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 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.
Loch Lomond has two distinct parts, the wide southern end dotted with large islands and surrounded, for the most part by relatively lower farmland and the wide delta of the river Endrick. At the narrow northern end the Loch is hemmed in by rugged mountains and Ardlui is located near where this narrow section of the loch ends. It is a spectacular location in a dramatic landscape with access to Ben Vorlich, which rises almost immediately behind Ardlui. The above picture shows the most northerly part of the loch. It has been taken from above ‘Pulpit Rock’ looking north to Stuckendroin farm and beyond to Ardlui. A service train can just be discerned on the extreme left of the picture, passing Stuckendroin, on its approach to Ardlui Station.
A ferry service also enables access to the east side of the loch and access to Ben Lomond. The Ardlui Hotel and Marina provides a range of leisure opportunities to enjoy the Loch and surroundings. The entrance to Ardlui Station leads directly off the busy A82 road and great care is required since there is no pavement and the narrow road carries a high volume of traffic. It is necessary to cross the road to access a path on the far side which leads left to the Ardlui Hotel.
Glen Falloch is a narrow valley linking the top (northern end) of Loch Lomond to Crianlarich, a major communications hub in the Central Highlands. It follows the River Falloch which is spectacular when in spate and ‘The Falls of Falloch’ make a popular tourist attraction for road visitors. The railway assumes a higher position and rail travellers obtain a spectacular view, away above the road, as the train approaches the Glen Falloch Viaduct over the Dubh Eas (Black Water) which is a tributary of the River Falloch. The Dubh Eas has carved a deep ravine, so deep and sheer that the railway is almost as high above the foot of the ravine as the Forth Rail Bridge is above the Forth.