Welcome to Scotland's most deserted train station

On some days, no one walks its platforms at all.

Lochluichart Station in Highland has been named as the least-used station in Scotland with people entering or leaving the station just 198 times during the year.

Passengers waiting here need to flag down the driver, with most people using the request stop thought to be linked to the nearby Loch Luichart sporting estate.

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Indeed, it was the sporting estate that led to the original Lochluichart station being built in the first place.

Lochluichart Station has been named as the quietest in Scotland. PIC: www.geograph.org.Lochluichart Station has been named as the quietest in Scotland. PIC: www.geograph.org.
Lochluichart Station has been named as the quietest in Scotland. PIC: www.geograph.org.

Lady Ashburton agreed for a section of the Dingwall and Skye Railway to be built through her land – as long as a private platfrom was included for herself and her visitors.

The aristocrat, a fine art collector from an influential Stornoway family who married into the Baring banking dynasty, kept the platform for her own use for 16 years until it passed into public use.

John Yellowlees, an honorary rail ambassador and former civil servant with the Department of Transport, said: “When the railway lines were promoted you had to get permission of the landowner, who could object to the proposals and ask for stations to be built just for them. There are quite a few examples of this.”

The station originally opened as Lochluichart High in August 1871 but the stop was later submerged and moved when a hydro-electric scheme was built at Loch Luichart in the 1950s.

Today, four trains on the Kyle of Lochalsh line pass Lochluichart each way on weekdays and a Saturday and one on a Sunday.

Lochluichart could be included in a new technology trial in the Highlands which aims to reduce the cost and time associated with request stop stations.

Passengers waiting to board a train will press a button on the platform, informing the train driver via the signalling system to stop.

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Frank Roach, partnership manager at the Highlands and Islands transport partnership (Hitrans), said: “The rationale for this is to allow trains to pass through at linespeed when no stop is required.”

Lochluichart was named the quietest station by the Office of Rail and Road.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Central remains the busiest station with almost 33 million passenger entries and exits in the last year.

The other busiest stations were Edinburgh (23,087,646), Glasgow Queen Street (16,685,760), Paisley Gilmour Street (3,903,776) and Haymarket (2,980,386).

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