Strathard Heritage Digital Archive

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The Coming of the Railway by Louis Stott.

    This is one of several articles written by Louis Stott who generously offered local aspects of his scholarship to the archive of Loch Ard Local History Group–our thanks to Louis and his family for this material.

    The railway came to Aberfoyle in 1882.  It was built to open up the Highlands following the route of The West Highland Way.  It should have run from Glasgow straight up to Oban but stopped at Aberfoyle through lack of money.  This line was called The Aberfoyle and Strathendrick Railway.

    A view of a locomotive leaving Aberfoyle.

    Laying the track across The Moss from Buchlyvie caused a problem.  Would the weight of a train full of passengers cause the line to sink over this boggy ground?  They had to find the answer without risk to people.  It was decided to load a train with sandstone and run it into Aberfoyle as a test.  Success!  The train arrived safe and sound without damaging the track.  What were they going to do with all this sandstone?  It was unloaded and used to build six large Victorian style houses.  It became known as Craiguchty Terrace.

    Aberfoyle Station, coaches starting for the Trossachs.

    The railway was used not only for passengers but for transporting slate from the slate quarries.  The slate was put into small trucks called bogies which travelled down the hill from the quarry to the railway line.  Hence, this route was called the bogie line.

     The railway brought employment to the village and gave its name to housing developments nearby, Station Buildings, Station Square and of course Railway Cottages.

    The location of the Railway Station was in the Car Park behind the Butcher’s shop.   The turntable for turning the trains is still in existence and can be found in the undergrowth to the right of the pathway leading past Railway Cottages and the swing.

    Aberfoyle Station.