The Mallaig Extension was approved in 1894 to provide a continuation of the West Highland route for the benefit of the fishing industry on Scotland's west coast. It revived, more ambitiously, the Fort William to Roshven line lost in 1889. With controversial state aid in place, construction began in 1897 and the Extension was opened in 1901. Steam was reintroduced on the line in 1984 and the Jacobite service to Mallaig is now a major tourist attraction. Crossing the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, the line touches Loch Eilt, Loch Ailort, Loch-nan-Uamh, Arisaig and Morar, giving wonderful views of the coastline and the Small Isles. In this book, a companion to his volume on the West Highland Line, Dr John McGregor uses a wide selection of period and modern photographs to bring the history and dramatic landscape of the Mallaig Extension to life for the reader.
John McGregor recently retired as a lecturer at the Open University. He is a trustee of the Glenfinnan Station Museum and a member of the Friends of the West Highland Line. In 1994 he wrote 100 Years of the West Highland Railway for Scot Rail, and in 2005 produced The West Highland Railway: Plans, Politics and People for Birlinn. He lives near Edinburgh.