Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway

Introduction

This line is open. Passenger services are provided by ScotRail from Inverness to Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Stations remain at Keith, Elgin, Forres and Nairn.

Why built

This line completed the route between Aberdeen and Inverness by connecting the Great North of Scotland Railway at Keith to the Inverness and Nairn Railway at Nairn.






Dates

  /  /1856Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Nairn Viaduct, designed by Joseph Mitchell, under construction.
21/07/1856Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Act receives Royal assent. (Former applications were made under the name Nairn and Elgin Railway).
22/12/1857Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Nairn to Dalvey [1st] (temporary station west of Forres [1st]) opened.
25/03/1858Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Dalvey [1st] closes, replaced by the extension through Forres [1st] to Elgin.
18/08/1858Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Opens from Elgin to Keith.
17/05/1861Inverness and Nairn RailwayInverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Inverness and Nairn Railway absorbed by Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
01/03/1862Findhorn RailwayInverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Findhorn Railway operation taken over by the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
30/06/1862Inverness and Ross-shire RailwayInverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway absorbed by Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
22/12/1862Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Alves to Burghead Harbour (Burghead [1st]) opened.
  /  /1864Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Wards opened.
  /  /1865Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Wards renamed Coltfield Platform.
01/02/1865Inverness and Aberdeen Junction RailwayInverness and Perth Junction Railway
Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway and Inverness and Perth Junction Railway merge (the name of new company was not yet decided).
29/06/1865Inverness and Aberdeen Junction RailwayInverness and Perth Junction RailwayHighland Railway
Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway and Inverness and Perth Junction Railway merger: company named the Highland Railway.
10/10/1892Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Burghead [2nd] to Burghead Harbour closed to passengers. Burghhead [2nd] to Hopeman opened to passengers.
14/09/1931Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Hopeman to Alves closed to passengers.
31/12/1957Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Hopeman to Burghead [2nd] closed to goods.
07/10/1966Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Burghhead [2nd] to Burghhead Harbour closed.
21/01/1998Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Alves Junction to Roseisle Maltings re-opened to freight. The line was mothballed shortly afterwards.

Route described

The line was, and is, single track. Provision was made between Nairn and Alves for a double track which was never laid. The Nairn Viaduct (see entry) was built to allow a second track but the main line remained single track although a siding did come to use the available trackbed.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This is a two platform station in the south of Nairn. The station buildings on both platforms are similar to those at Pitlochry. The main building, a single storey, is on the eastbound (Aberdeen) platform, on the town side of the station. Thought to be designed by William Roberts and Murdoch Paterson it dates from 1885 and is 'B' listed. The platforms are linked by a lattice ...

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Nairn station's 19th century Highland waiting room is being restored with the help of a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust. Viewed from the ...
John Yellowlees 17/08/2018
The restored westbound platform building at Nairn is a 'Man's Shed'. Men's Shed Association ...
John Yellowlees 03/12/2018
The elegant main station building at Nairn in November 2005, looking east towards Forres. ...
John Furnevel 02/11/2005
A delightful small Highland Railway station building at Nairn in 2005. This building is to be found hard beside the footbridge on the Inverness bound ...
Ewan Crawford 02/11/2005

This is a double track stone arch viaduct, just east of Nairn station designed by Joseph Mitchell. It carries a single track.
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Nairn viaduct, to the east to Nairn station, viewed from the south east. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a single platform station. The platform was to the south of the line and there was a siding to the south, served from the west. Auldearn itself is to the south.
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Brodie station had a passing loop and two platforms. The main station building, which still stands as a house, was on the westbound platform.
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Brodie station, 46 years after its 1965 closure, as seen from the level crossing looking towards Forres. The station is now a house that also has B&B ...
Mark Bartlett 28/06/2011
View forward from an Aberdeen-Inverness DMU near Brodie in 1962. Note the 'forest warning' sign - presumably for steam locos - to the left of the ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1962
Token exchange at Brodie, Morayshire, in August 1965 as the ex-HR Jones Goods 4-6-0 no 103 heads back to Inverness. The trip was one of the ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /08/1965

This was a short lived terminus west of Forres on the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, opened with its line from Nairn to Dalvey. Arguably Dalvey [1st] was the first station in, or rather for, Forres. It was located outside the town to the west of the Findhorn Viaduct [Forres], the completion of which led to the closing of the temporary terminus as the line was extended ...

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This viaduct over the Findhorn is west of Forres station. ...

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Inverness - Aberdeen approaching the viaduct over the Findhorn to the west of Forres. April showers! ...
Brian Forbes //

The Jones Goods and the two preserved Caley coaches between Inverness and Forres in September 1965, as part of the Highland Railway centenary ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /09/1965
View west from the recently constructed overbridge at the new Forres station showing the extended loop serving the new station and existing alignment ...
Douglas Blades 29/08/2017
No cattle fright here, as the Jones Goods and the two preserved Caley coaches head west from Forres on one of the September 1965 Highland Railway ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) /09/1965

This is a modern two platform station, a footbridge with lifts, a station building on the westbound platform and a car park to the south. It opened to the north of the former Forres [2nd] station. Opening was in late 2017. The station is on a long loop.
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The new Forres station, looking towards Inverness. The station is very spacious, laid out with a large car park and room for expansion. The previous ...
Ewan Crawford 05/10/2018
Forres open days: a noticeboard showing the visiting hours for the site office for the Aberdeen to Inverness Improvement Project which includes the ...
John Yellowlees 01/09/2016
The new station site is progressing well, platforms are nearly complete, the footbridge is being erected and track laid. This view looks east, with ...
Alan Cormack 07/07/2017
A panoramic view of the new station at Forres, looking south, from the road bridge to the west. The old station has been obliterated. ...
Crinan Dunbar 19/11/2017

This was a two platform station on the Inverness to Aberdeen line. The station building, typical of the line, was on the down platform which was the town side of the station. It opened with the extension of the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway from Dalvey [1st] to Elgin.
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The disused goods shed at Forres in the mid 1990's, not long after track lifting. ...
John Gray //
The goods yard, still handling coal but don't know if it was delivered by rail. ...
Bill Roberton //1991
View south to Forres over the first Forres station (1857). This station became surplus when the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway opened from ...
Ewan Crawford Collection //
Forres goods looking west. The distant building is part of the Forres locomotive shed complex. ...
Ewan Crawford //

View of the level crossing at the former Forres East Junction in June 2017, before alteration. The view looks north. ...
Alan Cormack 21/06/2017
A shot of Forres signal box,now gone. ...
John Gray //
A view south of the level crossing east of Forres station which will be replaced by a bridge to the west of the replacement station. ...
Alan Cormack 21/06/2017
Forres signal box looking west from the level crossing in November 2005. ...
John Furnevel 03/11/2005


Kinloss station was relocated to the east almost as soon as it opened with the opening of the short lived Findhorn Railway. The new station had one platform face on each line, there was an island platform in the 'V' of the junction. There was a loop on the branch line.
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This is the junction for the Hopeman Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway). Both the branch and main line are single track. The branch joins facing east so that trains from the east may run straight onto the branch. The junction is not far west of the former Alves station.
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North poles. Sections of the Inverness - Aberdeen line between Nairn and Inverurie represent the last significant stretches of S&T pole route extant ...
John Furnevel 02/11/2005
25234 coming off the former Hopeman branch with a freight from Burghead stands at Alves Junction awaiting clearance onto the Aberdeen - Inverness line ...
Peter Todd 03/08/1979
25234 approaching the junction of the Hopeman branch with the Inverness - Aberdeen line at Alves on 3 August 1979 with a Burghead - Dufftown working. ...
Peter Todd 03/08/1979
Scene at Alves Junction, photographed from the A96 road bridge on 3 August 1979. 25234 is held with a freight off the Hopeman branch as a passing ...
Peter Todd 03/08/1979

This was a two platform station to the east of Alves Junction. The main station building, now a house, was on the eastbound platform. The east of the station is crossed by a road bridge.
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25233 passing through the closed Alves station with a grain train from Burghead, to Elgin, then Aberdeen and I'm told Doncaster. 05 February 1979. ...
Peter Todd 05/02/1979
Looking west over the former Alves station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The former Alves station looking west from the road bridge in November 2005. ...
John Furnevel 02/11/2005
View east at Alves station on the Aberdeen - Inverness line on 12 December 1978. The station closed in May 1965 and the station building is now a ...
Peter Todd 12/12/1978

Looking east at the former Mosstowie station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
A westbound DMU seen near Mosstowie in April 1979 shortly after leaving Elgin. ...
Peter Todd 02/04/1979
27003+27007 with a westbound train at Mosstowie on 1 May 1980. ...
Peter Todd 01/05/1980

This is a two platform station with the station building on the eastbound platform and a car park. A third platform, a bay, is planned for the west end of the station for services terminating from Inverness.
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A token exchange at Elgin. ...
Ewan Crawford Collection 04/07/2016
Class 37 37260 Radio Highland approaches Elgin West bos with an afternoon train on the most 8th day of the 8th month, 1988. ...
Crinan Dunbar 08/08/1988
Progress showing the extension of the loop west. The Wards has very bright light so it is easy to make out what is going on. ...
Crinan Dunbar 10/10/2017
A notice of closures associated with the works at Elgin. ...
Crinan Dunbar 08/10/2017

This was a one platform station just south of the town of Llanbryde. The platform was on the north side of the line. The station building, typical of the line, remains standing in use as a house.
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Inverness-Aberdeen train passing the closed station at Llanbryde. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a two platform station.
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26036 eastbound to Aberdeen at Orbliston at 1141 hours, 13 May 1981. ...
Peter Todd 13/05/1981
27005 Westbound Orbliston Station 1118 hours 19 Oct. 1980. Orbliston, at that time, still retained its original construction. ...
Peter Todd 19/10/1980
27108 Eastbound Orbliston Station 1137 hours. Orbliston, at that time, still retained its original construction. ...
Peter Todd 15/10/1980
Scene near the former Orbliston station (closed 1964) between Elgin and Keith on 18 January 1979, with EE Type 4 no 40074 passing on a mid-afternoon ...
Peter Todd 18/01/1979

This was a two platform station with a passing loop. The main station building was on the southbound/eastbound platform. There was a goods yard at the north end, approached from the south.
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Looking east at the former Orton station from the roadside. ...
Ewan Crawford //
A DMU westbound past the site of Orton station on a March afternoon in 1979. The River Spey bridge stands in the background, with the trackbed of the ...
Peter Todd 30/03/1979
An Inverness bound train approaches Orton from the east. With the slight uphill trains really move quickly here, one moment it was on the viaduct then ...
Ewan Crawford 30/09/2009

Opened in 1858, Closed in 1866 and lifted in 1907, this is the trackbed of the Orton to Rothes line. Once the direct Elgin to Rothes line opened in ...
Caleb Abbott 02/10/2018

This single track viaduct crosses the River Spey to the east of Orton.
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A west bound DMU crossing the River Spey Orton Bridge enroute to Elgin, 02 March 1979. Passing time 1506 hours. ...
Peter Todd 02/03/1979
This Spey Viaduct is just east of Orton and is viewed from the B9103 equivalent in 1990. 'University of Dundee' crosses with an Aberdeen bound train. ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
26036 crossing the viaduct over the River Spey at Orton in April 1982, taking a train east towards Aberdeen. ...
Peter Todd 29/04/1982
40114 about to cross the Spey Viaduct at Orton with an afternoon service in November 1978 heading for Aberdeen. ...
Peter Todd 18/11/1978

This was a station with a passing loop, two platforms and a signal box at either end. The main station building was on the westbound platform.
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The former Mulben station. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a single platform halt built for the Glentauchers Distillery, to the south of the line.
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Looking south at Tauchers Distillery ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking north east at Tauchers Platform. ...
Ewan Crawford //


Assumed to have opened with line. ...

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This is a one platform station, with a second out of use platform on the former route to Dufftown. There is a passing loop to the east of the station, inconvenient when trains are running late.
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An Inverness to Aberdeen service calls at Keith on 26 September 2017. Keith
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David Panton 26/09/2017
The GNSR goods shed at Keith still stands. In the foreground is the Dufftown platform line, the buffer on this line being not far behind the camera. ...
David Prescott 30/01/2018
Although the preserved Keith and Dufftown Railway is very much still alive it has been many years since the line reached Keith Junction (in distance) ...
David Panton 26/09/2017
Keith station 2006. ...
John Furnevel /11/2006

This refers to the actual junction. For the station see Keith.
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Keith Junction Excursion Platform looking towards Keith Town on 7th November 2017. This is now mainly used for stabling of the Royal Scotsman train.
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Caleb Abbott 07/11/2017
Keith signal box is somewhat past its best and a little saggy. It presides over the only loop outwith a station on the Aberdeen-Inverness line. ...
Ewan Crawford 06/10/2018
Exchange at Keith in August 1987. ...
Ian Dinmore /08/1987
View east towards Keith signal box in August 1987. ...
Ian Dinmore /08/1987