Lochailort

Location type

Station

Name and dates

Lochailort (1901-)

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

Description

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.

All the original buildings and the small goods yard have been lost (a disused loading bank remains). The main station building, of typical ^Extension^ style such as those at Glenfinnan and Arisaig, was on the westbound platform. It was demolished around 1983. There was a relatively modern signal box here at the west end, the loop having been extended in the Second World War. The box closed in 1966 but remains in use as a railway bothy until 1986 when it was demolished.

Only the westbound platform remains in use, now used for both directions. The eastbound platform is still there, but somewhat overgrown in summer. There is a very limited amount of parking available here.

Despite its present reduced status, it was not an unimportant station, being the railhead of the Moidart peninsula (where Roshven is located, at one time the intended western terminus of the line). The road to Moidart is relatively new, dating from the 1960s. The station served the nearby Inverailort House House which was used extensively in Commando training in the Second World War. (The Lochailort Estate had a second station, a shooting halt, at Lech-a-vuie Platform).

There are a number of hotels here and this is the first time the line reaches the true western seaboard, although it continues to Mallaig to reach a port.

One of the construction camps for navvies was nearby.

At 23.67 miles from Banavie Junction [2nd] this station is just over half way along the line.

Local

Lochailort House is half a mile to the south.

The Lochailort Inn is just to the south at the road junction between the road from Fort William to Mallaig and that south to Roshven and beyond. Lochailort Inn

Polnish Chapel, now a house, is a former chapel. It is a whitewashed building which forms the backdrop of many photographs of the line. The chapel is about a mile to the west on the south side of the line.

Tags

Station

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67
NLS Map
05/02/2021

Facilities

Gaelic name: Loch Ailleart




Nearby stations
Beasdale
Lech-a-vuie Platform
Arisaig
Glenfinnan
Morar
Mallaig
Locheilside
Loch Eil Outward Bound
Corpach
Fort William [1st]
Kentallen
Fort William
Banavie
Banavie Pier
Duror
Lochailort Tunnel
Kinlochailort Camp
Camas Driseach Depot
Polnish No 106 Tunnel
Polnish No 107 Tunnel
Arienskill Bridge
Polnish House
Arnabol Viaduct
Loch nan Uamh Viaduct
Loch nan Uamh No 116 Tunnel
Tourist/other
Lochailort Inn
Inverailort House
Loch Ailort
Polnish Chapel
Loch Eilt
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.


A white chapel


West of Lochailort, going west to Mallaig on the route to Beasdale the Polnish Chapel can be seen on the left, a small striking whitewashed former chapel.


Commandos


Lochailort House, south of the station and on the shore of Loch Ailort itself, is very much associated with the training of special forces in the Second World War, such as the Commandos. The surrounding landscape is challenging and there was a nearby railway on which to practise mock sabotage.


Dates

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.

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