My parish sometimes seems a long way back – today we travelled over 50 miles into the Trossachs to visit the congregation at Aberfoyle. It’s amazing to get there and find a cohesive and friendly congregation busy making brave plans about its future – and we all went to lunch in one of the houses beside the lake. People are amazingly kind and hospitable. Our friend John who has been with us over the weekend is a train buff – kept talking about the old line from Stirling to Crianlarich which passed through Aberfoyle. And then we walked across the cattle grid at the entrance to the house and found that it had been made from the old railway lines. Perhaps there may yet be a railway resurrection?
I feel I have to point out that the Stirling – Crianlarich line didn’t actually pass through Aberfoyle. It went via Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, Doune, Callander, Strathyre, Kingshouse, Balquhidder, Killin Junction and Luib. Aberfoyle was the terminus of a line that took a winding route from Glasgow through Lenzie, Kirkintilloch, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown, Campsie Glen, Strathblane, Blanefield, Dumgoyne, Killearn, Balfron, Buchlyvie and Gartmore. The Aberfoyle line closed to passengers in 1951 (pre-Beeching), with the Stirling -Crianlarich line surviving until 1965.
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