BALLOCH CENTRAL STATION, now the Visit Scotland i-Centre, Balloch, G83 8SS
Across from the current station.
ACCESS : Easy access for all. Check opening times. Now a Visit Scotland i-Centre.
In days of old visitors would throng to Loch Lomond from places like Glasgow. The whole excursion could take the whole day with much of it by rail. Visitors would alight or pass through here before heading on to the steamers on the Loch.
At one time a further section of line ran up almost to the steamers at Balloch Pier Station. That closed in 1986 with Balloch Central Station, this building, clsoing two years later.
Today this quaint building is no longer the station, but a visitor information centre. The railway still serves Balloch, but with a simpler building just Balloch Road at the corner with Tullichewan Road. But visitors can still visit the old station building in its new role before heading for the last remaining steamer on Loch Lomond or the Lomond Shores Shopping Centre. (See MAID OF THE LOCH. This paddle steamer is tied up and undergoing restoration, but still welcomes visitors).
The building is not listed, perhaps because so much has been removed from it, but still contributes to the streetscape and historic context of Balloch. The Canmore website below gives some interesting photographs of when it was part of a fully functioning railway station. It was opened as Balloch Station in 1850, and renamed Balloch Central Station by British Railways in 1952, emphasising its identity within the village with another station at Balloch Pier.
This map of 1860 shows the railway going all the way to the Balloch Pier. Just to the north of where it crosses Stirling Road, you can see this station building. There were therefore two stations in Balloch, one at the pier and one here. NLS ©
CANMORE : https://canmore.org.uk/site/126341/balloch-central-station
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND website : Dumbartonshire, Sheet XVIII Survey date: 1860, Publication date: 1864
VISIT SCOTLAND website : https://www.visitscotland.com/info/services/balloch-icentre-p332391
WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloch_Central_railway_station and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloch_Pier_railway_station