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Duke of Sutherland's Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

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Golspie
Dunrobin
Brora
Loth
West Helmsdale
Helmsdale

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Duke of Sutherland's Railway

This line is open. Passenger services are provided by ScotRail from Inverness to Wick, Thurso, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Survey To be entered
Engineers As per Highland Railway
Act 20 June 1870
Contractors Messrs Brand, Baxter
Opened 1 November 1870
Closed No
Clickable map of the Duke of Sutherland's Railway Sutherland Railway Sutherland and Caithness Railway Helmsdale West Helmsdale Loth Brora Dunrobin

Local area 

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This line runs up the east coast in the far north of Scotland. There was formerly coalmining in Brora. There are towns at Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale and the Duke of Sutherland's castle at Dunrobin.

Chronology 

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Description of route 

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From Golspie to Helmsdale. The line was built by the Duke of Sutherland to both help develop his estate (he had coal mines at Brora which were not connected to the railway network) and continue the line of communication up the east coast of the far north of Scotland.

Golspie 

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This station formerly had two platforms and a passing loop. One platform remains in use and the loop has been lifted. The station building is in a good state of repair and the former goods yard is to the south of the station. This was the northern terminus of the Sutherland Railway.

Dunrobin
Opened:1 November 1870 Closed:19 June 1871 (Becomes private halt) Closed:29 January 1965 Re-opened:30 June 1985 Closed:No
Map
86.15 miles from Inverness
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1956:G+PFH
 
Dunrobin Castle

This station was provided for the Duke of Sutherland's castle. It has been known as Dunrobin, Dunrobin Castle and Dunrobin Halt. The Duke had his own engine (kept at Golspie) and carriage (kept at Dunrobin). The station is quite ornate and replaces a more 'log cabin' style building which stood here previously. The new station was re-built in 1902 when the signalbox was removed, replaced by a ground frame in the new building. The signalling was removed in 1906. The station has a single platform, never had a loop and had a bay platform at the north end. A dis-used carriage shed stands at the north end.

Brora
Opened:19 June 1871Closed:No
Map
90.48 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC30
 
Brora

This is a two platform station with a passing loop. The goods yard was formerly access via a loop off the northbound track (the goods loop is now disconnected at one end). Goods sidings remain. Brora formerly had a coal mine and coal was handled in the goods yard. The mine led to one of the earlieast waggonways - the Brora waggonway. The 'Brora North' and 'Brora South' signalboxes have been demolished. The station also served the Clynelish Distillery.

Loth
Opened:19 June 1871Closed:13 June 1960
Map
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1956:G*P*

This station is closed. The photograph looks south at the station, which is now a house.

West Helmsdale
Opened:1 November 1870 Closed:9 June 1871
Map
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This was the original terminus of the line. The terminus was at Gartymore (to the south of Helmsdale). The line was extended north and eventually reached Thurso and Wick. A new station was built at Helmsdale and this station was closed in 1871.

Helmsdale
Opened:19 June 1871Closed:No
OS 023 155
101.40 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC10
Helmsdale

The station buildings, a footbridge and the former 'Helmsdale South' signalbox still stand. This is a two platform station with a passing loop. There is a siding to the north of the station. The photograph to the left shows the turntable pit for the shed (a two road shed, 60C, closed in 1962), the location of which is shown in the right photograph. The 'Helmsdale North' signalbox has been demolished. The Sutherland and Caithness railway extended the Duke of Sutherland's Railway north to Thurso and Wick from Helmsdale. The current station was the new terminus on the extension of the line from West Helmsdale opened in 1871.

Brora Sutherland and Caithness Railway
Page created on 04/09/1997
Page last edited on: 11/09/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford
Helmsdale Dunrobin Castle