West Highland

For a couple of years in my childhood, we lived next to the West Highland railway - my earliest memories of trains and transpotting are class 27s on the West Highland. So this project is a Rail3D layout of the West Highland from Glasgow to Fort William and on to Mallaig.


The layout is divided into sections (see below) for ease of working (particularly time to triangulate terrain) and the sections can be combined (using a script usually) to build the whole layout.


These layouts are not finished - very much work in progress. But they have progressed enough to be worth sharing and worth using.

I’d also be happy to receive contributions from others on this project - if you’d like to help with this project in any way - please get in touch through the Rail3D Yahoo group.

layout sections will be published here shortly

The sections

Glasgow to Garelochhead

The southern end of the line including Glasgow Queen St and the suburban electric lines.

The main route is laid out and signalled, some suburban platforms are in place (but many are missing), the suburban branches (Balloch, Milngavie and the southern route via Clydebank) are only sketched out at the moment and need more attention - placing of stations, signals etc.

The big omission is buildings - the layout needs lots of Glasgow buildings, tower blocks, housing estates etc.

For the suburban lines I’ve done some more work on the Class 303 (see Cl303) model and the front end is starting to look right, but needs more work.

Long and Lomond

The section from north of Garelochhead to just south of Crianlarich, including Glen Douglas, Arrochar and Ardlui.

Crianlarich and Tyndrum

This section is currently missing

Spean Bridge to Rannoch Moor

Northern side of Rannoch moor and down to the edge of Fort William

Mallaig to Fort William

The line from Mallaig, including Fort William itself

Oban line

This section does not currently exist


All depends on the era


We have a few suitable steam loco’s, including B1, Black5 and some standards.

Early diesels

The first diesels on the line were type 2s: 24, 25 and 27s (20s also worked some freight) we have some of these available in green liveries, but not much in blue. Class 101 dmus also appeared on the Oban line in the 1970s

Later (and now)

Later class 37s took over from the 27s on most workings.

Today, most passenger trains are dmus, although there are still some loco hauled sleepers (class 67) and some steam workings on the Mallaig line.

The line is also now worked by retb signalling.


I’m more or less modelling the late 70s (the time when I remember the line best) with trains hauled by 27s/37s - although there is a steam working on the Mallaig line.

Signalling is semaphore.

However I plan to have scripts (or delta files) to produce other versions of the layout, eg steam / green diesel / modern.


My plans for the layout include:

  • complete track, signalling, terrain etc for each section
  • complete the missing sections
  • develop scripts to merge layouts together and generate different eras
  • develop timetables and diagrams

and as I say above, if anyone would like to get involved and colloborate on the above, they’d be very welcome.