Glen Ogle

Glen Ogle

The name Glen Ogle may come from the Gaelic gleann-eagal, 'valley of dread'. Queen Victoria once said it was Britain’s Khyber Pass, the glen is situated in the centre of Scotland where the highlands begin. The Glen itself stretches for 11km Northwest from Lochearnhead to Lix Toll. At the southern end is the village of Lochearnhead which sits at the head of Loch Earn, the Glen climbs gently north between heather covered mountains to a height of a thousand feet and drops down to Lix Toll, with the village of Killin to the east and the serene Glen Dochart to the west. The main A85 trunk road runs through the glen and is a major thoroughfare bisected by the busy A85 road, to Oban and Fort William, as well as an old railway, the River Ogle. making it’s way to the ferry port of Oban or north to Fort Willam.

The Glen was once a Highlands Drover's road and the route of one of General Wade's military roads, the remains of which are still discernible. The Callander & Oban Railway company was formed in 1864 with the objective of linking Callander, to the west coast port of Oban over challenging terrain, particularly at Glen Ogle. Callander had been reached in 1858 by the Dunblane, Doune and Callander Railway which was absorbed into the Scottish Central Railway and then the Caledonian.

Construction began in 1866, and the single track line reached Killin in 1870. This entailed a line the Glen cut into a ledge of the hillside on the steep southern slopes of the long deep glen. At one stage it was necessary to construct two viaducts, the first of only three arches, the second of twelve, which are in rock-faced stone. Several companies were involved in financing the construction of the lines and infrastructure.

In 1865 a land-slip closed the line and it was decided not to re-open it, especially because it was still possible for the railway to serve Oban by using the alternative of the West Highland line as far as Crianlarich. The viaducts were undamaged and remain, poised high up on the mountainside, a dramatic relic and now part of a walking/cycling trail.

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