Dunkeld and Birnam

Location type


Names and dates

Birnam and Dunkeld (1856-1861)
Dunkeld (1861-1903)
Dunkeld and Birnam (1903-1981)
Dunkeld (1981-1991)
Dunkeld and Birnam (1991-)

Opened on the Perth and Dunkeld Railway.
Opened on the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway.
Open on the Highland Main Line.


This is a two platform station which for originally the terminus of the line from Stanley Junction before the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway extended the line north to Inverness via Forres.

The main building is on the up (southbound) platform. The building is particularly fine example of Tudor style. The architect was Andrew Heiton. The station was was a suitably fine terminus given the number of large Highland estates nearby.

There was a large trainshed, which is given away by the long wall on the up platform side of the station building. The wall now features a canopy. The trainshed survived the extension of the line, there being an ^end-on^ junction. After its removal in 1878 a timber building, now gone, was erected on the down platform. Platforms are linked with a lattice footbridge added later in 1885.

There was a sizeable goods yard on the north / east side of the line, approached from the south, obviously having been a terminus. In the yard was a large stone goods shed dating from Perth and Dunkeld Railway days.

On the south / west side of the line, south of the station was a single ended and single track locomotive shed. The shed closed in 1863 with the line^s extension. A wall of this shed survives by the ^B^ listed signal box. There was a turntable, 17ft 3in in 1901.

The station had two signal boxes, both opened in 1882. The north box was at the north end of the loop, on the west side. The south box was at the south end of the loop, on the west side. Both boxes were replaced with the present box in 1919, this box being further north than the south box which was off the end of the platform.

The platforms had water columns.

The Birnam bypass cut through the goods yard and north of the station in the 1970s, separating the town and station which serves it. There is an underpass for station access and a car park. The goods yard remains, as permanent way sidings, but much reduced.

The station has had many variations of the names Birnam and Dunkeld over the years, due to its being located on the southern edge of Birnam (on the south bank of the River Tay) and close to, but slightly further away from, Dunkeld and Dunkeld Cathedral on the north bank of the Tay.

This remarkable station and building are threatened by the ^dualling^ of the A9 which may lead to relocation of the station, separating it from the building, perhaps similar to Welshpool. This will lead to further separation between the town and station which serves it. Perhaps the road should be in a tunnel.

A gas lamp standard marked with ^Dunkeld Station^ survived into the 1990s alongside the footbridge. Since removed. A second gas lamp survived under the canopy, removed slightly earlier.

Going west from from the station is Inver Tunnel and to the south east Kingswood Tunnel.

The line is supported and promoted by the Highland Main Line Community Partnership .


The The Hermitage is west of Birnam.

Dunkeld Cathedral is just west of Dunkeld.

The Battle of Dunkeld took place in Dunkeld in 1689, a street battle involving house to house fighting. This took place shortly after the Battle of Killiecrankie.


Terminus station

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


  /  /1846Scottish Midland Junction Railway
An Act for a branch to Birnam / Dunkeld is passed. The line is not proceeded with.
  /  /1848Scottish Midland Junction Railway
An Act for a branch to Birnam / Dunkeld is re authorised. The line is not proceeded with.
10/07/1854Perth and Dunkeld Railway
Act receives Royal assent for a railway from Stanley (on the Scottish Midland Junction Railway) to Dunkeld.
07/04/1856Perth and Dunkeld Railway
Perth and Dunkeld Railway opened. Operated by the Scottish Midland Junction Railway. Stations opened at Murthly (possibly, may be late 1856) and Birnam and Dunkeld.
22/07/1861Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Act obtained for a line between Dunkeld and Forres, and Ballinluig to Aberfeldy. Engineer: Joseph Mitchell. Running power from Stanley Junction to Perth General over the Scottish Midland Junction Railway.
01/06/1863Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Dunkeld to Pitlochry opened. Stations opened at Dalguise, Guay, Ballinluig, Pitlochry.
01/06/1863Perth and Dunkeld Railway
Dunkeld station becomes a through station on the opening of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway which extends the line north.
03/05/1965Aberfeldy Branch (Inverness and Perth Junction Railway) Inverness and Perth Junction Railway
Aberfeldy branch closed. Aberfeldy, Grandtully, Balnaguard Halt, Ballinluig, Dalguise closed (and Murthly, south of Dunkeld). To the north Killiecrankie, Struan, Dalnaspidal, Tomatin, Moy, Daviot, Culloden Moor closed.


Highland Railway Album: No. 1

Highland Railway Album: No. 2

Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons

Highland Railway: People and Places - From the Inverness and Nairn Railway to Scotrail

The Highland Railway

The Highland Railway : The History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands - Vol 2
The Perth and Dunkeld Railway