Glen Ogle Viaduct

Location type


Name and dates

Glen Ogle Viaduct (1870-1965)

Opened on the Callander and Oban Railway.


This is a disused 12 arch, 139 ft long overall, 44 ft high single track masonry viaduct in Glen Ogle running along the steep eastern hillside of Meall Reamhar and Scorrach Nuadh. It may just about have been possible for the line to have followed the hillside but would have involved very tight curves. The viaduct flies out from the hillside and then rejoins it. To the immediate south is a three arch viaduct.

The line very much travels on a shelf cut into the hillside between Balquhidder [2nd] and Glenoglehead. This hugely increased construction costs but also made for a very scenic portion of the line. The viaduct is on the steep uphill climb between the aforementioned stations.

Not far to the south is the location of the Glen Ogle Rockfall which led to the line's closure.

The viaduct remains intact. It now carries an official footpath, the Rob Roy Way , and the parapets have been reinstated and repaired, and fencing on either side installed.

A single telegraph pole remains to the south west of the viaduct, possibly on the temporary way used to build the line.

Engineer John Strain.

A smaller three arch viaduct is just to the south.


In 1842 Queen Victoria made her first visit to the Highlands of Scotland, with Prince Albert. On the 10th of September she travelled by boat from Taymouth Castle along Loch Tay to Auchmore (14 miles) and then overland by Killin, Glen Ogle, Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Crieff to Drummond Castle (around 30 miles).

She noted in her diary, published as 'Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands':

The country we came to now was very wild, beginning at Glen Dochart, through which the Dochart flows; nothing but moors and very high rocky mountains. We came to a small lake called, I think, Laragilly, amidst the wildest and finest scenery we had yet seen. Glen Ogle, which is a sort of long pass, putting one in mind of the prints of the Kyber Pass, the road going for some way down hill and up hill, through these very high mountains, and the escort in front looking like mere specks from the great height. We also saw Ben Voirlich. At Loch Earn Head we changed horses.

This is the passage oft referred to in which the Queen compared Glen Ogle to the Khyber Pass. The small lake is almost certainly Lochan Lairig Cheile, immediately west of the later Glenoglehead. A fine location to pause. Journeys of this length were not unusual during her tour of the Highlands.

Intriguingly, the reference to the Khyber Pass is in the 'Leaves' but is absent in the official Princess Beatrice version of the Queen's Journal. The Princess was the Queen's Literary Executor.

Queen Victorias Journals


Viaduct footpath

External links

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


Listing: B


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

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)