John Speller's Web Pages Callander & Oban Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Caledonian Railway
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The Callander & Oban Railway was authorized by an Act of 5 July 1865 to build a 71 mile 44 chain line linking the Scottish Central Railway at Callander with the west coast port of Oban. There was an authorized capital of 600,000, of which the Scottish Central Railway contributed 200,000, with authority to borrow an additional 200,000.The line opened as far as Killin Junction on 1 June 1870, where a separate company, the Killin Railway, built a short branch to Killin itself. The line opened to Tyndrum on 1 August 1873, Dalmally in 1877, and finally to Oban on 1 July 1880. A branch from Connel Bridge to Ballachulish opened in 1903, involving the construction of a spectacular cantilever bridge. The line was worked by the Caledonian Railway, but remained nominally independent until it was absorbed into the London, Midland & Scottish Railway at the Grouping of 1 January 1923. A curve between the North British Railway's West Highland line and the Callander & Oban Railway at Crianlarich opened on 20 December 1897, but remained largely unused until after Nationalization. It came into its own following a landslide at Glen Ogle on 27 September after which the section between never reopened Crianlarich and Callander was abandoned, so that the Crianlarish to Oban line is now run as a branch of the West Highland line. The Ballachulish branch closed on 28 March 1966, though the Connel Bridge happily survives as a road bridge. The line has some spectacular scenery as this video shows.
Map of the Callander & Oban Railway in 1903, showing the newly-opened Ballachulish extension
Caledonian Railway McIntosh "55" Class 5 ft. 0 in. 4-6-0 (LMS Class 4-P) designed for the severe grades of the Callander & Oban line in 1902
Ex-Caledonian Railway McIntosh 2-P 0-4-4T No. 55208 outside the locomotive depot at Oban (63E) on 21 September 1957. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The end of the line ... Ballachulish station on 28 September 1961. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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