Glenfinnan Viaduct

Location type


Name and dates

Glenfinnan Viaduct (1901-)

Opened on the Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway).


This viaduct is one of the highlights of the Mallaig Extension. It is much photographed both from the train and the surrounding land.

It is a single track viaduct of mass concrete on a curve. It has 21 arches and is 100 ft high. It is the longest concrete viaduct in Scotland at 416 yds. It is on the rise to a summit to the west, required by the climb up from Eil past Glenfinnan to cross the high ground before dropping down to Loch Eilt. Without this climb such a large viaduct would not have been needed.

It was initially a striking white colour, considered a bit of an imposition on the landscape, but has darkened and mellowed looking more like weathered stone.

It is at the south end of Glenfinnan and crosses the River Finnan.

In relatively recent years, it has featured in the Harry Potter films.

The view of the viaduct from most directions is largely clear of trees and can be easily photographed. It is a short walk from the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre, or the even closer Glenfinnan Viaduct Car Park just off the A830 on the west bank of the Finnan (the road up to the viaduct is private). The hillock above the visitor centre affords a good view (the "Glenfinnan Viewpoint") and a longer circular walk can be had from the centre to the viaduct, then along the rougher hillside footpath to Glenfinnan station and back to the centre by either the A830 taking in the St Mary's and St Finnan's Chapel or via the minor road which drops down from the Prince's Hotel

Glen House, seen in older photographs and which sat to the north of the viaduct, no longer stands having been demolished in the 1970s.

13.65 miles from Banavie Junction [2nd].


The Jacobite


Glenfinnan Estate

Glenfinnan Church

The viaduct features in many artworks, including Rob Hain's Magical Glenfinnan .

The viaduct is seen in several films including IMDB - Glenfinnan Viaduct .


Viaduct Harry Potter scenic

External links

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


Listing: A

Nearby stations
Lech-a-vuie Platform
Loch Eil Outward Bound
Fort William [1st]
Fort William
Banavie Pier
Ballachulish Ferry
No 62 Tunnel
Leachbhuidh No 78 Tunnel
Leachbhuidh No 79 Tunnel
Lochailort Tunnel
Glenfinnan Monument
Loch Sheil
Glenfinnan Pier
Sgurr nan Coireachan
Sgurr Thuilm
Gulvain - Gaor Bheinn: S top
Gulvain - Gaor Bheinn
Loch Eilt
Loch Eil
Tigh nan Saighdearan Barracks
Lochailort Inn
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

Glenfinnan Viaduct from a train

It is reached by train about 30 minutes after leaving Fort William. If you are planning to take a photograph from the Jacobite or a ScotRail train it would be advisable to find a suitable window much earlier, perhaps around Locheilside station. The viaduct can be seen from the left (when heading to Mallaig) side of the train.


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