Callander & Oban Line closure: Fifty years on

27 September 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of closure of the Callander & Oban line – the original route of the Caledonian Railway from Glasgow to Crianlarich. This beautifully scenic main line, which stretched from Dunblane on the Stirling-Perth line to Crianlarich Lower via Callander, closed on 27 September 1965…

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Infrastructure Update

– It has just come to light that the rail connection into the former Esso petroleum depot in Oban was finally removed in March this year. The points into what remained of this overgrown spur (near Tesco) were removed and replaced with plain track. Before oil traffic began, this was…

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Funeral Day Tribute to the Late Charles Kennedy

The FWHL’s late Honorary President Charles Kennedy was laid to rest on Friday following a very moving funeral service in Caol, on the outskirts of Fort Wiliam. This was close to Charles’ home in Lochyside. Representatives from the Friends’ committee were in attendance. Thanks are due to Friends’ vice-president John…

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Sleeper Ticketing Problems

Friends of the West Highland Lines would like to clarify current ticketing arrangements for the seated section of the Fort William-London Euston Caledonian Sleeper. On 1 April this year, Serco took over operation of the train from ScotRail and have since launched their new brand complete with a new website.…

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FWHL Tribute to the late Charles Kennedy

The Friends of the West Highland Lines are shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of our Honorary President Charles Kennedy, who passed away yesterday. Former MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber for over 30 years, Charles was a highly popular and talented individual who will be well remembered…

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AGM report

We would like to thank all members and guests who attended the Friends’ Annual General Meeting on Saturday 16 May in the Regent Hotel, Oban. A full report will appear soon in our magazine West Highland News Plus, available free to all members. We would like to thank Peter Strachan,…

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A Warm Welcome

Friends of the West Highland Lines are pleased to welcome Abellio and Serco as new operators on Scotland’s railways. 1 April saw Abellio take over the ScotRail franchise, while Serco took the mantle for the Caledonian Sleeper service. Committee member Nick Jones was on hand with his camera for a…

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Extra Saturday train for Oban

The Oban line will receive another much-needed boost with an extra Saturday train now to be added to ScotRail’s timetable. From 23 May 2015, there will be an 0520 departure from Glasgow Queen St arriving in Oban at 0835. In the other direction, a 0521 from Oban will reach Glasgow…

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Signalling progress

Radio signalling on the West Highland Lines is currently in the process of being upgraded. A ‘new generation’ of Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) signalling is to be introduced in December, due to a change in radio frequencies. It will essentially see a continuation of the current system, introduced in…

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Weather damage

Extreme weather once again caused problems on the West Highland Lines this year. Hurricane-force winds in January caused damage to the former signal box at Bridge of Orchy (left). Network Rail (NR) engineers are to repair the signal box, which almost had its roof blown off. Further north at Banavie,…

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