Inverness and Ross-shire Railway

Introduction

This line is open. It ran from Inverness to Bonar Bridge before being extended north by several companies. 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.

The line is supported and promoted by the Friends of the Far North Line .



Dates

03/07/1860[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway Act received; line to be built from Inverness to Invergordon. Engineer : Joseph Mitchell. Contractor (Inverness to Dingwall) : Meakin.
19/09/1860[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
First sod cut.
  /03/1861[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Dingwall to Invergordon contract awarded to MacDonald & Grieve.
  /12/1861[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Keystone of the Ness Viaduct inserted by Miss Mitchell, the engineer's daughter.
  /  /1862[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Invergordon station built to Joseph Mitchells plans
11/06/1862[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Inverness to Dingwall opened. (Connection made from Harbour line to new platforms in Inverness station, new railway makes connection with the Harbour line. The Harbour line is renamed the Rose Street Curve).
30/06/1862Inverness and Ross-shire RailwayInverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway absorbed by Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.
25/03/1863[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Dingwall to Invergordon opened.
11/05/1863[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Ross-shire Extension Act passed authorising Invergordon to Bonar Bridge.
  /  /1864[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Clunes opened.
01/06/1864[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Invergordon to Meikle Ferry opened.
01/10/1864[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Meikle Ferry to Bonar Bridge opened.
  /  /1869[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Parkhill renamed Kildary to save confusion with Parkhill on the [Formartine and Buchan Railway].
  /  /1869[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Clachnaharry station opened.
  /  /1869[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Meikle Ferry station closed.
  /  /1901[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Line between Clachnaharry and Lentran doubled.
  /  /1909[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Clachnaharry Swing Bridge installed.
  /  /1911[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Loop installed at Conon.
  /  /1913[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Clachnaharry station closed.
  /11/1922[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Muir of Ords station buildings burn down.
  /  /1924[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Gauntleted junction at Clachnaharry station replaced by a turnout slightly further north.
13/06/1960[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Beauly station closed.
13/06/1960[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Alness station closed.
07/05/1973[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Alness station re-opened.
  /  /1986[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Invergordon Aluminium Works sidings closed.
07/02/1989[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Ness Viaduct, Inverness, collapses, separating the Thurso, Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh lines from the rest of the network. Dingwall becomes a terminus, Muir of Ord becomes a train maintenance depot and buses operate between Inverness and Dingwall while a new bridge is built.
  /  /2002[Inverness and Ross-shire Railway]
Beauly station re-opened.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This is a terminus for services to and from locations to the south such as Glasgow Queen Street High Level, Edinburgh Waverley and London, and locations north and west such as Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso and Wick.
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A barrel train on the platform at Inverness station with two much larger friends on either side. ...
John Yellowlees 18/08/2017
158 719 arrives at Inverness with the 1209 ex Dyce bang on time at 1409. Every station on route showed it formed of 2 coaches but when it appeared 719 ...
Caleb Abbott 27/06/2018
158706 rolls into Inverness Platform 3 with the 2000 arrival from Dyce on 17th August 2018. ...
Caleb Abbott 17/08/2018
On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Sutherland Railway let's look back to 1999. Councillor Alison Magee with Alastair McPherson ...
John Yellowlees 28/07/1999

On a winter's day in early 1973 a northbound double-headed special accelerates out of the Rose Street curve in Inverness. The Harbour Branch is on the ...
David Spaven //1973


This 42 ft girder bridge is painted white to reduce expansion in sunny weather.
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Fishing boat heading south along the Caledonian Canal past Clachnaharry swing bridge. ...
Bill Roberton 28/03/1988
A Network Rail Test Train curves inland from the Beauly Firth at Clachnaharry on 24th September 2018. 37116, in Colas Rail livery, powers it away from ...
John Gray 24/09/2018
View from a passing train crossing Clachnaharry swing bridge. Early 1970s. The signal appears to be for canal traffic. (The vessel in the background ...
Bill Roberton //197X

This station was west of Clachnaharry Swing Bridge. ...

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Hide and seek. Clachnaharry signal box, October 2009. ...
John Furnevel 03/10/2009
The view towards Inverness from Clachnaharry signalbox in July of 1991. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1991
View from Clachnaharry signal box in July 1991. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1991
A train for the far north approaching Clachnaharry shortly after leaving Inverness in July 1991. ...
Ian Dinmore /07/1991


This was, latterly, a two platform station. For much of its existence it was a single platform with a siding at the east end.
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The 1862 station at Buchrew. to the west of Inverness, lost its passenger service in 1960 and is now privately owned domestic accommodation. ...
John Furnevel 24/11/2003
A pair of Type 2 diesels with the 'Hebridean Express' charter train returning from Kyle of Lochalsh on 7th September 1971. The special is seen ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) 07/09/1971
Looking west at the former Bunchrew station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Turning south off the A862 just to the west of Inverness, an unclassified road runs up the hill past the former Bunchrew station and over the open ...
John Furnevel 03/10/2009

This was a two platform station. The main station building was on the westbound platform and there was a goods yard at the west end, served from the west.
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37417 photographed with a train at Lentran (closed June 1960) on a cold day in March 1986. ...
Ian Dinmore /03/1986
A view of the inside of Lentran station two months before demolition.The floor is rotten and has partially collapsed by the doorway. ...
John Gray 16/08/2007
Looking north at the closed Lentran station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Old station building at Lentran, now in a very run down and dangerous state. It may not be around much longer as the ground is up for sale. Photograph ...
John Gray 16/08/2007

This was a two platform station with the main building on the westbound platform. For much of its existence it was a single platform station until the line was doubled to the east.
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Black 5 No.44871,on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh,runs alongside the Beauly Firth near the site of the closed station at Clunes.The Kessock Bridge in ...
John Gray 02/05/2016
Looking north at the line near the former Clunes station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
73967,73966,73968 and 73969 with the SRPS Railtour.Four class 73's top and tail the SRPS Railtour to Kyle of Lochalsh.They are approaching the site of ...
John Gray 09/06/2018
The site of the former Clunes station looking north. ...
Ewan Crawford 18/07/2004

This is a single track girder viaduct over the River Beauly.
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An Inverness-bound train heading south in the summer of 1972 photographed shortly after passing through Beauly. ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1972

This station is in the south of the town of Beauly. It has a very short platform. It was formerly a two platform station. The new platform uses a short section of the former northbound platform.
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A stone thistle atop a gable of Beauly old station. 16/10/06 ...
John Gray 16/10/2006
A Kyle of Lochalsh - Inverness train approaching Beauly from the north in November 2003. ...
John Furnevel 22/11/2003
37685 Loch Arkaig and 37516 Loch Laidon bring The Royal Scotsman round the curve at the west side of Beauly on 8 May on ...
John Gray 08/05/2014
The old Beauly station buildings seen from a train on 22 September. Looking towards Inverness. ...
Brian Forbes 22/09/2007

This is a two platform station. The main station building was on the down (northbound) platform.
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Persistent rain continues to batter the platforms at Muir of Ord on a cold and miserable morning in October 2009, as passengers reluctantly leave the ...
John Furnevel 03/10/2009
EE Type 3 37418, stranded by the Ness Viaduct collapse, sits outside the temporary Muir of Ord shed in 1990. After a long mainline career this loco ...
Bill Roberton //1990
Approaching Muir of Ord from the south. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The 0812 service from Wick to Inverness, formed by 158716, stops at Muir of Ord on 19 May, a few minutes ahead of its scheduled 1155 arrival time. ...
Mark Bartlett 19/05/2010

Conon was a single platform station until the line was doubled in 1911 and closed in 1960.
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158722 arrives at Conon Bridge with the 16:19 to Inverness (12.36 ex-Wick) on 18 February 2013. View north showing the station entrance, bicycle ...
John Gray 18/02/2013
The now completed station at Conon Bridge, photographed from the station entrance on 18 February 2013. ...
John Gray 18/02/2013
Closed 13 June 1960, reopened 8 February 2013. [See news item] ...
John Yellowlees 08/02/2013
158715 runs into Conon Bridge on 23 June with the return Sunday afternoon 16.20 Invergordon to Inverness service. ...
David Pesterfield 23/06/2013

This is a five skew arch masonry viaduct. Each span is 73 ft. Telford's 1809 bridge used to stand alongside. ...

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Southbound over the skew-arch viaduct at Conon Bridge. ...
Ewan Crawford //
K4 61994 The Great Marquess crossing the viaduct over the River Conon with The Great Britain II early in the morning of Saturday 11 ...
John Gray 11/04/2009
67007 crossing the viaduct over the River Conon with the tanker train for Lairg on 5 February 2011.
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John Gray 05/02/2011
The early morning train for Inverness off the Far North Line crossing the river at Conon Bridge on 23 November 2003 on the way to its next stop at ...
John Furnevel 23/11/2003


This is a two platform station on the Far North Lines. A café operates in the station building and under the glass canopied platform. Tina's Tearoom
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158708 at Dingwall forming the 14 10 Scotrail service to Inverness on 15th March 2017. ...
Brian Smith 15/03/2017
Dingwall Station frontage in November 2003. ...
John Furnevel 23/11/2003
Dingwall was built in...... ...
John Gray 16/10/2006
Each crossing point on the old HR had two cabins. This is the south box at Dingwall which was removed when RETB signalling replaced all the cabins ...
Brian Forbes /05/1983

Next stop Dingwall. Heading south after passing through Dingwall Junction on 1 October 2009 is ScotRail 158720 forming the 1203 service from Kyle of ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
Dingwall Junction viewed from the south. Sprinter train at Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The 1203 service from Kyle of Lochalsh about to join the route from Wick and Thurso at Dingwall Junction on 1 October 2009 on its way to Inverness. ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
A Kyle of Lochalsh - Inverness train approaching Dingwall Junction in 2005. In the foreground is Dingwall Canal North level crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //2005

This was a single platform station with the platform to the south of a level crossing and a siding to the north on the west side of the line, approached from the south.
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Looking south west at the closed Foulis station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Approximately 5 miles northeast of Dingwall on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth stand the remains of the long closed station at Foulis, seen from ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007

This was a two platform station with a passing loop. The main station building was on the northbound platform. To the north was a goods yard on the west side of the line with a goods shed at the north end of a goods loop.
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A 'grab shot' showing the underpass built for a possible rail link to Highland Deephaven. ...
Ewan Crawford Collection 30/09/2017
The Network Rail test train passing Evanton on the far north line on 26 April 2013, with 37218 in front and 37605 on the rear. ...
John Gray 26/04/2013
Passing Evanton on 26 April, The Royal Scotsman heading for Brora hauled by WCRC Class 47 no 47804. ...
John Gray 26/04/2013
Looking south at the former Evanton station. ...
Ewan Crawford //


This is a single platform station.
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The 1236 service from Wick (and Thurso) departs from Alness and heads for Dingwall. This photograph of unit 158709 was taken from the academy ...
Mark Bartlett 29/06/2011
Gleaming refurbished 158701 at Alness. September 2007.
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Brian Forbes /09/2007
The 1236 from Wick calls at Alness on time at 1603 heading for Inverness. A couple of passengers join 158709 which will arrive in Inverness in 45 ...
Mark Bartlett 29/06/2011
DRS 37218 and 37605 top and tail the nuclear flask train southwards between Invergordon and Alness on 1 May 2015. In the background the Cromarty ...
John Gray 01/05/2015

This is a two platform station with a passing loop. The goods yard, at the west end of the station, south of the line, has been lifted. The station building remains standing. ...

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It seems that there are no Sprinters trapped south of Ayr to operate a Stranraer-Maybole service while the Ayr station blockade is in place. The ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
Part of Tracey Shough's The Long Goodbye mural for the 4th battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders at Invergordon station. ...
Ewan Crawford 29/09/2009
Ready for the road. The driver of an Inverness-bound freight gets set to depart from Invergordon goods yard in the summer of 1973.
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David Spaven //1973
A Class 24 without a headcode panel - an unusual sight in the Highlands - shunts Invergordon Goods Yard in summer 1973. The harbour branch trails off ...
David Spaven //1973

This was a single platform station. At the north end was a level crossing and to the south a siding approached from the south.
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This was a two platform station with the main station building on the northbound platform. There was a loop, the line being single track. There was a goods yard to the south, on the west side of the line, accessed from the south.
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This was a single platform station. It was located at a level crossing on the B9175, the road to the Nigg Ferry for Cromarty.
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The former station at Nigg on 30 August 2007 looking south towards Invergordon. View from the road with the level crossing off picture to the right. ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007
The former Nigg station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The former station at Nigg on 30 August 2007 looking south from the level crossing. ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007

This is a one platform station, the former southbound platform. The loop line is lifted and northbound platform out of use.
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Northbound at Fearn. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The attractive 1864 station at Fearn, seen from the B9165 road bridge in the summer of 2007. Looking south west along the platform in the general ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007
Looking through the remains of the redundant station footbridge at Fearn as a Class 26 hauled northbound freight approaches in the summer of 1974. ...
David Spaven //1974
Looking north along the platform at Fearn towards Tain on 19 April 2011. The substantial main station building here is now a private house - with its ...
John Gray 19/04/2011


This is a two platform station with a passing loop and two platforms on the Far North line. The original station building remains, as does a footbridge, and there are goods yards to the north end, on the west side of the line, accessed from the north.
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A panorama of the interior of Tain station which has been lovingly restored to become the restaurant 'Platform 1864'. Complete with train through the ...
Ewan Crawford 18/10/2018
This Bob Barnes-Watts memorial plaque was at Tain unveiled today. It reads Remembering our friend Bob Barnes-Watts 1955-2018 who tirelessly ...
John Yellowlees 17/11/2018
The old station at Tain is now a restaurant. This interior view shows the old station plate from Golspie. ...
John Robin 24/05/2018
158704, working from Wick to Inverness, calls at Tain on 22nd July 2016. Through the gap in the trees the Dornoch Firth can be seen. ...
Mark Bartlett 22/07/2016


This was briefly the end of the line, until it was extended to Bonar Bridge (now Ardgay). It closed not long after the line was extended and the ferry route probably lost much traffic when the Sutherland Railway opened in 1868 extending the line to Golspie, after which the ferry was probably not on the preferred route north. The station building has remained, complete with its name marked ...

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158715, on a Wick to Inverness service, has just passed through the closed station at Meikle Ferry and is seen under the approach road for the Dornoch ...
Mark Bartlett 20/07/2016
Looking west over the closed Meikle Ferry station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Approach to the former station forecourt at Meikle Ferry in August 2007. The building is now part of a local holiday complex. ...
John Furnevel 25/8/2007
A train from the far north passing the long closed station at Meikle Ferry on 25 August 2007. The station was open for less than 5 years, closing on 1 ...
John Furnevel 25/08/2007

This was a two platform station with a passing loop on a single track line. There was a goods yard at the north end, on the west side of the line with a siding serving the Balblair Distillery, Balblair Distillery .
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158721 passes the closed station at Edderton, and the Balblair Distillery, heading for Thurso and Wick with a service from Inverness on a misty 20th ...
Mark Bartlett 20/07/2016
Looking northbound over the closed Edderton station. Distillery behind. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The former station at Edderton, Ross-shire (1864), attractively converted for private use, seen here looking towards Bonar Bridge on 30 August 2007. ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007
And you couldn't wish for better neighbours... Looking west beyond the old Edderton station in August 2007 towards the Balblair distillery ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007

This was a short lived station on he line, now long closed. The site was probably on the Fearn Lodge estate. ...

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A ScotRail service for Inverness runs south from Mid Fearn. ...
Ewan Crawford //2005
Looking east at the closed Mid Fearn Halt. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This is a two platform station with a passing loop on the Far North line. The northbound platform retains its station building, now a house, and a goods yard exists to the south, west side of the line, currently in permanent way maintenance use. The station was known, until 1977, by the name of the nearby bridge (and town) which was on the road north but is now named for the village where the ...

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The main station building at Ardgay in August 2007. ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007
Looking north through Ardgay station on 14 September 2001. ...
John Furnevel 14/09/2001
Stanier 8F 48151 coasts through Ardgay with The Great Britain railtour on 12 April. ...
John Gray 12/04/2007
158725 calls at Ardgay in April 2007. ...
John Gray 12/04/2007