Ardlui (Ard Laoigh) is a hamlet at the north end of Loch Lomond, Britain's largest freshwater loch. The station is across the busy A82 road from the hotel, holiday lodges and marina. The picture below shows north and southbound trains crossing at Ardlui Station - a procedure which has been in place since the 100 mile-long main line was opened as a single track to Fort William in 1894. It is a scheduled stop for all trains, except the Caledonian Sleeper, which calls by request only.
A Network Rail 'Rail Rover' negotiates a reverse from the down line side of the island platform to the siding. The station is hemmed in by the A82 road and Loch Lomond on the east and the steep slopes of Ben Vorlich on the west side. The picture is looking north towards the steady climb through Glen Falloch to Crianlarich. This section of the route makes a spectacular crossing of the Dubh Eas (Black Water) by a viaduct where the drop to the gorge floor height is just marginally lower than the Forth rail bridge is above the Forth. The train travels slowly over the viaduct since it is formed in a tight rising curve, however travellers need to keep a sharp lookout because the section is densly wooded.
CLASS 156 DMU, 12.21 Glasgow - Mallaig summer service, on climb up Glen Falloch towards Crianlarich on 11th September 2009. Ben More, Britain's highest mountain south of Strathtay, in background.
The K4, No. 61994 The Great Marquess, making a spirited climb up Glen Falloch from Ardlui to Crianlarich on 26th September 2009. Note the open cylinder draincock. Designed by Gresley specifically for the North British line from Glasgow to Mallaig which imposes real challenges because of the steep gradients, tight curves and limited allowable axle weight, the K4 has 3 cylinders, a 2-6-0 wheel arrangement, 200psi boiler and a 36,598lb tractive effort. No 61994 entered service in 1938 and is the only K4 in preservation. The locomotive is in charge of a steam charter for the Railway Touring Company's, 'The West Highlander', to Fort William.
Fort William bound Alumina train, headed by a Class 66, in Glen Falloch with Ben Chabhair (perhaps meaning 'hill of the antler' or the more prosaic 'ridge of a roof ') behind.