Falls of Cruachan
Falls of Cruachan is a summer-only request stop on Loch Awe (Loch Obha) at the foot of Ben Cruachan. It is located close to the entrance to Scottish Power's Cruachan Power station which is built deep inside the mountain. Cruachan Power Station is a hydro pump storage power station where surplus electrical energy is used to pump water, using reversable turbines, from Loch Awe to a reservoir high up on Ben Cruachan. At times of high electrical demand this water flows back through the turbines to generate electricity. Visitors can alight at this station and enjoy an organised tour to the turbine hall and an interesting lecture about the Power Station.
The picture shows an Oban train passing through the narrow Pass of Brander just beyond the Falls of Cruachan station. The semaphore signals are unusual. There are 17 in total connected to trip wires which extends along this stretch of line. The signals are held in the 'up' position and fall to the horizontal position if there is a rock fall which is detected by the tensioned trip wires. The safety feature is referred to as Anderson's Piano after the inventor, John Anderson, a director of the original Calllander & Oban Railway which opened to Oban in 1880.