07 November 2012

An old railway line

Last Saturday we were on our way to Aberfoyle for a walk when a dark cloud loomed over the road ahead, encouraging us to head in a different direction. By doing so, we discovered the start of a hitherto unexplored path near the village of Buchlyvie. We had no maps of this area with us, so we set out on a mystery walk.

The path headed east for a short time, then curved gently round to the north-west. Judging by the GPS track and the extremely straight path which now stretched ahead of us into the far distance, it seemed likely that this was an old railway line.

After about 2 miles, we came to a bridge over a small river, which seemed like a suitable point to turn back.

On our return to the car I crossed the road to the gate of the house opposite. "One guess as to the name of this house," I said. It's "Station House!"

On returning home we discovered that this was indeed part of the railway line to Aberfoyle, which closed to passenger traffic in 1951, and we had started from the location of Buchlyvie Station.

Yesterday we decided to do the next section, starting from the site of the old Gartmore Station and walking south until we reached the bridge which was our most northerly point on Saturday. The path starts from a section of the road to Aberfoyle which has more recently been bypassed by a viaduct which spans both the River Forth and the old railway.

Passing under the new road section, the path continues across the River Forth by means of a new bridge,

and then passing an old railway hut.

After crossing another new bridge over the Kelty Water, we arrived at the bridge crossing the Auchentroig Burn which we had reached on Saturday from the other direction. Then we retraced our steps to Gartmore.

I looked at the gate of the cottage we were passing as we arrived back at the car. "One guess as to the name of this cottage," I said. It's "Station Cottage!"

So the railway, now replaced by a path used only by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, lives on only in the names of houses, old bridges in varying states of repair or replacement, and a few relics here and there.

1927 map

Old pictures of
Buchlyvie Station
Gartmore Station
Aberfoyle Station

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