A 3/4 mile branch to Inverness Harbour opened with the Inverness and Nairn Railway in 1855. The branch commenced at Welsh's Bridge Junction where it left the approach to Inverness station to run west to the bank of the River Ness (just south of Cromwell's Fort [Inverness]). The branch ended with a loop and a turnplate serving quayside sidings running north.
The quayside line and branch was horse and short wheelbase locomotive operated.
There was briefly a station here between 1864 and 1867.
In 1862 the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway opened from a new junction formed on the harbour line, Rose Street Junction (and a curve opened to Inverness station to form the north group of platforms).
This new alignment ran along the southern side of the harbour line, gaining height to cross the River Ness via the Ness Viaduct.
A tight east to north curve was later opened to replace the turnplate.
In the Great War Inverness harbour was the ammunition depot for the Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow. A new line was laid in from close to Rose Street Junction to the ammunition depot on the east side of Shore Street. The depot survived the war and was put to other uses.
The branch was cut back to a siding with a loop from Rose Street (some rails remain embedded in the quayside). This branch has been used for a variety of purposes; domestic coal traffic and Safeway supermarket container trains (withdrawn when taken over by Morrisons).
Castle Stuart Platform
| Inverness Ammunition Depot|
Rose Street Junction
Needlefield Carriage Sidings
Inverness Signalling Centre
US Base 18 Sidings
MOW Carse Sidings
Inverness Bus Station
Cromwell^s Fort [Inverness]
Station Hotel [Inverness]
|Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.|
|24/07/1854||Inverness and Nairn Railway|
Line authorised, 15 miles from Inverness to Nairn and a 1/2 mile branch to Inverness Harbour. Contractor : Thomas Brassey & James Falshaw.
|11/06/1862||Inverness and Ross-shire Railway|
Inverness to Dingwall opened. (Connection made from Inverness 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).