Oban - Lismore
Oban - Lismore
Mainland - Lismore
Crossing Time: 50 Minutes
19?? - 1964:
1964 - 19??:
1974 - 1975:
1976 - 1995:
1998 - Present:
Various members of
the Island Class
and Loch Class
ferries on relief duties.
JUMP ON A VIRTUAL
Oban: 3 storey terminal building with ticket office, waiting area and toilets.
Two linkspans, one of which is undergoing redevelopment. Raised walkways
under construction to replace the older passenger loading gangway.
Large vehicle marshalling area. Small slipway located near berth number
Very minimal facilities at Achnacroish on the island. There is a small
waiting area just up from the slipway.
The Lismore car ferry service was initiated back in 1974 when the Morvern,
displaced the previous season from Lochaline, commenced the 50 minute
crossing from Oban. This route back then was most definitely in the
category of lifeline service, being used by islanders, commuting to and
from Oban to the shops etc.
remained on the Lismore route for two seasons before being supplanted by
the larger Eigg
which was looking for new employment after being replaced on the Raasay
crossing. The Eigg
could carry up to six cars on her little car deck and once she commenced
her duties on the route she would remain on it for the next 20 years. The
only exceptions to this were when she was required to come off service for
her annual overhauls or when she required repairs. During these times one
of her sisters would provide the necessary cover.
enjoyed a simple routine during her time on the Lismore route, providing a
two hourly service from each terminal when on a peak timetable. It was not
until 1996 that she eventually left what was by now her route.
Eigg unloading at Lismore slipway
In 1996 the previous Lismore ferry was switched with the former Kilchoan
ferry; the Coll.
The destination sign was transferred across to this new replacement as if
to indicate an allegiance to her new route, but it was not to last
only the following year, found herself being replaced on the Lismore route
by her older sister Bruernish
while she herself was put on the sales list. And so the crossing Lismore
was entrusted to another vessel once again. The following season another
change was to take place - although admittedly it was more of a return
than a change...
Eigg heading back to Oban
Eigg crossing the Firth of Lorn
Eigg arriving back in Oban Bay
Events on the Clyde, among members of the 'Loch Class' ferries had
conspired to release the Loch Linnhe for service in the Western Isles. She was assigned to the
Tobermory - Kilchoan route which in turn freed up the former Lismore ferry
to return once more to Oban and resume her occupation of the service. This
time the change was to last and once again the Eigg
became the long-term ship.
In 1999 when the Eigg
returned from her annual overhaul, she looked very different. She had
sprouted a high level bridge so as her master could see over high loads
such as hay lorries that were often carried to Lismore. Her black paint on
the hull had also been raised, with the company name down the side now
being white as on the larger units of the fleet. With the bridge
modification made it was clear that the Eigg
was destined to remain as the regular Lismore ferry once again.
The Lismore service is now one of only two routes regularly serviced by a
bow-loading vessel; the other being that to Rathlin. There had been much
speculation that once the new Cumbrae vessel had entered service, various
Loch Class ships would be moved round and one would displace the Eigg - in
fact a CalMac press release even went as far as to state that the Lismore
route would receive a Loch Class vessel, however with Loch Alainn now at
Eriskay and Loch Bhrusda designated spare vessel on the Clyde, there is
currently no available vessel to carry out this promise. For the time being
then it looks like Eigg's future is relatively safe.
Images from Ships of CalMac Collection