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Arisaig Railway Station

A Category B Listed Building in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 56.9129 / 56°54'46"N

Longitude: -5.8396 / 5°50'22"W

OS Eastings: 166371

OS Northings: 786740

OS Grid: NM663867

Mapcode National: GBR CBYG.5YN

Mapcode Global: WGZBR.8HHV

Plus Code: 9C8PW576+55

Entry Name: Arisaig Railway Station

Listing Name: Arisaig Village, Railway Station, Ticket Office/Waiting Room and Signal Box

Listing Date: 29 May 1985

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 330544

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB326

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Arisaig and Moidart

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Parish: Arisaig And Moidart

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

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1901. Single storey, symmetrical 3-bay station building, comprising ticket office and waiting room. All harled with contrasting painted window reveals. Segmental headed recess in north front (facing platform and railway) with flanking canted bay windows. Outer gable walls (partially glazed) carried forward to support projecting roof which forms continuous verandah fronting building and platform. Secondary entrance in centre, east gable; multi-pane glazing; end stacks; piended slate roof with deep eaves.

SIGNAL BOX (Map Ref: NM 66423, 86734): Railway Signal Company, 1901. 2-storey square-plan, weather boarded signal box painted 2 contrasting shades green. Glazed locking room with timber astragalled windows with curved framing at the head. Timber forestair. Slate roof. Cast-iron rainwater goods. 15 lever, Stevens and Son, pattern frame.

Statement of Interest

Arisaig is an excellent and well-detailed example of an intact Highland station group. The station was opened in April 1901 as part of North British Railway's (NBR) extension to the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig. The ticket office and signal box at Glenfinnan (see separate listing) are built to largely the same specifications, both adding considerably to the architectural and historic interest of one of Scotland's most exceptional railway journeys. Its projecting roof, verandah and deep eaves follow the 'swiss-chalet' style of the slightly earlier 1890s stations by James Miller on the route between Glasgow and Fort William.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and now rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. Of more than 2000 signal boxes built across Scotland by 1948, around 150 currently survive (2013). All pre-1948 mechanical boxes still in operation are due to become obsolete by 2021.

The signal box at Arisaig is by the Railway Signal Company (RSCo) for the West Highland line extension. The RSCo were the longest-lived firm of mechanical signalling contractors in the UK. Their West Highland design is based on the standard RSCo box but without the lower windows and with ornate timber brackets and deeper eaves to help protect from the rain in this part of Scotland. The design is in keeping with North British Railway's Type 6a boxes, found on a number of platforms on the West Highland line between Garelochhead and Fort William. The prominent location and associated group value with the waiting room and also the broader interest of the West Highland line, add to its interest as an example of its type.

Arisaig became part of the London and North Eastern Railway during the major re-organisation of the railways in 1923 and then British Railways (Scottish Region) following nationalisation in 1948. Semaphore signals were removed in 1983. The station was refurbished in 2009 including the signal box and the timber and glazed shelter on the north platform.

List description updated as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13).

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