Lochearnhead Viaduct

(Photo 1 © MacIndÓg, photo 2 © John Ferguson, photos 3 & 4 © K-Burn, photos 5 & 6 © StuartMcKenna, photo 7 © John Alsop collection)

The Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Comrie Railway was established with the intention of filling the 15-mile gap between Comrie - where the railway had arrived in 1893 - and the Callander & Oban Railway at Balquhidder. The line was authorised as far as St Fillans in 1897, opening on 1st October 1901. The Caledonian Railway took the company over in August 1902, thereafter extending the line to Lochearnhead in 1904. Trains first travelled the through route to Balquhidder on 1st May 1905. To placate concerned local landowners, trees were planted to screen the railway, lessening its impact on the exceptional landscape thereabouts.

The line was never a commercial success and closed on 1st October 1951. However the track remained in situ for eight more years, used sporadically to transport materials to hydro-electric construction sites in the area.

As it curved around the north of Lochearnhead on a challenging radius of around 13 chains, the single track crossed Ogle Burn on a nine-arch viaduct, each 40 feet in span. Like many of that era, the chosen building material was concrete, although it was channelled to resemble masonry. Engineered by Crouch & Hogg, features include a string course and coped parapet which, on the south side, is corbelled out over each pier to form a refuge. An iron handrail was added at a later date. Obtrusive weep pipes have been installed to assist with drainage.

Lochearnhead Viaduct had a Grade B listing bestowed on it in May 1987.

(John Ferguson's photos, taken from Geograph, are used under this Creative Commons licence.)

(Stuart McKenna's photos, taken from Flickr, are used under this Creative Commons licence.)

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