Forres East Junction

Location type


Name and dates

Forres East Junction (1863-2017)

Opened on the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.

Opened on the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway.


This junction was the eastern apex of the triangular junction created with the opening of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway and its Forres [2nd] station in 1863. The line met the existing 1858 Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway.

The junction was formed just to the east of the original Forres [1st] station's loop. The original line west of that station to Forres West Junction was retained as a goods line and Forres [1st] closed. A new double track curved line, following a more southerly course, ran from the east junction to the west junction. The mid section of this new line formed the northern curve of the triangular junction, a western curve and eastern curve going south to Forres South Junction.

Forres [2nd] station had two platforms on the west to east curve, two on the west to south curve and one on the east to south curve.

A signal box, replaced in 1896, was to the south of the east junction. Alongside this was a level crossing by which the goods yard of Forres [1st] could be reached (this yard was now entirely surrounded by railways). This remained the goods yard for Forres. The box also controlled eastern access to some loops on the north side of Forres [2nd] station's west to east platforms.

The route south closed in 1965, retained as far as the Dallas Dhu Distillery, and the platforms on the west to south and east to south curves closed. The west to south curve closed in 1966. Dallas Dhu Distillery to Forres East Junction closed in 1967.

In 1967 the east junction was the only remaining signal box and was renamed simply 'Forres'. A loop was retained between the box and the east end of the station, where only the former east to west platform was retained, for use by trains from either direction. The loop's western end was where formerly a crossover allowed a train from Forres South Junction to cross to the eastbound track to the east of the station, this crossover being controlled from Forres East box.

The goods yard remained open, connected at Forres East Junction. The far end, at Forres West Junction, was disconnected but retained as a headshunt. The goods yard, latterly largely used as a permanent way yard, closed in the 1990s.

Having a loop outwith a station is not ideal and could result in trains waiting in the loop, rather than in a station, for long periods where there were delays. In 2017 the original alignment through Forres [1st] was relaid. Forres [2nd] closed completely and the line through it lifted. Forres box closed, taken over by the Inverness Signalling Centre.

A form of east junction remains today, the east end of the new Forres station's loop. This is at a point further east - the modern loop is of considerable length.