History

Railway Cottage was originally two single-storied semi-detached houses, built to accommodate the stationmaster and his signalman at the now defunct Killin Junction railway station.  Known then as the Station Cottages they were constructed in 1886 when the station was opened as part of the new Killin branch line.

Killin Junction was designed as an interchange station.  There was no access to the platforms, in fact there was not even a track or road to the station from the surrounding districts. Passengers (and freight) alighted from trains on the Callander to Crianlarich run, crossed the platform and joined a wee ‘Pug’ steam train that puffed its way from the Junction to Killin and on to Loch Tay half a dozen times a day.  It was a spectacular scenic twenty minute journey.
In 1908 public access to the station was permitted. A footbridge spanning the platforms and a pathway in front of the Station Cottages were constructed. The cottages were also treated to an uplift with the construction of inside washrooms!

However the Killin branch line struggled to make any money over its lifetime despite its popularity with tourists.  The owner – the Killin Railway Company  – was taken over by the giant London Midland and Scottish Railway Company in 1923.  The branch line and its three stations (Killin Junction, Killin and Loch Tay) effectively became part of British Railways when the entire British railway network was nationalised in 1948.
The infamous Beechng Reports of 1963 and 1965 sounded the death knell for Killin Junction. Dr Richard Beeching was appointed Chairman of the British Railways Board and had a mandate to make the railways pay their way. His strategic reports reshaped Britain’s railway network and enforced the mass closure of trunk and branch lines throughout the country.  The Killin branch together with the Callander to Crianlarich line were closed in September 1965 despite vocal local opposition.

With no trains, the Station Cottages served no commercial purpose.  Their history and ownership over the next two decades is sketchy but by 1991 they had been abandoned and fallen into disrepair.  The properties changed hands several times with the promise of renovation but remained derelict. We took up the challenge and purchased them in 2011, liaising closely with the National Park and local authority to ensure a sympathetic restoration true to its historic past. The rest as they say is history….
1991
Killin Junction Station Cottages 1991

The earliest photo of the property we have.  The two semi-detached cottages are mirror images, each with three rooms, a lobby and external washroom at the back.    With the slate roof gradually ‘disappearing’ it didn’t take long for the elements to take hold…

2009
Derelict Railway Cottage c2008

Eighteen years later and nature has taken control. Access is only possible on foot.  The roof has long gone and there are no signs of any windows.    All that remain are the external stone walls.

2011
Derelict Railway cottage

A previous owner set about clearing access to the property from the elevated railway track which is now the only vehicular access to the cottage.  Notice the tree growing in the left hand gable end!  We purchased the property in this condition.  At least we didn’t have to change the locks.

2019
Front view of Railway Cottage

Eight years later and the renovation is complete.  The dividing internal wall was knocked down to create a single dwelling and the pitch of the roof raised to accommodate a first floor.  

The external stone walls, blackened by the soot from the passing steam trains, have been retained untouched save for some remedial pointing.  We were able to salvage two of the original chimney pots!