History in Structure

Bridge Of Orchy Station

A Category B Listed Building in Oban North and Lorn, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.5162 / 56°30'58"N

Longitude: -4.7642 / 4°45'51"W

OS Eastings: 230026

OS Northings: 739442

OS Grid: NN300394

Mapcode National: GBR GCMH.DGK

Mapcode Global: WH2JL.SGJY

Plus Code: 9C8QG68P+F8

Entry Name: Bridge Of Orchy Station

Listing Name: Bridge of Orchy Station Including Signal Box, Subway and Railings

Listing Date: 15 November 1979

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 346063

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB13072

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200346063

Location: Glenorchy and Inishail

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Parish: Glenorchy And Inishail

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Tagged with: Railway station

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Bridge of Orchy


Attributed to James Miller, 1893-4. Single storey, rectangular-plan, near-symmetrical island station building with deep swept roof carried over canopy on either side. Painted base course; brick plinth; timber-framed with scalloped shingle wall covering. Panelled angle pilasters. Glazed screens to outer left and right. Timber panelled doors with 3-light fanlights; Bipartite and canted windows. Swept eaves extend on carved consoles to form canopy.

Timber framed windows, astragalled to upper section. Non-traditional felt roof (originally grey slate). Brick ridge stack. INTERIOR: remodelled for use as bunk house.

SIGNAL BOX (Map Ref: NN 30040, 39393): on platform to S of station building: square-plan, North British Railways Type 6a signal box. Red brick plinth; glazed timber framed upper panels; 3 fixed 9-pane glazing. Piended slate roof, lead flashings; projecting eaves, exposed rafters.

SUBWAY AND RAILINGS: entry to station via pedestrian subway underpass to N. Concrete and reconstituted stone; decorative wrought iron railings to island platform.

Statement of Interest

Bridge of Orchy Station is one of a series of island platform stations designed specifically for the West Highland Railway (sponsored by the North British Railway Company) in the 1890s. Featuring a piended bell-cast roof extending to form a canopy over each elevation, they are built in a distinctive and picturesque 'Swiss Chalet' style chosen to compliment the scenic route covered by the railway. As a series, the stations add considerably to the architectural and historic interest of one of Scotland's most exceptional railway journeys. The original scalloped shingles are understood to have been imported from Switzerland.

The West Highland Railway which runs between Craigendoran and Fort William was opened in 1894. Bridge of Orchy station, like Garelochhead, Tyndrum Upper and Rannoch (see separate listings), is of the island platform type introduced by Charles De Neuville Forman, the engineer of the West Highland Railway. The station design is attributed to the influential Glaswegian architect James Miller, although Robert Wemyss may have contributed to the designs while working with John James Burnet. James Miller had formerly worked as an assistant in the architectural office of the Caledonian Railway, thereby gaining considerable experience in designing railway stations. The station was originally glazed with small-pane, timber astraglled windows and had a grey slate roof.

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) with all pre-1948 mechanical boxes still in operation on the public network due to become obsolete by 2021. The former signal box at Bridge of Orchy is an example of the characteristic Type 6a boxes by the North British Railway Company, designed and modified specifically for use on the platforms of the West Highland Railway. Its shallow, piended roof and overhanging eaves are in keeping with the Swiss-chalet style of the station buildings. The associated group value with the station, and with the exceptional engineering and scenic interest of the West Highland Line more broadly, add to its interest. Other examples on the route include Garelochhead, Upper Tyndrum and Rannoch (see separate listings).

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

External Links

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