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Inverness and Ross-shire Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Inverness
Rose Street Junction
Ness Viaduct Box
Muirton Basin
Clachnaharry Box
Clachnaharry
Bruichnain Box
Bunchrew
Lentran
Clunes
Beauly
Muir of Ord
Conon
Dingwall
Dingwall Junction
Foulis
Evanton
Alness
Invergordon
Delny
Kildary
Nigg
Fearn
Tain
Glenmorangie Siding
Edderton
Mid Fearn Halt
Bonar Bridge

This site
Highland Railway
Inverness and Nairn Railway

Other sites
ScotRail


Inverness and Ross-shire Railway

This line is open. Passenger services are provided by ScotRail from Inverness to Thurso and Wick. This line was the first in the chain of lines now known as the "Far North Line".

Survey To be entered
Engineers Joseph Mitchell
Act 1860, 3 July
Contractors Meakin (Inverness to Dingwall),
MacDonald & Grieve (Dingwall to Invergordon),
J&A Grainger (Invergordon to Bonar Bridge)
Opened 1862, 11 June
Closed No
Caledonian Canal Sutherland Railway Dingwall and Skye Railway Cromarty and Dingwall Light Railway Fortrose Branch Aviemore Direct Railway Inverness and Nairn Railway Inverness and Nairn Railway Ardgay Mid Fearn Halt Edderton Meikle Ferry Tain Fearn Nigg Kildary Delny Invergordon Alness Evanton Foulis Dingwall Conon Muir of Ord Beauly Clunes Lentran Bunchrew Clachnaharry Clickable map of the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway.
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 Dingwall, looking North
Dingwall, looking North.

Edderton from the south.
Edderton, looking towards the Distillery.

Local area

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This line runs through farmland to the north of Inverness and by the Beauly Firth. The area around Alness and Invergordon is busy supporting the oil industry. In the first world war there a large military presence here and a separate railway ran parallel from Alness to Invergordon. There is a distillery in Invergordon and to the north, by Tain is Glenmorangie distillery. At Invergordon there was a Aluminium smelter, now closed.

Chronology

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Description of route 

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From Inverness to Invergordon, and on to Ardgay (formerly Bonar Bridge).

Inverness  
Map  
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Northbound platforms were opened in connection with the line running north to Invergordon. See also the Aviemore and Inverness Direct Railway and the Inverness and Nairn Railway. 
 

Rose Street Junction
Map
0.19 miles from Inverness
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This is the junction between line lines north, the former line to the harbour (now shortened to a siding), the north platform lines from Inverness station and the station by-ass lines. See also the Inverness and Nairn Railway.

Ness Viaduct Box
Map
0.41 miles from Inverness
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There was a signalbox mounted on the side of the approach to this bridge (also known as Waterloo Bridge), now removed. The signalbox was mounted on a gantry over the Harbour branch.

The viaduct collapsed in the late 1980s (in heavy floods, just after a freight train to Invergordon had passed over it) leading to the isolation of a goods train and some passenger trains to the 'north' of the bridge. An engine and carriage maintenance depot was established at Muir of Ord (utilising a building from the Troon goods line which was placed on the site of the former goods shed, carriages being stored in the disused grain sidings) for the duration of the time it took to remove the old bridge and build a new bridge. Muir of Ord was closed to passengers and a bus service operated from Dingwall to Muir of Ord to Inverness. Dingwall became the southern passenger terminus of the small network.

Muirton Basin  
Map  
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A branch was established from an east facing junction to Muirton Basin (steamers operated from here to Banavie) on the Caledonian Canal. This branch was later used in connection with Mine-layers operating from Kyle of Lochalsh.

Clachnaharry Box
Map
1.50 miles from Inverness
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This box controls the swing bridge (1.48 miles from Inverness) over the Caledonian Canal, and previously signalled the nearby station.

Clachnaharry
Opened:1869 Closed:1 April 1913
Map
1.52 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC10

This station is closed. The line was double track from here to Clunes. At the time of writing the roadbridge over the railway here is being replaced.

Bruichnain
Map
2.63 miles from Inverness
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'Bruichnain North' and 'Bruichnain South' signalboxes are demolished.

Bunchrew
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
3.58 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC

This station had two platforms. The station is now closed, but the station house still stands and can be seen from the roadbridge to the south. 'Bunchrew' signalbox is demolished.

Lentran
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:13 June 1960 Re-opened:27 March 1982 Closed:29 March 1982
Map
5.69 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC

This station is closed. After the double track was lifted a passing loop was retained here which closed in the 1980s. The station building shown here was under threat of demolition, and may well have been removed now. 'Lentran' signalbox is demolished.

Clunes
Opened:1864 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
7.51 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPLH

This photograph may show the location of Clunes station (it is in fact off to the left in trees). The line runs from left (north) to right (south) in the distance. The line was double track from here to Clachnaharry. 'Clunes South' and 'Clunes' (formerly 'Clunes North') signalboxes are demolished.

Beauly
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:13 June 1960 Due for re-opening:2002
Map
9 miles from Inverness
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Beauly station, looking east.

This station had a passing loop and two platforms. The loop has been lifted and the track was slewed to a middle position. The platforms and station building remain.

The station is being re-opened with a new platform, shelter and car-park, built by First Engineering. Rather controversially the platform is only one carriage long. At the time of writing the Health and Safety Executive have blocked the opening of the station. 'Beauly South' and 'Beauly North' signalboxes are demolished.

Muir of Ord
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:15 June 1960 Re-opened:4 October 1976
Map
13.04 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC50
Muir of Ord

This station has a passing loop and two platforms. The station building still stands. This was formerly the junction for the closed Fortrose Branch. To the south of the station (visible in the distance) is a shed which was the maintenance shed for locomotives while the Ness Viaduct was re-built (see above). The station also has two long disused grain sidings (the silos can just be seen to the left of the picture). 'Muir of Ord South' and 'Muir of Ord' (formerly 'Muir of Ord North') signalboxes are demolished.

Conon
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
16.00 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC10

This was a two platform station with a passing loop. To the north of the closed station is a skewed masonry viaduct (16.58 miles from Inverness). The station was intended to be a the junction for the Cromarty Light Railway which was partly built, but abandoned. A loop was installed at the station in 1911, a new signalbox and a second platform added. The aborted line to Cromarty began construction in 1914 - perhaps the loop was associated with this planned line as well as additional traffic building up on the main line. 'Conon' signalbox is demolished.

Dingwall
Opened:11 June 1862 Closed:No
Map
18.58 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC40
Dingwall

This is a substantial station with long platforms and large staffed station building. There was a goods yard to the south west, now only a single siding remains next to a loading bank (seen in photograph to the left). To the north of the road overbridge there was a bay platform (track now lifted). In the main part of the station (to the south of the bridge) there was an island platform (only the main line face is in use today) and the main northbound platform. In 1956 there was a siding for Scottish Oils and Shell-Mex Ltd. 'Dingwall North' and 'Dingwall South' signalboxes are demolished.

Dingwall Junction
Map
18.79 miles from Inverness
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This is the junction, just to the north of the station, for the former Dingwall and Skye Railway (now known as the Kyle line). There is a foot level crossing here.

Foulis
Opened:23 May 1863 as Fowlis Re-named:Foulis on 20 March 1916 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
22.76 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPLH

This station is closed. 'Foulis' signalbox is demolished.

Evanton
Opened:23 May 1863 as Novar Re-named:Evanton on 1 June 1937 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
25.10 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC50

This station is closed, although the platforms remain. 'Evanton North' and 'Evanton South' signalboxes are demolished.

Alness
Opened:23 May 1863 Closed:13 June 1960 Re-opened:7 May 1973 Closed:No
Map
28.70 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC20
Alness

This station formerly had three platforms; a main platform and an island platform with two face. The station had a large station building, now replaced with a bus shelter. Now only one platform remains in use and the line is single track. The station had been closed, but was re-opened in anticipation of increased traffic from the oil industry. 'Alness North' and 'Alness South' signalboxes are demolished.

There was a siding for the Dalmore Distillery.

Invergordon
Opened:23 May 1863 Closed:No
Map
31.37 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC30
Invergordon

This station has two platforms and a passing loop. The station building has an unsual hacienda style. There was a goods yard to the south, and further south a branch to the harbour.

 
Invergordon distillery

To the north there are sidings for the distillery, and further north formerly there was a branch to the Invergordon smelter and British Pipecoaters. The later two sets of sidings are now lifted.

The left photograph shows the site of Invergordon smelter which was connected by rail, the railway running from the foreground out of a tunnel (the mainline further behind). The right photograph shows the harbour. Some vestages of the harbour branch railway can be seen in the foreground. In 1956 the harbour branch served; Admiralty Siding, Centre Pier Siding, Highland Agricultural Co's Works, Macbean & Benson's Coalyard Siding and the Ship Inn Siding. 'Invergordon North' and 'Invergordon South' signalboxes are demolished.

Delny
Opened:1 June 1864 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
34.79 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC

This station is closed.

Kildary
Opened:1 June 1864 as Parkhill Re-named:Kildary on 1 May 1868 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
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1956:GPFLHC

This station is closed. It was originally opened as Parkhill but was renamed Kildary to save confusion with Parkhill station on the Formartine and Buchan Railway. 'Kildary North' and 'Kildary South' signalboxes are demolished.

Nigg
Opened:1 June 1864 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
39.25 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC30

This station is closed.

Fearn
Opened:1 June 1864 Closed:No
Map
40.60 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC10
Fearn

This was a two platform station with a passing loop. The station is still open, loop line lifted and the goods yard has two unused sidings. 'Fearn' signalbox is demolished.

Tain
Opened:1 June 1864 Closed:No
Map
44.23 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC70
Tain

This station is open. It has two platforms, a passing loop, the station building still stands along with the footbridge. The goods yard with two sidings remain at the north end. This station once had a two road locomotive shed to the south and a turntable. The turntable pit remains. 'Tain North' and 'Tain South' signalboxes have been demolished.

Glenmorangie Siding  
Map  
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There was a siding here for the Glenmorangie Distillery.

Meikle Ferry
Opened:1 June 1864 Closed:3 January 1869
Map
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This was briefly the end of the line, until it was extended to Bonar Bridge (now Ardgay). It closed not along after the line was extended and the station building has remained, complete with its name marked on the building, since 1869. The Dornoch Firth roadbridge crosses over the firth by the former station. This bridge has been designed so that a railway line could be laid over it in the future, reducing the railway mileage between Inverness and Thurso and Wick by a new short link between Meikle Ferry, Dornoch and The Mound.

Edderton
Opened:1 October 1864 Closed:13 June 1960
Map
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1956:GPLH20

This was a two platform station with a passing loop. The station is closed and the loop line lifted. 'Edderton North' and 'Edderton South' signalboxes have been demolished.

Mid Fearn
Opened:1 October 1864 Closed:1 September 1865
Re-opened:as Mid Fearn Platform in ~1926 Re-named:West Fearn Platform Closed:~1928
Map
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This halt is now closed. Just to the south the railway runs on a causeway across an inlet of the upper Dornoch Firth.

Ardgay
Opened:1 October 1864 as Bonar Bridge Renamed:Ardgay on 2 May 1977 Closed:No
Map
58.00 miles from Inverness
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1956:GPFLHC30
Ardgay

This station was formerly known as Bonar Bridge. This station was the northern terminus of the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway the Sutherland Railway extended it north and east to Golspie. The station has two platforms, a passing loop and a disused good-yard with sidings. The original station building still stands. There are two sidings to the south. The 'Ardgay North' and 'Ardgay South' signalboxes are demolished.

The name is pronounced "ard-guy".


Page created on 04/09/1997
Page last edited on: 11/03/2012
Contact: Ewan Crawford
Sutherland Railway Tain Ardgay Fearn Invergordon Fearn Invergordon Fearn Dingwall Muir of Ord Kyle of Lochalsh Alness Dingwall Inverness