The line now followed by the A86 was first turned into a road by Thomas Telford in 1818, who also built a bridge to carry his new road over the River Roy as it flows down to meet the River Spean. In 1894 the West Highland Railway passed through en route to Fort William and a station was built here which, for want of a better name, was called Roy Bridge.
In the late 1920s Roybridge developed further to provide housing and other services for workers on the huge Lochaber Project. When finally finished in 1943 this comprised a network of dams and tunnels across the area that included the creation of Loch Laggan by the building of the 900ft Laggan Dam.
The Lochaber Project culminated with the construction of a 15 foot diameter tunnel that ran for 15 miles from Loch Treig under the Ben Nevis range to emerge 600ft up on the hillside above Fort William.
The water flowing down the hillside pipes is harnessed by a power station which, in turn, provides the energy for Fort William's aluminium industry.
Today's Roybridge retains its railway station on the line from Fort William to Glasgow and is ideally placed to provide a quieter alternative to Fort William as a touring base for the Highlands. The village retains a post office, village hall and shops, plus a primary school.
Roybridge also has a large Roman Catholic church, St Margaret's. This was built just off the main road in 1929 to serve the needs of the large population involved in the Lochaber Project.
For a village of its size, Roybridge has quite a lot to offer in the way of accommodation. Options include the Stronlossit Inn, near the railway station, and the Roybridge Hotel, close to the bridge over the River Roy. A little further out to the east is the Glenspean Lodge Hotel.
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