Sutherland Railway

Introduction

This line is open. Passenger services are provided by ScotRail from Inverness to Thurso and Wick.

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






Dates

29/06/1865Sutherland Railway
Sutherland Railway receives act to build a line from Bonar Bridge to Brora.
13/04/1868Sutherland Railway
Bonar Bridge (Inverness and Ross-shire Railway) to Golspie opened with stations at: Invershin, Lairg, Rogart, The Mound and Golspie.
  /  /1871Sutherland Railway
Culrain opened.
19/06/1871Duke of Sutherlands Railway
Golspie (Sutherland Railway) to Dunrobin opened, Dunrobin becomes private station for the Duke of Sutherland. West Helmsdale to Helmsdale opened. Highland Railway works line.
  /  /1884Sutherland RailwayHighland Railway
Sutherland Railway absorbed by Highland Railway.
02/06/1902Dornoch Light Railway
Dornoch Light Railway opened from The Mound (Sutherland Railway) to Dornoch. Andrew Carnegie spoke at the opening (he owned Skibo Castle at Skilbo near Dornoch).
  /  /1912Sutherland Railway
Oykel Viaduct strengthened for 'Castle' locomotives during 1912/1913.
13/06/1960Sutherland Railway
Rogart and The Mound closed.
06/03/1961Sutherland Railway
Rogart re-opened.
12/06/1961Sutherland Railway
Rogart re-named Rogart Halt. (Later the name reverted).
11/12/2001Sutherland Railway
First oil train runs to the re-instated facility at Lairg for the first time in 10 years. The service is operated by English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS).

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

This is a two platform station with a passing loop on the Far North line. The northbound platform retains its two storey station building with a platform awning supported by pillars, now a house, and a goods yard exists to the south, west side of the line, currently in permanent way maintenance use. The station had refreshment rooms to the north of the station building. Platforms are linked by a ...

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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
158725 calls at Ardgay in April 2007. ...
John Gray 12/04/2007
Stanier 8F 48151 coasts through Ardgay with The Great Britain railtour on 12 April. ...
John Gray 12/04/2007

This is a four arch single track stone bridge over the River Carron north of Ardgay station. Two main arches cross the river with flood water arches at the north end.
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This is a single platform station with a small shelter south of the Oykel Viaduct. It is in an area of scattered houses, farmland and low population. Culrain Mains is to the immediate west. The Kyle of Sutherland, and the lower River Oykel, are to the east.
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The lonely outpost of Culrain on the Far North line in September 2001. A quarter of a mile off to the right is the Oykel Viaduct spanning the Kyle of ...
John Furnevel 14/09/2001
All quiet at Culrain in 1976. ...
Ian Dinmore //1976

The Oykel Viaduct is directly to the south of Invershin station and north of Culrain station. It is a single track 280 foot truss viaduct with two masonry arches to the south and three to the north, 80 ft over the watercourse. Also known as the Shin Railway Viaduct. (The confluence of the Oykel and the Shin is to the north, the viaduct passes over the Kyle of Sutherland.) The viaduct was ...

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37414 crosses the Shin Viaduct with a northbound train. Taken on 31 March 1989 when the Far North Line was isolated by the Ness Viaduct collapse. ...
Bill Roberton 31/03/1989
Southbound over the Oykel Viaduct on the approach to Culrain from Invershin. ...
Ewan Crawford //
37421 and 37612 top and tail a northbound Network Rail test train over the Oykel
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John Gray 05/08/2018
Looking west at the Oykel viaduct. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This is a single platform station, immediately to the north of the Oykel Viaduct with a short timber portion at the south end. The station building is in a state of ruin. Culrain station is to the south over the Oykel Viaduct. The station has no car park.
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The fenced off wooden platform extension at the south end of Invershin station, looking out onto the Oykel Viaduct in September 2001. Below left is ...
John Furnevel 14/09/2001
One of the original lamp brackets still adorns the derelict station building at Invershin in July 2008. ...
John Gray 21/07/2008
Invershin with provision for bicycles, but not cars. The building belongs to the nearby house. ...
Ewan Crawford 13/03/2006
Somewhere, over the rainbow... Invershin, January 1989. Carbisdale Castle stands in the left background. ...
Ian Dinmore /01/1989

A siding is reached by reversing from a spur off the southbound line of the loop at Lairg, south of the station. These oil sidings have seen irregular use with the flow from Grangemouth New Oil Terminal starting and ceasing several times. At present, 2018, the sidings are not used, oil travels by road.
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This is a two platform station on the Far North Line. Station buildings remain standing and there is an oil depot siding south of the station (Lairg Oil Depot).
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After a hard climb up from Invershin, 61306 'Mayflower', nears the summit of the gradient near Lairg with the Steam Dreams railtour from Inverness to ...
John Gray 11/05/2019
A northbound 37418 'An Comunn Galdhealach' in the loop at Lairg seen from a the southbound working hauled by 37419. The level crossing can be seen in ...
Ewan Crawford 04/01/1989
61306 'Mayflower,' on the climb from Invershin to Lairg, with the Steam Dreams railtour to Dunrobin and Brora on 11th May 2019. ...
John Gray 11/05/2019
Waiting shelter, Lairg. 16/10/06 ...
John Gray 16/10/2006

This quarry was just north of Lairg station, to the north of the level crossing at the north end of that station. The quarry was rail served, via a headshunt on the east side of the line which was approached from the north. The siding may date from around 1947.
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This summit is 484 ft above sea level.
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Near Lairg Summit a Safeway train heads south. ...
Ewan Crawford //

This was a loop opened in 1909 to break the Lairg - Rogart single track section of the Far North line.
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Looking east from the level crossing at the former Acheilidh Crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
West, but untimately southbound, train near the former Acheilidh Crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Looking northwest over Strathfleet on an overcast 28 August 2007. The train is the 10.39 ScotRail service from Inverness, which has just crossed the ...
John Furnevel 28/08/2007
The mid afternoon southbound ScotRail service on the far north line, having recently left Rogart heading for Lairg in the summer of 2007. [Ref query ...
John Furnevel 30/08/2007

This signal box, 3/4 of a mile north west of Rogart, opened in 1890.
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This is a two platform station with a loop on the Far North line. A stone built cottage style station building remains standing on the northbound platform. The platforms were extended at their western ends in timber.
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The new plaque at Rogart reads 'This plaque was unveiled by Lord Strathnaver to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Sutherland Railway ...
John Yellowlees 13/04/2018
The first train of the day from Inverness to Wick via Thurso, in the hands of 158720, arriving at Rogart station, dead on time at 09.06 on 17th June ...
David Bosher 27/06/2019
Former compartment of railway coach converted into bedroom for holiday accommodation at Rogart on the Far North of Scotland Line, on 16th June 2019. ...
David Bosher 16/06/2019
ScotRail 158740 leaves Rogart for Wick and Thurso on 28 August 2007. View north from the level crossing see image 16448.
See
John Furnevel 28/08/2007

This was a two platform junction station - one platform on the main Far North Line (with a loop on its north side) opened in 1868 and a branch platform of 1902 (also with a loop, on its south side), located just to the south, on the closed Dornoch branch.
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Substantial remains of the former The Mound station, one-time junction for the branch to Dornoch, being passed by 158720 from Inverness to Wick via ...
David Bosher 17/06/2019
A 158 on a Wick to Inverness service skirts Loch Fleet and heads towards the site of The Mound station, marked by the modern bridge that carries the ...
Mark Bartlett 20/07/2016
Road approach to the disused station at The Mound (closed 1960) from the south in the summer of 2007. Trains on the Far North line still run past ...
John Furnevel 31/08/2007
Far North trains still rush by The Mound, and the owner of the old junction station keeps chickens on the site of the branch platform (off to the ...
John Yellowlees 06/07/2019

This is a single platform station which retains its station building, 'B' listed, which is now a house after spending several years derelict and at risk. The building opened with the station, the architect was William Fowler. The building has a unique design, presumably with the Duke of Sutherland's patronage in mind.
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Approaching the station at Golspie, Sutherland, in August 2007. ...
John Furnevel 27/08/2007
Golspie goods shed still in use by the local coal merchant.16/10/06 ...
John Gray 16/10/2006
The station building at Golspie, seen from the forecourt on 27 August 2007. The date on the stone is 1868. The road bridge on the right carries the A9 ...
John Furnevel 27/08/2007
Golspie old station now a private house. 16/10/06 ...
John Gray 16/10/2006