...
Ewan Crawford Collection 30/04/1986
1 of 1 images.


This is a single platform station. It is close to the basin of the Caledonian Canal and its Corpach Basin and the sea lock. Corpach retains its small timber station building, not typical of the line (the original building, typical of the Mallaig extension, burned down). The platform is on the north side of the line and there is a barrier protected level crossing to its west.
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The Jacobite approaches Corpach seen over the Caledonian Canal^s sea lock in 1990. The tower is Corpach Lighthouse. ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Glasgow Highlanders being
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John Gray 01/04/2018
K1 No.62005 races away from Corpach with The Jacobite on a sunny
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John Gray 21/10/2016
5305 westbound out of Banavie heading for Mallaig on 23 August 1987.
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Peter Todd 23/08/1987
4 of 11 images. more


During the Second World War two loops were installed on the south side of the line in the east of Annat Point. From the loops a siding ran from the east end to serve a jetty.
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This signal box opened in 1964, replacing that at Camus-na-ha Sidings to the west. The box controlled Annat West and Annat East level crossings and the entry into Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills which had led to its opening. It was located on the south side of the line at Annat East Level Crossing.
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A class 27 heads to Mallaig past Annat signalbox in 1977. ...
Bill Roberton //1977
Annat Signalbox viewed from the east in 1990. ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
Annat signal box on the line to Mallaig, standing alongside the level crossing leading into the paper mill at Corpach. View east towards Fort William ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2005
Annat signal box and entrance to Corpach paper mill from the east - October 2005. ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2005
4 of 4 images.


This ground frame controlled access to the Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills at Corpach from the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).
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The Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills at Corpach seen in the 1960s when new. ...
Aitken Scott //
Corpach Mill viewed from the eastbound Jacobite in May 2006. Sold to BSW Timber by Arjo Wiggins the site is set to expand. Hopefully the railway will ...
Ewan Crawford 28/05/2006
2 of 2 images.


This was a Second World War loop, on the south side of the line, controlled by a signal box at its east end. The box was a single storey structure with a sloping back roof. There was a siding from the loop curving back towards Annat narrows.
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This was a Second World War loop, on the south side of the line, controlled by a signal box at its east end. The box was a single storey structure with a sloping back roof. There was a siding from the loop curving back towards Annat narrows.
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A view of Camus-na-ha signal box and siding north of Banavie on the Mallaig extension of the West Highland line. Photograph taken by the LNER on 5th ...
Douglas Blades Collection 05/08/1946
Camus-Na-Ha signal box, situated beyond Banavie on the Mallaig extension, was a World War 2 signal box along with Helensburgh Upper, [[Faslane ...
PR&PO British Railways (Douglas Blades Collection) 05/08/1946
2 of 2 images.


This is a relatively modern station with a short platform built to serve the nearby Outward Bound Centre, just to the north.
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Photograph taken with a 200mm zoom lens of Black 5 44871 on the afternoon Jacobite from opposite side of Loch Eil. ...
Gordon Steel 05/07/2012
156445 and 156492 form the 08.21 from Glasgow Queen Street leaving Loch Eil Outward Bound for Mallaig on 19th October 2017. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
156445 and 156492 form the 08.21 from Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig approaching Locheil Outward Bound. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
Black 5 No.45407 makes a slow approach to the station at Loch Eil
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John Gray 02/08/2016
4 of 7 images. more


This is a single platform station. It originally had a typical Mallaig Extension building such as that at Glenfinnan or Arisaig, but this has been lost (it was derelict and vandalised by the late 1960s). There is a shelter. The platform is on the north side of the line with Loch Eil just across the track.
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Black 5 45407, running as 45157 The Glasgow Highlander, hurries the morning Jacobite service through Locheilside on its way to the ...
Mark Bartlett 02/08/2018
Locheilside station viewed from the west. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The wayside platform at Lochielside, midway between Fort William and Glenfinnan. View east on 27 September 2005, with Loch Eil itself off picture to ...
John Furnevel 27/09/2005
A really hot afternoon, with the temperature nudging 30C, Black 5 No.44871, with the afternoon Jacobite service, races along the straight west ...
John Gray 19/07/2013
4 of 8 images. more




This is a single track tunnel east of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. It is 23 yards long.
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Minus a headboard, Black 5 No.45212 races along the straight at Drumsallie with the afternoon Jacobite steam service to Mallaig on 7th June 2019. In ...
John Gray 07/06/2019
1 of 1 images.


This viaduct is one of the highlights of the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway). It is much photographed both from the train and the surrounding land.
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The iconic Glenfinnan viaduct lit up red tonight (Wednesday, November 11) as a tribute to all those who have lost their lives in defence of the ...
Network Rail 11/11/2020
K1 62005 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct with The Jacobite on 19 October. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
K1 62005 crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct with The Jacobite on 19 October. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
Black 5 44767 ^George Stephenson^ crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct in August 1986.
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Peter Todd /08/1976
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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 ...

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Climbing away from Glenfinnan, a little to the west. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
Climbing away from Glenfinnan, a little to the west. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
Climbing away from Glenfinnan, a little to the west. This was the K1^s last run to Mallaig of the season. ...
Bill Roberton 19/10/2017
Black 5 No.45407 can^t be faulted for effort as it charges up the gradient west of Glenfinnan with the afternoon* Jacobite * service for Mallaig. ...
John Gray //2017
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This halt was west of Glenfinnan station, east of Lochailort. It was a private halt used, initially, for shooting parties on the large Lochailort Estate. During the Second World War it was used in connection with the extensive training grounds for soldiers.
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How to get sopping wet in under a minute. (1) take up an interest in railway photography (2) slip-slide uphill through a bog to photograph the ...
Ewan Crawford 28/09/2009
1 of 1 images.


This is a single track tunnel, the eastern of two tunnels just west of Lech-a-vuie Platform and east of Loch Eilt. It is 88 yards long.
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This is a single track tunnel, the western of two tunnels just west of Lech-a-vuie Platform and east of Loch Eilt. It is 66 yards long.
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This is a single platform station. It was a two platform station similar to both Glenfinnan and Arisaig. It is located at Kinlochailort, now more commonly known as Lochailort due to the station. Loch Ailort itself is to the south west.
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The West Highland line will fully re-open for passengers tomorrow (Monday, July 13) following the successful completion of repair works between Fort ...
Network Rail 11/07/2020
A Sprinter at the west end of Loch Eilt in 1996. ...
Ewan Crawford //1996
View east along Loch Eilt on 19th September 2020, with the Road to the Isles (A830) on the left. ^The Jacobite^ is returning to Fort William on the ...
John Gray 19/09/2020
By Loch Eilt. ...
Ewan Crawford //
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This is a single track 176 yard tunnel just west of Lochailort station. ...

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This is a single track 38 yard tunnel between Lochailort and Beasdale. To the immediate west is Polnish No 107 Tunnel and to the east Lochailort Tunnel. ...

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Black 5 No.44871 on the climb up to Polnish with ^The Jacobite^ for
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John Gray 01/08/2016
Black 5 No.45407 running through Polnish cutting with the return working of * The Jacobite * to Fort William. ...
John Gray 03/08/2016
Black 5 No.45407 on the climb up from Lochailort approaching the first of the tunnels at Polnish on the way to Mallaig. ...
John Gray 03/08/2016
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This is a single track 44 yard tunnel between Lochailort and Beasdale. To the immediate east is Polnish No 106 Tunnel and to the west Arnabol Viaduct. ...

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44767 ^George Stephenson^ passes Polnish Chapel with the ^West Highlander^ on its way to Mallaig in 1984.
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Bill Roberton //1984
Black 5 45212 climbing the gradient out of Lochailort with the afternoon ^Jacobite^ service for Mallaig on 20th August 2019. Pictured passing the ...
John Gray 20/08/2019
Suitably decorated Black 5 No.45407 hauling The Jacobite Christmas Express up the gradient at Polnish on 30 December 2016 heading for Mallaig. ...
John Gray 30/12/2016
A picture I have always wanted to take.K1 62005 carrying the nameplates Lord of the Isles brings The West Highlander up the gradient ...
John Gray 26/09/2009
4 of 4 images.


This is a six arches of 50 ft single track mass concrete viaduct on the Mallaig line between Polnish No 107 Tunnel (to the east) and Loch nan Uamh Viaduct. The viaduct is 52 ft high. The viaduct is on a gentle curve and crosses the Arnabol Burn.
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673 Maude passing the east end of Loch Dubh, west of Lochailort, en route back to Fort William on 28 May 1984. ...
Peter Todd //
Black five no 44871 crossing Arnabol Viaduct near Loch nan Uamh with The Jacobite on its way to Mallaig on 12 October. Arnabol Viaduct is ...
John Gray 12/10/2010
Crossing Arnabol Viaduct heading east. ...
Paul D Kerr 04/09/2006
K1 No.62005 crossing the causeway at the south end of Loch Dubh near Lochailort on 19 July 2013 with the Mallaig bound Jacobite. ...
John Gray 19/07/2013
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This is an eight 50ft arch single track mass concrete viaduct between Arnabol Viaduct (to the east) and Loch nan Uamh No 116 Tunnel to the immediate north of the viaduct. The viaduct is at the east end of Loch nan Uamh (loch of the caves). It is also known as Gleann Mama Viaduct, for the glen to the east.
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Black 5 No.44871 hauls the morning * Jacobite* across Loch nan Uamh
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John Gray //2017
Black 5 No.44871 with the return working of * The Jacobite * from Mallaig to Fort William,pictured crossing the viaduct at Loch nan Uamh. ...
John Gray //2017
Loch Nan Uamh viaduct looking east, 0905. ...
John Furnevel /09/2005
K4 The Great Marquess and K1 2005 on Loch Nan Uamh viaduct, July 1994. ...
John Gray /Ju/1994
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This single track tunnel of 66 yards is immediately north of the Loch nan Uamh Viaduct.
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This single track tunnel of 99 yards is immediately north of the Loch nan Uamh No 116 Tunnel.
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This is a single track 192 yard long tunnel. It is west of Loch nan Uamh No 117 Tunnel and just south of Beasdale No 119 Tunnel. ...

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The noise can be heard for miles around as Black 5 no 44871 emerges from the first tunnel on the climb up Beasdale Bank on 13 October. The locomotive ...
John Gray //
Leaving a smoke trail round the edge of Loch nan Uahm, Black 5 No.44871 builds up some speed on 11 October as it approaches the first tunnel on the 1 ...
John Gray 11/10/2011
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This is a single track 154 yard long tunnel. It is north of Beasdale No 118 Tunnel and east of Beasdale station. ...

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On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until the end of August there are two steam hauled excursions on the Mallaig extension. Here we see 44871 ...
John Gray 14/07/2011
As our Sprinter climbed west on Beasdale Bank there was a distinct hush - our train slowed - the lineside on both sides of the line was burned and a ...
Ewan Crawford 03/05/2017
Between heavy showers on 11 October 2011, Network Rail Track Assessment & Recording Unit No.950001 descends Beasdale Bank on its way back to Fort ...
John Gray 11/10/2011
3 of 3 images.


This bridge is a culvert of the Beasdale Burn located east of Beasdale station and just north of the road bridge over the A830.
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This is a single platform station. The building adjoining the station was both a waiting room for Arisaig House and a railwayman^s house, in a style typical of such buildings on the line. The building, which was derelict in the 1980s, has been restored. There is a timber waiting room on the platform.
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K1 No.62005 is going well as it approaches the summit at Beasdale with *The
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John Gray 21/10/2016
Beasdale station viewed from the west. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Platform view east at Beasdale looking towards Lochailort in September 2005. The station was originally intended as a private halt serving nearby ...
John Furnevel 27/09/2005
Beasdale, not long after the station building was re-built. Looking east. ...
Ewan Crawford //1994
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This single track 1050 ft tunnel is the longest on the line. It is immediately east of Borrodale Viaduct and west of Beasdale station.
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A westbound 4 car Sprinter is about to enter Borrodale Tunnel, the longest on the line, on a swelteringly hot day in 2017. ...
Ewan Crawford 02/05/2017
Black 5 No.44871 powers up the gradient from Beasdale to Borrodale Tunnel with the afternoon steam service for Mallaig. ...
John Gray 03/08/2016
2 of 2 images.


This is a broad single arch mass concrete viaduct. It is 127.5 ft long, thought to be the longest such bridge when built. It is 86 ft high and approached by 20 ft arches at either end. The bridge has dressed stone additions and parapets, added for the benefit of the landowners at Arisaig House and Borrodale House (which are to the south). The bridge crosses the very deep chasm of the ...

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The, very late running, Glasgow Queen St. to Mallaig service crossing Borrodale Viaduct consisting of a four car multiple unit led by 156458. ...
John Gray 02/08/2017
The northbound afternoon Jacobite hauled by Black 5,No.45212,with the nameboard carried on its distinctive offset lamp iron,exits Borrodale ...
John Gray 02/08/2017
The longest mass concrete span in the world when built,Borrodale Viaduct is now surrounded by trees and difficult to photograph. It spans the ...
John Gray 02/08/2017
The returning east Jacobite is crossing Borrodale Viaduct immediately before entering Borrodale Tunnel. ...
Ewan Crawford 02/05/2017
4 of 5 images. more


This single track three arch viaduct crosses the Brunery Burn east of Arisaig. The central arch, 49 ft, crosses the burn and has the widest span. Those to the sides are of 20 ft.
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This is a two platform station with a passing loop. The original station buildings still stand, the larger on the down (Mallaig bound) platform. The signal box (closed in 1983 and ^B^ listed) still stands at the Fort William end of the station on the northbound platform. The station is to the north of the village of Arisaig.
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Arisaig down distant signal, seen in 1960. ...
David Murray-Smith 08/04/1960
Arisaig looking to Fort William. The station has had some attention and is looking much better than a few years ago. ...
Ewan Crawford 13/12/2018
Mallaig-bound Jacobite crosses a ScotRail service at Arisaig on 3rd June 2016. ...
David Spaven 03/06/2016
On the penultimate day of the 2015 Jacobite steam service, K1 2-6-0 62005 makes a spirited start away from Arisaig heading for Mallaig. Arisaig is the ...
John Gray 23/10/2015
4 of 33 images. more


This is a four arch single track mass concrete viaduct crossing the River Morar at the Falls of Morar. The viaduct is south of Morar station.
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Morar viaduct viewed from the west. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The River Morar is one of the shortest in Scotland but, despite the dry spell, there was plenty of water in it as it passed under the 1897 Morar ...
Mark Bartlett 26/07/2018
Black 5 No.45407 seen crossing the viaduct over the River Morar on 26 June with the morning Jacobite steam service from Fort William to ...
John Gray 26/06/2013
Mallaig train crossing Morar Viaduct in August 1985. ...
Ian Dinmore /08/1985
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This is a single platform station which retains its single storey station building. The building, having been disused and in poor condition, was repaired and has been used for a variety of purposes including a pottery and bakery.
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Sprinter heading north to Mallaig from Arisaig near Keppoch. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Afternoon train from Mallaig drops down towards Loch Morar shortly after leaving Morar station in September 2005. ...
John Furnevel /09/2005
45212 heads away from Morar tender first with the evening Jacobite returning to Fort William. The train is approaching the viaduct over the River ...
Mark Bartlett 01/08/2018
Black 5 45212 leaves Morar heading for Arisaig with the evening Jacobite service from Mallaig to Fort William on 1st August 2018. This view ...
Mark Bartlett 01/08/2018
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This was a single road locomotive shed on the west (sea) side of Mallaig station, about in line with the end of the platform. It was approached from the south and had a turntable on its west side by the sea. A line extended from the south to the pier, running between the station and the locomotive shed.
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The former engine shed at Mallaig, clearly in non-railway use, on a very wet day in 1973.
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Bill Roberton //1973
B1 61197 on the turntable at Mallaig on 6 September 1961. ...
David Stewart 06/09/1961
2 of 2 images.


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 ...

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Looking from the end of the platform at Mallaig in 1974, with BRCW Class 27s coupling up to their railtour stock.
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Bill Roberton //1974
47237, at the head of the Royal Scotsman, with an unidentified Class 37 at the rear on 31st August 2012. ...
Gordon Steel 31/08/2012
Class 47 47237, at the head of the Royal Scotsman in Mallaig on 31st August 2012. At that time West Coast Railways had the contract and an ...
Gordon Steel 31/08/2012
45407 climbs out of Mallaig with ^The Jacobite^ viewed from the CalMac ferry ^Loch Fyne^. ...
Ewan Crawford 16/06/2017
4 of 55 images. more


Mallaig Pier is the port for Armadale Pier on Skye, Lochboisdale Pier on South Uist, Inverie Pier in Knoydart and the Small Isles; Eigg Pier, Muck Pier, Rum Pier and Canna Harbour. It is located on the Sound of Sleat.
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Seen from a ferry departing for Armadale, Calmac MV Lord of the Isles arrives in Mallaig after crossing from Lochboisdale on South Uist in July ...
Mark Bartlett 27/07/2018
CalMac ferry MV Loch Nevis, seen moored at the inner harbour berth in Mallaig on 18th June 2013. This ferry serves the small islands of Eigg, ...
David Pesterfield 18/06/2013
Calmac ferry MV Loch Fyne arrives at the linkspan on Mallaig Pier after crossing from Armadale on Skye on 27th July 2018. This vessel was one ...
Mark Bartlett 27/07/2018
The other terminal building in Mallaig. These are the Calmac Ferry offices on the pier on the morning of 27th July 2018. Cars are beginning to queue ...
Mark Bartlett 27/07/2018
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Pulp Mill

This ground frame controlled access to the Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills at Corpach from the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).
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The Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills at Corpach seen in the 1960s when new. ...
Aitken Scott //
Corpach Mill viewed from the eastbound Jacobite in May 2006. Sold to BSW Timber by Arjo Wiggins the site is set to expand. Hopefully the railway will ...
Ewan Crawford 28/05/2006
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This railway served pulp and paper mill was important to the survival of the West Highland Railway giving rise to much purely Scottish rail traffic. Timber, paper, and oil were carried by rail.
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Books


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