Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway

Introduction

This railway was promoted to complete the line between Inverness and Aberdeen by closing the gap between the Inverness and Nairn Railway and the Great North of Scotland Railway (which by focussing too much on its branches failed to complete the line west from Aberdeen to Inverness.

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 with the expectation that the line would meet the GNoSR in Elgin).
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.
  /07/1858Morayshire Railway
Pre-opening inspection of Orton to Rothes line (passed but frustratingly the Elgin to Orton section of the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway fails).
18/08/1858Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Opens from Elgin to Keith.
23/08/1858Morayshire Railway
Orton (on the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway) to Rothes opened.
  /  /1860Great North of Scotland Railway
Great North of Scotland Railway sells its Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway shares.
03/07/1860Morayshire Railway
Elgin East to Rothes via Longmorn authorised (avoiding difficulties using the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway's Elgin to Orton section).
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.
22/12/1862Burghead Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Alves to Burghead Harbour (Burghead [1st]) opened.
  /  /1864Burghead Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
Wards opened.
  /  /1865Burghead 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. Burghead [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)
Burghead [2nd] to Burghead 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.
21/01/1998Burghhead Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
12 week contract to carry grain from Andover to Roseisle Maltings via Mossend Yard and Inverness begins.
16/11/2002Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Line flooding leads to closure. At Mosstowie the railway was five feet underwater and the goods yard at Elgin East flooded. Flood damage stretched from Elgin to Keith. Large landslip near Orton.
15/12/2002Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Line re-opens following repairs.

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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See also
Inverness and Nairn Railway
The westbound platform waiting room at Nairn is now a Men^s Shed. ...
John Yellowlees 03/12/2018
The elegant main station building at Nairn in November 2005, looking east towards Forres. ...
John Furnevel 02/11/2005
The restored westbound platform building at Nairn is a ^Man^s Shed^. Men^s Shed Association ...
John Yellowlees 03/12/2018
Nairn East ^box in 1977. ...
Bill Roberton //1977
4 of 51 images. more


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 //
1 of 1 images.


This was a single platform station which became a two platform station with the addition of a passing loop. The original platform was to the south of the line.
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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. Also known as Brodie Castle Station for the nearby castle, this name being displayed around the station clock.
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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
3 of 3 images.


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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Inverness - Aberdeen approaching the viaduct over the Findhorn to the west of Forres. April showers! ...
Brian Forbes //
1 of 1 images.


This is a wrought iron single track box girder viaduct over the River Findhorn a little west of Forres station. Trains pass through the box girders. The viaduct is 609 ft long overall with three girder sections, two piers being on the riverbed. The engineer was Joseph Mitchell.
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This junction was the western apex of the triangular junction created with the opening of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway and its Forres [2nd] station in 1863. The line met the existing 1858 Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
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See also
Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
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
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
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
3 of 3 images.


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 is the third Forres station (fourth if we include a temporary station, Dalvey [1st]). Opening was in late 2017, the new station being to the north of Forres [2nd]. 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
The new station site is progressing well, platforms are nearly complete, the footbridge is being erected and track laid. This view looks west. ...
Alan Cormack 07/07/2017
4 of 9 images. more


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 //
4 of 6 images. more


This junction was the eastern apex of the triangular junction created with the opening of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway and its Forres [2nd] station in 1863. The line met the existing 1858 Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
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See also
Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
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
4 of 34 images. more


The last station at Kinloss opened in 1904 on the site of the original station, replaced Kinloss [2nd] which was to the east. It was a two platform station with a long passing loop (around twice the length of the platforms), which started west of a level crossing to the west of the station. The main station building was on the eastbound platform with a waiting room opposite. In addition to ...

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View east at the former Kinloss station in 1990. This station was relocated further east to the junction of the branch to Findhorn on its opening and ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
Kinloss signalbox by level crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
An Aberdeen - Inverness train at speed (and how) over Kinloss level crossing in September 2004. ...
John Furnevel 12/09/2004
The former Kinloss station viewed from the level crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
4 of 7 images. more


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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See also
Findhorn Railway
Looking east from Kinloss towards Elgin in the 1960s, with Kinloss station and level crossing behind the camera. [With thanks to Duncan McAdam, Gordon ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
1 of 1 images.


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 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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See also
Burghead Branch (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway)
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
4 of 4 images.


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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Alves Station, looking west, in 1977. The station had closed to passengers twelve years previously, on 3rd May 1965 ...
Bill Roberton //1977
Looking west over the former Alves station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
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
The former Alves station looking west from the road bridge in November 2005. ...
John Furnevel 02/11/2005
4 of 5 images. more


In 1898 a signal box was provided for the short mineral line to Newton Quarries which was west of the former Mosstowie station.
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This was a minor station with a long loop. The platforms were considerably shorter than the loop and close to its eastern end where a road bridge crossed the line. The main station building was on the westbound platform with a small waiting room opposite. The platforms were staggered, the eastbound platform being slightly to the west.
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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
3 of 3 images.


This is a two platform station with the modern station building on the eastbound platform and a car park on the north side. A third platform, a bay, is planned for the west end of the station for services terminating from Inverness.
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158702, with 158708, arriving at Elgin station with an evening service from Huntly to Inverness, on 14th June 2019. ...
David Bosher 14/06/2019
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
4 of 46 images. more


A junction opened in 1858 between the 1852 Morayshire Railway and the 1858 Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
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Morayshire Railway
The closed Elgin Centre signalbox in 1977. The box closed in 1973. This listed building still stands. ...
Bill Roberton //1977
A split view of New Elgin Road crossing the junction between the Highland and GNSR lines east of Elgin station. ...
Crinan Dunbar 14/10/2017
156496 passes the connection to the former GNSR station and yard as it leaves Elgin with a service for Aberdeen in 1991.
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Bill Roberton //1991
Works proceeds apace at Elgin - the locomotives have gone because the goods yard is now cut off while the points are replaced. ...
Crinan Dunbar 11/10/2017
4 of 26 images. more


This was a one platform station just south of the town of Lhanbryde. 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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Looking east at the closed Lhanbryde station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.


This was a three platform station. The main station building, of two storeys, was on the eastbound platform and this remains as a house. The building is roughly ^H^ shaped in plan with a covered porch alongside the platform. When first opened it was the station for Fochabers (some 3 and a half miles away across the River Spey) and became the junction for the short branch for the town in 1893.
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Fochabers Branch (Highland Railway)
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
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
27108 Eastbound Orbliston Station 1137 hours. Orbliston, at that time, still retained its original construction. ...
Peter Todd 15/10/1980
4 of 7 images. more


This was a two platform station with a passing loop. The main station building, of two storeys, 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 //
1 of 1 images.


This was the junction between the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway and the extension of the Morayshire Railway south to Craigellachie [1st]. Both lines were single track and opened in 1858. The junction was south of Orton station and west of the [Boat o^ Brig Viaduct] on the main line east to Aberdeen.
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Morayshire Railway
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
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
3 of 3 images.


This single track viaduct crosses the River Spey to the east of Orton. Also known as Spey Bridge, one of many, or Orton Bridge.
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A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa has just crossed the River Spey at Boat o^ Brig, between Keith and Elgin, on 1 May 2014 with the ...
John Gray 01/05/2014
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
Between Keith and Elgin the line drops down to cross the River Spey on a viaduct at Boat o^ Brig. Having just crossed the viaduct on 17 April, rebuilt ...
John Gray 17/04/2011
4 of 6 images. more


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 //
1 of 1 images.


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 //
2 of 2 images.


This signal box was west of the Highland Railway part of Keith station. It controlled the approach to the station and goods yard, to the east, and the junction between the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, of 1856, and the Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway), of 1884.
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Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)


This shed was on the north side of the west end of Keith station. It was the shed of the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway (later Highland Railway) opening here because this was the east end of the line from Inverness where trains were handed over to the Great North of Scotland Railway to continue their journey south east to Aberdeen. The shed was approached from the ...

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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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See also
Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)
Great North of Scotland Railway
Keith and Dufftown Railway
158722, on the 1303hrs Keith to Inverness service, passes 70810 on China Clay tanks in the passing loop at Keith on 28th October 2020. ...
Duncan Ross 28/10/2020
COLAS 70810 on 6Z42 at Keith on 28th October 2020. The diverted china clay tanks seem to be running twice a week now and I am wondering if the climb ...
Duncan Ross 28/10/2020
An Inverness to Aberdeen service calls at Keith on 26 September 2017. Keith
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David Panton 26/09/2017
43134 arriving at Keith (formerly Keith Junction) with a Huntly to Inverness service, on 16th June 2019. We were expecting another 158 unit so this ...
David Bosher 26/06/2019
4 of 27 images. more


This refers to the actual junction. For the station see Keith. This junction was formed in 1858 between the Great North of Scotland Railway and the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway further added to with the opening of the Keith and Dufftown Railway in 1862.
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Great North of Scotland Railway
Keith and Dufftown Railway
37128 pulls a short freight westwards from Keith Junction in 1990.
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Bill Roberton //1990
The Last train from Dufftown passes through Keith behind 47617 on 24th March 1991. ...
Bill Roberton 24/03/1991
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
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
4 of 13 images. more