Name and dates
Station code: AVM National Rail ScotRail
Where: Highland, Scotland
Opened on the Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
Opened on the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Open on the Highland Main Line
Open on the Strathspey Railway [Preserved]
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.
Original station of 1863
When the railway opened Aviemore itself consisted of virtually nothing, just a post office and one or two houses, almost all for the railway staff! Some of the houses were converted navvy bothies, built from railway materials such as sleepers.
The original station had a loop and two platforms. In 1885 north and south boxes opened for the loop.
Direct line and reconstruction of 1898
In 1898 the new Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)
opened throughout to Inverness
and Aviemore became a junction station. The new line greatly reduced the length of the main line from Perth
. The station was rebuilt.
The architect for the rebuild was William Roberts
. The new station was slightly incongruous for its location; a large well appointed station set in the midst of a then sparsely populated, albeit beautiful, area.
The main building is a long timber building on the north bound platform with a canopy. This building was erected to the north of the original, which was removed. Platforms are linked by a lattice footbridge.
The north and south boxes were replaced in 1892 and again in 1898 with the complete opening of the new direct route. The north box was on the west side north of the station. The south box was south of the station on the east side. In 1898 a new 'Aviemore Platform' box was added - at the north end of the island platform. Signal wires were placed on poles to protect them from snow fall.
The station now had four platforms, a northbound, southbound and the opposite face of the southbound island platform along with a bay platform at the north end, west side. The buildings had large canopies.
Twin water columns were installed at Aviemore for double headed northbound and southbound trains. The water tank was on the loading bank at the south east end of the station.
Trains to the south from Inverness
and via Forres [2nd]
were combined here, continuing south to Perth
There were sidings and loading banks on the east side of the station, approached from the south.
North of the station was Aviemore Yard on the west side of the line, sidings approached from the north. On the east side was Aviemore Shed
, approached from the station.
Run down and resurgence
Aviemore Platform box closed in 1914.
In the Great War the Canadian Forestry Corps operated a 2ft gauge timber extraction railway, Aviemore and Coylumbridge Timber Railway (War Department)
, from the loading bank at Aviemore station south east into the forest. With Baltic timber not being available for pit-props other sources of timber were required.
In the Second World War Aviemore Yard
, a marshalling yard was laid out on the west side of the Carrbridge
route, just north of the junction. Trains coming south from Inverness
and Forres [2nd]
were sorted here into portions for Edinburgh and Glasgow which would split in Perth
Aviemore was scaled back over some time. With the opening of Perth New Yard
, in 1962, marshalling of trains was relocated there and Aviemore Yard
The original main line via Boat of Garten
closed to passengers in 1965 and outright in 1968. Aviemore Shed
Aviemore South box closed in 1971 and was taken over by the North box, now renamed simply 'Aviemore'.
The Boat of Garten
route was to re-open as the Strathspey Railway [Preserved]
, the line being conveyed to the preservation group in 1978.
In 1979 a panel was installed in the signal box to control several locations where the boxes were replaced: Carrbridge
(Kincraig box was already closed in 1966 - a loop was reinstated), Moy
(Moy boxes were already closed in 1963 - a loop was reinstated)
Initially the preservation group were allowed a connection through the goods sidings but were blocked from the station so established their own Aviemore Speyside
to the north. It closed in 2000 when the group were given access to the east side of the island platform. This was modified to no longer be served from the north by the main line.
The station remains open and has a long loop. The station was renovated in 1997, following which Strathspey Railway [Preserved]
trains were able to run into the station's east side of the island platform, beginning in 1998 and Aviemore Speyside
The signal box at the north end and on the west side of the line was 'C' listed. The box, the former north box opened in 1898, closed with the extension of the loop in 2019 and the signalling was taken over by Inverness Signalling Centre
The line is supported and promoted by the Highland Main Line Community Partnership
The town very much owes its existence to the railway. Before the railway opened there were very few houses here. It became a town to support the needs of the junction between the lines to Forres and Inverness when the direct route to Inverness opened throughout in 1897. The Station Hotel and Cairngorm Hotel were opened after the direct route opened.
Today Aviemore itself is a much bigger place, with expansion of the town to the north of the station. Much of the expansion was with the opening of the Aviemore Ski Centre.
The Cairngorm Mountain - Funicular Railway is 9.5 miles away by road. (Currently closed for repairs.)
The Strathspey Railway [Preserved] operate a heritage steam and diesel line north from Aviemore to Broomhill via Boat of Garten. This is the southern portion of the former main line via Forres [2nd] which closed in 1965.
TagsStation junction preservation heritage
External linksCanmore site record NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914 NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67 NLS Map NLS Map
Gaelic name: An Aghaidh Mhor