John Speller's Web Pages Carrick Castle Station

John Speller's Web Pages - G&SWR
Carrick Castle Station
Carrick Castle a railway station in search of a railway ...

The Oban & Callander Railway

The Oban & Callander Railway was chartered in 1865 to build a 70-mile line from Oban on the west coast of Scotland to Callander. The authorized capital was 600,000, of which the Caledonian Railway might subscribe 200,000 in return for 3 seats on the Board of Directors, and the company was authorized to borrow an additional 200,000. Ground was broken in 1866 and the line opened to Killin Junction in 1870, to Tyndrum in 1873, to Dalmally in 1877, and to Oban in 1880. A branch to Ballachulish was added in 1903. Although it was worked by the Caledonian Railway, the Oban & Callander Railway remained an independent company until the Grouping of 1923, when it became part of the LMS. The Ballachulish branch closed in 1966.

The G&SWR's proposed route to Oban

Around the turn of the nineteenth century the Glasgow & South Western Railway decided to make another attempt to colonize the country north of Glasgow, by proposing a route from Bridge of Weir on the Greenock Branch, via a bridge across the River Clyde to Dumbarton, and thence via Carrick Castle at the mouth of Goil Loch to a junction with the Oban & Callander Railway at Loch Awe, and thence to Oban, where it was hoped that a considerable coal and ferry traffic between Scotland and Ireland might be obtained. The link to Dumbarton (pop. 19,985 in 1901) would probably have proved particularly useful, and the line might have turned around the fortunes of the never-prosperous Oban & Callander Railway, but the scheme, alas, came to nothing. It would have been a much more direct route than the Caledonian Railway's tortuous line from Glasgow to Oban via Stirling and Callander. But one relic did survive - the fine stone station that the G&SWR built at Carrick Castle ...
The G&SW railway station at Carrick Castle on Goil Loch where there never was a railway
The impressive 500-foot-long cantilever Connel Bridge on the Ballachulish branch of the Oban & Callander Railway was built by the Arrol's Bridge and Roof Company and completed on 9 May 1903. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Map showing the Oban & Callander Railway and the proposed Glasgow & South Western Railway route to Oban
Caledonian Railway "Scottish Riviera" advertisement (with apologies to the GWR!), circa 1922
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