Gorton/Gortan WHL station plan

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Carron

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Does anyone have a plan or large scale map extract of Gorton Crossing on the West Highland Line? I am trying to ascertain just what buildings existed there, if possible from the opening of the line. The combined signal box and station building at the northern end of the platform was the same design as the one down the line at Corrour. On the platform adjacent there was a grounded ex-GNSR carriage that from March 1938 served as a school. In addition to the signal box/station combo, Corrour also had a cottage for the signalman and his family across the track from the signal box but I am struggling to find any trace of a similar cottage at Gorton.
Valuation rolls from the 1930s/40s indicate accommodation for the signalman at milepost 57 1/2 and a 'railway servant' residing at milepost 57. Another 'railway servant' was resident - surfaceman? - at milepost 58. Any help would be much appreciated.
 
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Pending a more helpful answer, the 6inch map shows a lineside building "Rowantree Cottage" near MP57 and there is one of similar size lineside at Gorton - but it is impossible to say what the latter is.
https://maps.nls.uk/view/188139186
(Note: The MPs are only shown on older versions of the map)

PS just seen your other post which hasn't been moved. CheshireScot's comment about the Corrour house might be relevant to Gortan
 
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Carron

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Pending a more helpful answer, the 6inch map shows a lineside building "Rowantree Cottage" near MP57 and there is one of similar size lineside at Gorton - but it is impossible to say what the latter is.
https://maps.nls.uk/view/188139186
(Note: The MPs are only shown on older versions of the map)

PS just seen your other post which hasn't been moved. CheshireScot's comment about the Corrour house might be relevant to Gortan
Excellent map. Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
 

paul1609

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Does anyone have a plan or large scale map extract of Gorton Crossing on the West Highland Line? I am trying to ascertain just what buildings existed there, if possible from the opening of the line. The combined signal box and station building at the northern end of the platform was the same design as the one down the line at Corrour. On the platform adjacent there was a grounded ex-GNSR carriage that from March 1938 served as a school. In addition to the signal box/station combo, Corrour also had a cottage for the signalman and his family across the track from the signal box but I am struggling to find any trace of a similar cottage at Gorton.
Valuation rolls from the 1930s/40s indicate accommodation for the signalman at milepost 57 1/2 and a 'railway servant' residing at milepost 57. Another 'railway servant' was resident - surfaceman? - at milepost 58. Any help would be much appreciated.
This video on You tube shows Gorton at around 4.50 and states that the couple who ran the station lived in the coach body and were both qualified signallers by 1964:
 

Gloster

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I have looked through a couple of books on the line and all seem to suggest that the coach on the platform was only ever used as a school; at one point the only accommodation for the teacher was in Bridge of Orchy. It is possible that the signallers lived in the coach, but I have watched some of the other videos in the series and, although the picture content is magnificent, the commentary sometimes includes serious errors. I have a vague recollection of reading that by the late 1950s/1960s one of the remote loops was staffed by a father and daughter.
 

D6130

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I have looked through a couple of books on the line and all seem to suggest that the coach on the platform was only ever used as a school; at one point the only accommodation for the teacher was in Bridge of Orchy. It is possible that the signallers lived in the coach, but I have watched some of the other videos in the series and, although the picture content is magnificent, the commentary sometimes includes serious errors. I have a vague recollection of reading that by the late 1950s/1960s one of the remote loops was staffed by a father and daughter.
In the 'seventies the signalbox at Glen Douglas was staffed on opposite shifts by husband and wife Janet and Jimmy Girvan, who lived with their children in the tiny cottage (ex-station building) joined to the signalbox between the Up and Down loops. At some time in the late 'seventies/early 'eighties this cottage and the almost identical one at Corrour were condemned as being insanitary and were replaced by two storey prefabricated houses built a little way from the lineside (on the Down side at Glen Douglas and the Up side at Corrour - Gorton signalbox and passing loop having already closed by this time). When the signalboxes closed with the advent of RETB in 1987, Jimmy and Christine Morgan managed to stay on at Corrour and set up a B&B/bunkhouse in their modern railway cottage, which was much appreciated by walkers and fishermen as well as the occasional stranded rail enthusiast. Eventually it expanded to form the impressive cafe/bar/restaurant which we all hope will be able to reopen after lockdown, while the B&B accommodation has transferred to the former signalbox/station/building/cottage on the island platform.
 

Cheshire Scot

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I have a vague recollection of reading that by the late 1950s/1960s one of the remote loops was staffed by a father and daughter.
That rings a bell with me, but I can't spread any light on which loop/box.

In the 'seventies the signalbox at Glen Douglas was staffed on opposite shifts by husband and wife Janet and Jimmy Girvan, who lived with their children in the tiny cottage (ex-station building) joined to the signalbox between the Up and Down loops.

Whilst 'husband and wife' may have been accepted as the conventional staffing at the remote boxes - as practised by the Morgans and their immediate predecessors the Horrocks's at Corrour, the Girvans at Glen Douglas and for many years the Michies at Rannoch, in the early 80's Jimmy Girvan took promotion to a Relief Signalman post in the lcoal area - I think it may have been 'home station' Craigendoran and the area covered of course included Glen Douglas (and Garelochhead), and one of their sons took over the Glen Douglas vacancy and worked opposite shifts with his mother.
 

Carron

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I have looked through a couple of books on the line and all seem to suggest that the coach on the platform was only ever used as a school; at one point the only accommodation for the teacher was in Bridge of Orchy. It is possible that the signallers lived in the coach, but I have watched some of the other videos in the series and, although the picture content is magnificent, the commentary sometimes includes serious errors. I have a vague recollection of reading that by the late 1950s/1960s one of the remote loops was staffed by a father and daughter.
Hi. Yes, I have watched the 1964 West Highland Line 2 of 3 video too. Excellent footage of Gorton including both the school carriage and signal box 'watchtower'. The commentary suggests the father and step-daughter who run the box live in the carriage but that is contradicted in the comments below by one viewer who makes a valid point - in such an elevated and exposed spot you could not expect your staff to live in an old railway carriage throughout the year!
 

paul1609

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Hi. Yes, I have watched the 1964 West Highland Line 2 of 3 video too. Excellent footage of Gorton including both the school carriage and signal box 'watchtower'. The commentary suggests the father and step-daughter who run the box live in the carriage but that is contradicted in the comments below by one viewer who makes a valid point - in such an elevated and exposed spot you could not expect your staff to live in an old railway carriage throughout the year!
The station that really surprised me on those videos was Shandon. I used to run past the site all the time and over the railway and obviously I knew there was a station by Station Rd but I never realised that there was a full west highland line island station with fully signalled loop there until I recently watched the video.
 

Journeyman

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The nearest surviving structure to Gorton now is the bothy, which is a short walk from the railway line.

Mountain Bothies Association | Central Highlands | Gorton

I stayed in it for a night a couple of years ago, and it's in a fantastic location. It was inhabited by a farming family as late as the 1950s, who used the railway to get supplies and go to Fort William for things they needed. Even now, the nearest road is a good five miles away, and it's a fair effort to trudge in from it.
 
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paul1609

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The nearest surviving structure to Gorton now is the bothy, which is a short walk from the railway line.

Mountain Bothies Association | Central Highlands | Gorton

I stayed in it for a night a couple of years ago, and it's in a fantastic location. It was inhabited by a farming family as late as the 1950s, who used the railway to get supplies and go to Fort William for things they needed. Even now, the nearest road is a good five miles away, and it's a fair effort to trudge in from it.
Ive also stayed there when walking my own alternative West Highland Way (Milngavie to Bridge Of Orchy as standard, then to Fort William via Gorton,Bridge of Gaur, Rannoch, Loch Ossian, Courour, Loch Treig and Glen Coe.) The road past Gorton is an old drovers road but you take your life in your hands for the 5 miles past the site of the old station as its now so boggy!
 

Journeyman

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Ive also stayed there when walking my own alternative West Highland Way (Milngavie to Bridge Of Orchy as standard, then to Fort William via Gorton,Bridge of Gaur, Rannoch, Loch Ossian, Courour, Loch Treig and Glen Coe.) The road past Gorton is an old drovers road but you take your life in your hands for the 5 miles past the site of the old station as its now so boggy!
I did try to walk down to the old station site while I was there, but was put off by the ground conditions.
 

paul1609

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I did try to walk down to the old station site while I was there, but was put off by the ground conditions.
It actually gets a lot worse past the railway and on the ground its difficult to find any path let alone see that it was a drovers road, fortunately there's a line of pylons that give you some sense of direction. I fell in at least twice up to my waist. Frodo navigating the dead marshes in Lord of the Rings always reminds me of the section from Gorton Station until you hit the new forest road a mile inside Rannoch Forest!
 

Carron

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In the 'seventies the signalbox at Glen Douglas was staffed on opposite shifts by husband and wife Janet and Jimmy Girvan, who lived with their children in the tiny cottage (ex-station building) joined to the signalbox between the Up and Down loops. At some time in the late 'seventies/early 'eighties this cottage and the almost identical one at Corrour were condemned as being insanitary and were replaced by two storey prefabricated houses built a little way from the lineside (on the Down side at Glen Douglas and the Up side at Corrour - Gorton signalbox and passing loop having already closed by this time). When the signalboxes closed with the advent of RETB in 1987, Jimmy and Christine Morgan managed to stay on at Corrour and set up a B&B/bunkhouse in their modern railway cottage, which was much appreciated by walkers and fishermen as well as the occasional stranded rail enthusiast. Eventually it expanded to form the impressive cafe/bar/restaurant which we all hope will be able to reopen after lockdown, while the B&B accommodation has transferred to the former signalbox/station/building/cottage on the island platform.
I have been trying to piece together a staffing timeline for Corrour and have so far come up with this… There are still quite a few gaps to fill.
1894 – ?
(?) - 1901 – (?) - Alexander Macdiarmid (24), from Killin.
1908-1941 – Archibald MacNicol and wife Anne (+7 sons and 1 daughter)
1944-1963 – Sandy Thompson and wife Pollie (+3 children)
(?) – 1970s(?) – Horrocks
1970s(?)-1987 – Jimmy Morgan and wife Christine (+ 2 daughters)
Thereafter Morgan’s remained at Corrour until 1996.

Hoping to expand on this and do the same for Rannoch and Gorton
Dates without (?) I can corroborate. Dates with (?) are uncertain.

Regarding the prefab house at Corrour, I have seen a photo from March 1982 showing it in situ.
 
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