The History of Glenfinnan Station and The Museum

Following the arrival of the West Highland Railway into Fort William in 1894 a movement to further develop the area and in particular to establish an important fishing harbour at Mallaig resulted in the Mallaig Extension being opened in 1901.

Glenfinnan Station formally opened to the public in April 1901 and continues to this day to serve the community as well as the large numbers of tourists who now visit the area each year.

2_26Initially the Station provided both passenger and freight traffic and the lines to the loading bank remain today as part of this history, although freight facilities no longer exist.

Following the decline of rail travel in the 1960s and the inevitable rise of the motor car the whole line was threatened with closure under the Beeching Proposals. Fortunately the reprieve was swift but the downstream effect of cost savings led to mass redundancies and the potential dereliction of stations.

To save the buildings, Glenfinnan Station Museum was therefore set up in 1991 and now stands as a tribute to those far sighted people who made this possible. The Museum seeks to tell the story of the West Highland Railway, its construction and development.

In 2009 – 2013 the Museum undertook a major upgrade of its museum and visitor facilities supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Railway Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, LEADER, the Robertson Trust, the Manifold Trust, Friends of the West Highland Lines, Friends of Glenfinnan Station, Highland Railway Heritage, the Scottish Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The Museum is run by a local charitable Trust supported by volunteers from Friends of Glenfinnan Station. The Friends Association is always interested in encouraging new members and it is possible to join and help us by using the downloadable Application Form here.