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Spean Bridge railway station is a railway station serving the village of Spean Bridge in the Highland region of Scotland. This station is on the West Highland Line.

Spean Bridge National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Drochaid Aonachain[1]
Spean Bridge railway station - looking towards Roy Bridge.JPG
PlaceSpean Bridge
Local authorityHighland
Coordinates56°53′24″N 4°55′17″W / 56.8899°N 4.9215°W / 56.8899; -4.9215Coordinates: 56°53′24″N 4°55′17″W / 56.8899°N 4.9215°W / 56.8899; -4.9215
Grid referenceNN221814
Station codeSBR
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 6,808
2014/15Increase 7,240
2015/16Increase 7,332
2016/17Decrease 6,262
2017/18Increase 7,444
7 August 1894Opened
22 July 1903Services to Fort Augustus commenced
1 December 1933Passenger service to Fort Augustus withdrawn
Listed status
Listing gradeCategory C
Entry numberLB51615[2]
Added to list5 October 2010
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Spean Bridge from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.



The station opened on 7 August 1894[3] and was laid out with two platforms, one on either side of a crossing loop. There are sidings on the north side of the station. The station buildings were designed by James Miller.

Between 1903 and December 1933, there was a branch line from this station which offered service north up the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, terminating at a pier on Loch Ness. The North British railway extended Spean Bridge adding a dock platform at the west end at a cost of £303 0s 5d (equivalent to £31,959.39 in 2018)[4] to accommodate Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway trains.[5] The signalling instruments were moved from the I&FA box at the junction to the booking office at the insistence of the Board of Trade inspector.

The I&FA line was not successful. Passenger services stopped in 1933 and the line was eventually abandoned completely in 1947.[6]

On 18 January 1987, the crossing loop was altered to right-hand running. The original Down platform has thus become the Up platform, and vice versa. The change was made in order to simplify shunting at this station, by removing the need to hand-pump the train-operated loop points to access the sidings.

The former station building, now a restaurant


From the time of its opening in 1894, the West Highland Railway was worked throughout by the electric token system.

Alterations in connection with the construction of the line to Fort Augustus saw the original Spean Bridge signal box replaced by two new boxes in 1901. Spean Bridge Junction box was subsidiary to Spean Bridge Station box. The Junction box closed on 20 September 1921.

The most recent signal box at Spean Bridge, which opened on 28 August 1949, was located on the Up platform (which is now the Down platform). It contained 30 levers.

Spean Bridge lost all its semaphore signals on 2 March 1986, in preparation for Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) signalling. The RETB system was commissioned by British Rail between Upper Tyndrum and Fort William Junction on 29 May 1988. This resulted in the closure of Spean Bridge signal box and others on that part of the line. The RETB is controlled from a Signalling Centre at Banavie railway station.

The Train Protection & Warning System was installed in 2003.


Mondays to Saturdays, the station is served by three Scotrail trains per day in each direction, northbound to Mallaig and southbound to Glasgow Queen Street, along with the Highland Caledonian Sleeper between London Euston and Fort William via Edinburgh Waverley (the latter doesn't run southbound on Saturdays or northbound on Sundays). Sundays see just one train per day call each all year round, with a second in the summer months only (May - September) and the southbound sleeper.[7] The sleeper also carries seated coaches and thus can be used by regular travellers to/from Glasgow Queen Street (Low Level) and Edinburgh.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Roy Bridge   Abellio ScotRail
West Highland Line
  Fort William
Roy Bridge   Caledonian Sleeper
Highland Caledonian Sleeper
  Fort William
  Historical railways  
Roy Bridge
Line and Station open
  West Highland Railway   Fort William
Line and Station open
Terminus   Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway   Gairlochy
Line and Station closed


  1. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. "Gaelic/English Station Index". Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  2. ^ "SPEAN BRIDGE STATION AND SIGNAL BOX". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. ^ "The West Highland Railway. Opening of the Line for Traffic". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. 8 August 1894. Retrieved 31 July 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ Thomas, John (1984). The West Highland Railway (3rd ed.). David St John Thomas. p. 113. ISBN 0946537143.
  6. ^ "Disused Stations - Fort Augustus"Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 16 May 2016
  7. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 227 (Network Rail)

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