Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)

Introduction

This line is open. Passenger services are provided by ScotRail from Inverness to Aviemore, Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Stations remain open at Aviemore and Carrbridge.

Why built

The line was built by the Highland Railway to counter competing plans, such as extending the Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway north to Inverness (which would have provided a good route from Glasgow to Inverness controlled by the North British Railway). Another plan was for a line extending the Great North of Scotland Railway from Boat of Garten to Inverness by a similar route.

This new route reduced the distance to Inverness by 25.75 miles, its promotion and opening putting paid to these competing plans and ensuring that the Highland Railway retained the route to Inverness from the south.



Dates

28/07/1884Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Act passed. This was partly in response to the proposed incursion of the North British Railway's Glasgow and North Western Railway from Glasgow to Inverness via Loch Lomond, Crianlarich, Glencoe, Fort William and the Great Glen.
08/07/1892Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Aviemore to Carrbridge opened.
19/07/1897Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Carrbridge to Daviot opened. This section includes the Aultnaslanach Viaduct, (currently the only in use timber railway viaduct left in Scotland).
01/11/1898Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Daviot to Inverness, Millburn Junction, opened, completing the shortcut line from Aviemore to Inverness.
18/06/1914Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Heavy rainfall causes a bridge washout of the Baddengorm Burn Viaduct (north of Carrbridge). As a result a train crashes down into the riverbed with loss of life.
26/04/2000Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Embankment partly washed out at several locations at the south end of Culloden Viaduct.
08/09/2002Inverness and Nairn Railway Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Blocked by flood-water.
04/01/2010Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
66048 derails in snow at Carrbridge station with a train of empties from Inverness to Mossend. Line closed until 12 January. Locomotive recovered 14 February.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Aviemore to Inverness

This line required heavy engineering, notably the Findhorn Viaduct [Tomatin] and the largest masonry viaduct in Scotland Culloden Viaduct. Other large viaducts were required, Tomatin Viaduct and Slochd Viaduct. From the south the line was single track with passing places, double from Daviot to Inverness. Today it is double from Culloden Moor to Inverness.

This is a three platform station, formerly with a bay at the north end on the west side. The station was rebuilt and enlarged when Aviemore became a junction on the opening of the Direct Line to Inverness via Carrbridge. The name Aviemore is from Gaelic, ^An Aghaidh Mhòr^ - The big (mountain) face, describing the hill Craigellachie which lies to the west.
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See also
Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Aviemore 12 December 2017. ...
John Yellowlees 12/12/2017
Ex-CR 57594 leaves Aviemore on 1218 Aviemore - Elgin (via Craigellachie). ...
David Murray-Smith 05/04/1960
What secrets lie behind the red door? A door marked ^private^ at Aviemore station. ...
Crinan Dunbar 03/06/2019
City of Truro at Aviemore. ...
Mark Poustie 31/08/2006
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A small marshalling yard was laid out at Aviemore in the Second World War to allow southbound trains from the Forres [2nd] and Inverness routes to be sorted into Glasgow and Edinburgh portions and merged. It was an expansion of an existing set of sidings.
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Construction of two signal boxes, a north and a south, began here in 1898 but the construction was abandoned. The site may have been considered for a station, not just a loop.
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This is a two platform station with a passing loop. The main station building, waiting room and footbridge remain. The main building is timber and, in common with many Highland Railway stations, ^H^ shaped in plan. At its north end the building is built out with a small glazed porch, a former signal box dating from the resignalling of 1957. Platforms are linked by a lattice footbridge. There ...

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37405 propels Inspection Coach 975025 ^Caroline^ as they pass Carrbridge on the way from Derby to Inverness. 7th August 2018.
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Gus Carnegie 07/08/2018
66743 hauling the first Royal Scotsman tour of 2019, from Kyle of Lochalsh to Boat of Garten. Waiting for a signal at Carrbridge Station on 13th April ...
Gus Carnegie 13/04/2019
DRS liveried 66305, working from Millerhill S.S. to Lairg, hauls five autoballasters north through Carrbridge on 22nd June 2019. The wet weather has ...
John Gray 22/06/2019
The new plaque on display at Carrbridge station in June 2012.... [welcome recognition for our planting, watering and litter picking over the past ...
Gus Carnegie /06/2012
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This is a single track bridge just north of Carrbridge station.
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Autumn at Carrbridge viaduct, November 2005, looking south towards the station. ...
John Furnevel 01/11/2005
Sunset, Carrbridge Viaduct, 15 January 2012. ...
Gus Carnegie 15/01/2012
73971 and 73969 cross the short viaduct over the River Dulnain, north of Carrbridge Station, with the Sleeper ECS bound for Polmadie on 31st December ...
John Gray 31/12/2019
68006 ^Daring^ speeds across the viaduct over the River Dulnain at
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John Gray 11/08/2018
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This is a 26ft single track bridge with mass concrete abutments over the Baddengorm Burn (Allt nan Ceatharnach) north of Carrbridge station and the Dulnain Viaduct [Carrbridge]. The original bridge here was a 15ft arch.
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This is an eight arch masonry viaduct carrying a single track and south of Slochd Summit. The viaduct is quite wide, possibly intended to allow doubling. Also known as Slochd Mhuic Viaduct, the line passes over the wooded course of the Allt Slochd Mhuic.
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B1 No.61306 Mayflower, leads ^The Highlands & Islands Explorer^ over Slochd Viaduct on the long journey from Inverness to Fort William. Class 37 No. ...
John Gray 13/05/2019
On one of the best days this summer, 66726 ^Sheffield Wednesday^ and 73967 double head the Inverness Sleeper away from Slochd Viaduct. 6th August ...
John Gray 06/08/2020
LNER Azuma forms the southbound ^Highland Chieftain^ as it crosses Slochd Viaduct in some very welcome brilliant sunshine. 800104 in the lead on 6th ...
John Gray 06/08/2020
A class 47 climbs towards Slochd summit with a northbound service in 1990, not long before the end of loco-hauled trains. Seen from the A9 bridge ...
Bill Roberton //1990
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Slochd (or Slochd Mor or The Slochd) is a summit, 1,315 ft above sea level, and passing loop between Carrbridge station and the former Tomatin station. There was no station here. The railway and road both make use of a narrow pass in the hills.
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Work is about to get underway on a final phase of embankment and drainage work at Slochd between Perth and Inverness on the Highland Mainline.
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Network Rail //2020
Work is about to get underway on a final phase of embankment and drainage work at Slochd between Perth and Inverness on the Highland Mainline.
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Network Rail //2020
Black 5 No.44871 starts the climb to Slochd Summit with The Great Britain IX .Once over the summit it^s almost all downhill to Inverness. ...
John Gray 30/04/2016
Standard Class 4 No.75014 is in fine condition as it pounds its way up to Slochd Summit heading for Perth and the south. This loco is now named ...
John Gray //
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This viaduct is south east of the former Tomatin station and Tomatin Viaduct.
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Findhorn viaduct at Tomatin, near Inverness, was lit-up blue to show solidarity with key workers and front-line NHS staff all across the country.
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Network Rail 30/04/2020
Hauled by 66431, the last Inverness to Mossend container train of 2019 fills Findhorn Viaduct from end to end on 31st December.
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John Gray 31/12/2019
Heading north over the Findhorn Viaduct. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
Black five 44871 is seen in silhouette crossing Findhorn Viaduct on a miserable wet morning in November 1995. ...
John Gray /11/1995
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This is a 9 arch single track masonry viaduct. The viaduct is north of Findhorn Viaduct [Tomatin] and south of the former Tomatin station.
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47245 hauling a Stoneblower south from Helmsdale to Dunkeld. Pictured crossing the Tomatin Viaduct, above Tomatin Village.
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John Gray 04/03/2019
...and theres another one. Tomatin viaduct to the north of the town, 2007. ...
John Furnevel 25/08/2007
60009 & 61994 are seen crossing the viaduct above Tomatin with The Great Britain. ...
John Gray 14/04/2007
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This was a two platform station. The platforms remain, a loop, closed modern signal box and railway cottages.
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A3 Pacific No.60103 Flying Scotsman and B1 61306 Mayflower, accelerate away from Tomatin on the last part of the journey to Inverness. ...
John Gray 10/05/2019
99 miles from Perth appears to be right in the middle of the former Inverness bound platform at Tomatin. Both platforms have rails as Tomatin is a ...
Caleb Abbott 22/04/2019
170455, on an Inverness bound service, passes the closed signal box on the platform of the abandoned station at Tomatin on 12th October 2017.
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John Gray 12/10/2017
66424 ascends the gradient from Findhorn Viaduct and enters the loop at the closed station of Tomatin on 12th October 2017 with a full load of ...
John Gray 12/10/2017
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This distillery opened with the Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway) in 1897. The distillery was rail served, it is on the west side of the line.
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Rail Served Distilleries
4wDM Simplex shunter (Motor Rail 9925 of 1963) out of use at Tomatin Distillery in 1976. This had come from the Tay Road Bridge contract where it ...
Bill Roberton //1976
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This was a two platform station. The station building still stands on the site of the southbound platform, there is a passing loop and much of the former platforms. The station building had a private waiting room for Alfred Donald, 28th Mackintosh of Mackintosh of Moy Hall. This room was in the southern wing of the building.
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The diverted Irvine Paper Mill to Aberdeen Waterloo slurry tanks nearing Inverness, hauled by grubby Colas 70816, on 18th September 2020.
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John Gray 18/09/2020
Inverness bound cement train, crossing the moor at Moy, on one of the best days this summer in these parts. 70814 does the honours on 6th August ...
John Gray 06/08/2020
The Royal Scotsman going south at Moy on 10th October 2017. The train is heading for Boat of Garten on the Strathspey Railway, hauled by GBRf 66743.
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John Gray 10/10/2017
The 10:45 Inverness to Edinburgh train near Moy on 10th October 2017. 158711 is leading this four coach train.
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John Gray 10/10/2017
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Also known as the Moy Viaduct, this single track timber viaduct is north of Moy station. It has sufficient width for two lines, but a second was never laid. The length is roughly 132 ft.
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47727 heads the return working of the NER^s Railtour from Inverness to Newcastle.The engine is passing over the Ault-na-slanach Viaduct at Moy, the ...
John Gray 08/05/2018
Detail of plaque near Moy Viaduct, 2005. ...
John Furnevel /11/2005
The 1051 Inverness - Edinburgh service crossing the last remaining timber bridge on a main line railway in Scotland approaching Moy on 1 September ...
John Furnevel 01/09/2007
A Class 40 takes a southbound train over the wooden trestle bridge at Aultnaslanach, just north of Moy, in 1976. Class 40s became regular traction on ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1976
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This was a two platform station. This was the southern extent of the double track section running south from Inverness Millburn Junction. The line remains open but station is closed.
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37606, in DRS livery, heads a Network Rail test train south from Inverness, passing the
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John Gray 28/01/2019
Looking back to Inverness from the rear of a Glasgow bound train near Daviot. The line was double track. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Freightliner liveried 66613 climbs towards Daviot with a southbound train of cement wagons on 26 June 2008. ...
John Gray 26/06/2008
The southbound Inverness portion of the Caledonian Sleeper climbing
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John Gray 12/07/2016
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This is the largest structure on the Highland Main Line between Perth and Inverness. Also known as Nairn, Culloden Moor, Leanach or Clava this viaduct crosses the River Nairn just to the south of the former Culloden Moor station. The viaduct is A listed. The engineer was Murdoch Paterson.
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Inverness to Mossend container train being hauled by 66430. Pictured coming off Culloden Viaduct on 15th April 2019.
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John Gray 15/04/2019
The southbound Caledonian Sleeper departs Culloden Viaduct hauled by 67005 *
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John Gray 20/05/2018
The stately Culloden Viaduct from the east in October 2005. ...
John Furnevel 31/10/2005
Colas Rail Freight liveried 60096 leaves Culloden Viaduct with the southbound cement empties. One cargo wagon and ten Tarmac cement tankers. ...
John Gray 01/05/2017
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This was a two platform station just to the north of the large Culloden Viaduct. In addition to serving the local community the station was specifically advertised as being close to the Culloden Battlefield Memorial.
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The closed station at Culloden (Moor) looking north towards Inverness. Platforms still in place on both sides at this point despite the station ...
Mark Bartlett 01/07/2011
Looking south over Culloden Moor goods yard towards the viaduct. I think the bitumen traffic had ceased. (Can anyone confirm the closure date?) ...
Bill Roberton 31/03/1989
27045 runs through Culloden in May 1985. ...
Peter Todd /05/1985
158725 after crossing Culloden Viaduct. Inverness will be reached in ten minutes. ...
Brian Forbes //1997
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These crossovers are about half way between Inverness and Culloden Moor and provide some flexibility should there be a problem on this double track section.
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A southbound Class 26-hauled freight close to the summit of the 1 in 70 gradient approaching Culloden Moor in the 1970s - Ben Wyvis stands in the ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
The driver breasting the summit at Culloden Moor in the 1970s will be pleased to see Inverness in the distance - and no more gradients for his ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
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This junction is east of Inverness station and is where the routes to Aberdeen and Perth divide. The Perth route initially travels north before swinging over the Aberdeen route to gain some height before turning south.
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See also
Inverness and Nairn Railway
An 08 shunts in Millburn Yard. Viewed from Glasgow-Inverness train. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
Oil train about to depart from Millburn Yard, Inverness, for Lairg. ...
Ewan Crawford //
An Aberdeen bound 47 hauled train approaches Raigmore level crossing east of Millburn Junction in 1990. The remains of the ^Burma Road^ are to the ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
61994 with its support coach leaves Inverness for Thornton on 12 April having undertaken GB2 duties the previous day. ...
John Gray 12/04/2009
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Millburn to Welsh^s Bridge

A double track line ran west from Millburn Junction to west of Welsh's Bridge Junction, the alignment being to the north of the original still open line.

This junction is east of Inverness station and is where the routes to Aberdeen and Perth divide. The Perth route initially travels north before swinging over the Aberdeen route to gain some height before turning south.
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See also
Inverness and Nairn Railway
An 08 shunts in Millburn Yard. Viewed from Glasgow-Inverness train. ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
Oil train about to depart from Millburn Yard, Inverness, for Lairg. ...
Ewan Crawford //
An Aberdeen bound 47 hauled train approaches Raigmore level crossing east of Millburn Junction in 1990. The remains of the ^Burma Road^ are to the ...
Ewan Crawford //1990
61994 with its support coach leaves Inverness for Thornton on 12 April having undertaken GB2 duties the previous day. ...
John Gray 12/04/2009
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This signal cabin controlled the junction between the lines to Aberdeen and Perth (to the east) and the approach to Inverness Shed, Inverness Goods yard, Inverness station, Lochgorm Works, bypass to Rose Street Junction, carriage sidings and Millburn Yard.
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Inverness and Nairn Railway
Welsh^s Bridge Signal Box, Inverness, seen from the south side. Thought to be taken in the early 1970s. ...
Aitken Scott //
Welsh^s Bridge cabin in Inverness, and its gantry, seen from the south side in the 1970s. The box was at the eastern approach to the station ...
Aitken Scott //
08788 is one of Invernesss Station pilots. ...
John Gray 02/04/2005
A BRCW Type 2 propels its train back past Welsh^s Bridge box into Inverness station in 1967. See image 36843 ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1967
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