Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NN 22118 81428
222118, 781428


Attributed to James Miller, circa 1894 with later additions (see Notes). Single storey, 12-bay, long rectangular-plan, Swiss Chalet style station with piended bell-cast roof extending to form canopy with glazed end screens. Painted base course; red brick plinth. Moulded timber and door margins. S (PLATFORM) ELEVATION: irregular fenestration with arrangement of 4-light canted windows, bipartite windows and timber-panelled doors. Scalloped timber shingles to walls between openings. Round-arched former ticket window. Further round-arched window to E gable elevation. N (ROAD) ELEVATION: Late 20th century, rendered, gabled outshot additions flanking timber and glazed porch addition to centre.

Predominantly timber framed windows with 2-light glazing panel to upper section. Grey slate. Rendered sridge tacks with red clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Fixed, cast-iron weighing scales to platform elevation.

INTERIOR: sympathetically converted for use as a restaurant (1993) retaining fireplaces and dado-height panelling.

SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NN 22172 81430): London and North Eastern Railway (Type 15), 1949 (to a 1945 design - see Notes). Square-plan, red brick signal box with chamfered corner angles located to E of station. Metal frame windows with glazing bars to lower and upper sections and projecting cill. Dog-leg stair with tubular metal railing rising to recessed timber panel door to W elevation. Flat leaded roof with overhanging canopy. 2 horizontal openings to rear elevation.

Statement of Special Interest

Spean Bridge Railway Station is one of a series of single storey, 12-bay, Swiss-Chalet influenced stations, for the West Highland Railway. Featuring a piended bell-cast roof extending to form a canopy over each elevation, they a re built in a distinctive and picturesque 'Swiss Chalet' style with timber shingle clad walls and glazed end screens to provide shelter from the wind. The Swiss architectural influence was deliberately chosen to complement the mountainous scenery on the route. The platform elevation of the Spean Bridge Station building largely retains its original form and character. The original cedar roof shingles were replaced by grey slate when the building was converted for use as a restaurant in 1993.

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 mechanical boxes still in operation on the public network due to become obsolete by 2021. The signal box at Spean Bridge is the London and North Eastern Railway's initial post-war design for signal box standardisation (Type 15) and the only example of its type in Scotland. Built in 1949, its chamfered corner angles lend a streamlined appearance, referencing a pre-war Art-Deco influence. Following nationalisation of the railway in 1948, the newly formulated British Rail (Scottish Region) opted to use the successful 1944 LNER design at Spean Bridge. It occupies the site of a 19th century signal box which was destroyed by fire. The internal signalling equipment, including a 30 lever frame by Stevens and Son of Glasgow, has been removed.

Spean Bridge Station lies on the Invergarry and Fort Augustus line. The prevelant 'island platform' type (Garelochhead, Bridge of Orchy and Rannoch - see separate listings) was introduced by Charles De Neuville Forman, the engineer of the West Highland Railway. Spean Bridge and Tulloch are 'side platform' stations. The design of the Highland Line stations is attributed to the influential Glaswegian architect James Miller, although Robert Wemyss may have contributed 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 West Highland Railway, which runs between Craigendoran and Fort William, was opened in 1894.

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



station evident on 2nd edition Ordnance Survey Map (1898). The Railway Gazette, 27 July 1945. FORWARD, The L.N.E.R Development Programme (1945). G Dow, The Story Of The West Highland (1947). The Signalling Study Group, The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide To Designs (1986) p211. F A Walker and F Sinclair, North Clyde Estuary (1992) p101, 120. A Sloan, James Miller (1993), p59. John McGregor One Hundred Years Of The West Highland Railway (1994) pp45, 71. John Thomson and Alan Paterson, West Highland Railway (1996) p33. Gordon Biddle, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings (2003), p602-5. Mary Miers, The Western Seaboard, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2006) p39-40. Peter Kay and Derek Coe, Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory - Great Britain and Ireland (2010 - 3rd Edition).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 30/05/2024 09:59