Cycling Lochearnhead to Killin Junction on the former Callander & Oban Railway Line
This is a continuation of a blog of our cycle ride along part of Sustrans Cycle Route 7 in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
Starting at Lochearnhead we joined the former Callander and Oban Railway trackbed and continued up the spectacular Glen Ogle. Although steep sided the route of the railway line contours the hillside to maintain gentle gradients throughout.
As detailed before the line to Glen Ogle opened in 1870 but following Dr. Beeching's infamous report on the railway network produced in the early 1960's the section of the Callander and Oban line between Crianlarich and Callander was scheduled for closure on 1st November 1965. However, before that date, in the early hours of Monday 27th September 1965, a rockfall occurred in Glen Ogle. This area had been a constant headache to the operators of the line since construction as landslips and rockfalls were not infrequent. Following an engineering assessment of the damage it was decided by the powers that be that there was no economic benefit of clearing the line and shoring up the bank as the line was due to close in just over a month's time.
The rockfall not only closed the Callander and Crianlarich section of the line it also meant the closure of the five mile long Killin Junction to Killin Village section.
A photograph of the rockfall taken in the 1960s soon after the track had been lifted can be seen here: www.railscot.co.uk/img/28/647/
Towards the top of Glen Ogle is a very impressive 12 arch viaduct at the foot of Meall Sgliata which can be seen clearly from the main road which runs along the opposite side of the glen.
Glenoglehead station is the summit of the line at this point with the route descending gently thereafter towards what was Killin Junction.
We pass the occasional surviving wayside shed, the severed bases of signal posts and other indications of earlier activity until we come to Killin Junction station.
As we arrive at the former Killin Junction station site we see the station has almost been entirely cleared away - only a small portion of the central platform remains. The route of the line to Killin can be seen in the picture, dropping off to the right.
Killin junction was distinctive as there was no road access. The station was entirely a junction for the line to Killin. Older people have recorded memories of long waits at this station for their connecting trains.
After a good look round its time to return to Lochearnhead. After a short clime up to Glenoglehead station we have a fantastic long gentle freewheel back to Lochearnhead.
A great day out in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park