Spean Bridge railway station

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, between Roy Bridge and Fort William, sited 90 miles 56 chains (146 km) from Craigendoran Junction, near Helensburgh.[4] ScotRail manage the station and operate most services, along with Caledonian Sleeper.

Spean Bridge

Scottish Gaelic: Drochaid Aonachain[1]
National Rail
General information
LocationSpean Bridge, Highland
Coordinates56°53′24″N 4°55′17″W / 56.8899°N 4.9215°W / 56.8899; -4.9215
Grid referenceNN221814
Managed byScotRail
Other information
Station codeSBR[2]
Key dates
7 August 1894Opened
22 July 1903Services to Fort Augustus commenced
1 December 1933Passenger service to Fort Augustus withdrawn
2018/19Increase 7,452
2019/20Increase 7,832
2020/21Decrease 946
2021/22Increase 4,836
2022/23Increase 5,932
Listed Building – Category C(S)
Designated5 October 2010
Reference no.LB51615[3]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

History edit

The former station building, now a restaurant

The station opened on 7 August 1894[5] and was laid out with two platforms, one on either side of a crossing loop. There were 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 bay platform at the west end at a cost of £303 0s 5d (equivalent to £41,097.86 in 2023)[6] to accommodate Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway trains.[7] 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.[8]

The station was host to a LNER camping coach from 1936 to 1939.[9] A camping coach was also positioned here by the Scottish Region from 1961 until all camping coaches in the region were withdrawn at the end of the 1969 season.[10]

Signalling edit

The former signal box at Spean Bridge, seen in 2016

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.

Facilities edit

The station buildings are on platform 1, which passengers can use for shelter, whilst platform 2 only has a rudimentary glass structure. The help point is on platform 1, and the car park and bike racks are also adjacent to this platform. Both platforms have step-free access.[11] As there are no facilities to purchase tickets, passengers must buy one in advance, or from the guard on the train.

Passenger volume edit

Passenger Volume at Spean Bridge[12]
2002-03 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Entries and exits 5,080 5,911 5,725 6,361 6,345 6,570 6,312 6,386 6,960 6,558 6,808 7,240 7,332 6,262 7,444 7,452 7,832 946

The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.

Services edit

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 Saturday nights or northbound on Sunday mornings). Sundays see two trains per day call each way, as well as the southbound sleeper. The sleeper also carries seated coaches and thus can be used by regular travellers to/from Glasgow Queen Street (Low Level) and Edinburgh.[13][14][15]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Roy Bridge   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

References edit

  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. ^ Deaves, Phil. "Railway Codes". railwaycodes.org.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  3. ^ "SPEAN BRIDGE STATION AND SIGNAL BOX". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  4. ^ Bridge, Mike, ed. (2017). TRACKatlas of Mainland Britain: A Comprehensive Geographic Atlas Showing the Rail Network of Great Britain (3rd ed.). Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. p. 90. ISBN 978-1909431-26-3.
  5. ^ "The West Highland Railway. Opening of the Line for Traffic". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. 8 August 1894. Retrieved 31 July 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ 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 7 May 2024.
  7. ^ Thomas, John (1984). The West Highland Railway (3rd ed.). David St John Thomas. p. 113. ISBN 0946537143.
  8. ^ "Disused Stations - Fort Augustus"Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 16 May 2016
  9. ^ McRae, Andrew (1997). British Railway Camping Coach Holidays: The 1930s & British Railways (London Midland Region). Vol. Scenes from the Past: 30 (Part One). Foxline. p. 11. ISBN 1-870119-48-7.
  10. ^ McRae, Andrew (1998). British Railways Camping Coach Holidays: A Tour of Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. Vol. Scenes from the Past: 30 (Part Two). Foxline. p. 28. ISBN 1-870119-53-3.
  11. ^ "National Rail Enquiries -". www.nationalrail.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Estimates of station usage | ORR Data Portal". dataportal.orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  13. ^ eNRT May 2022 Edition, Table 218
  14. ^ eNRT December 2021 Edition, Table 218
  15. ^ eNRT May 2022 Edition, Table 220

External links edit