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A second weekend of disruption is set to affect railway passengers on some Highland mainline services.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line

Rail passengers face disruption on Highland mainline journeys when engineering work closes the route this weekend.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line

A Highland train was forced into an emergency stop this morning after a woman was spotted on the tracks.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line

Rail users across the north are being urged to pressure the government into making good on a mothballed pledge to upgrade the tracks between Inverness and Perth.
(Permalink) Doubling Highland Main Line Inverness and Perth Junction Railway

Commitment to decarbonise passenger rail services by 2035. Plans to decarbonise Scotland's rail passenger services by 2035 have been launched by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson today.



Railscot note - PDF page 8 shows electrification of lines by 2035:

- Glasgow - Aberdeen - Inverurie

- All lines in Fife including Levenmouth

- Highland Main Line

- Borders line

- Glasgow - Barrhead - Dumfries - Carlisle

- East Kilbride

- Kilmarnock - Ayr

- Anniesland - Maryhill

Partial electrification or alternative technology:

- Ayr- Girvan

- Inverurie - Inverness - Tain

Battery or alternative technology:

- West Highland Lines

- Far North Line

- Kyle Line

- Girvan - Stranraer
(Permalink) Aberdeen Barrhead Battery train Borders line Dumfries East Kilbride Electrification Far North Line Fife Girvan Highland Main Line Inverurie Kilmarnock Kyle Line Levenmouth Maryhill Stranraer Tain West Highland Lines


Scotland: Transport Scotland - Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan for 2035. Lines shown in red are to be electrified. Those in yellow to be alternative traction, possibly prior to electrification. Those in green to be alternative traction with a permanent solution such as battery use.
Transport Scotland 28/07/2020

Business Development Manager Scott Prentice will be meeting the Cairngorms National Park Authority and local residents to discuss the proposed new timetable and service improvements for the Highland Mainline.



A total of £57 million is being invested in improving the Highland Mainline, which will allow more and faster journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt. The entire timetable for this vital route is being completely redrawn, and will see average journey times reduced and an extra eight journeys between Inverness and the Central Belt each day.



By the end of 2019:

Services will become faster and more reliable as Aviemore and Pitlochry stations receive upgraded signalling. Arriving trains will no longer have to stop and wait for services going in the opposite direction.

All services between Inverness and Glasgow and Edinburgh will be operated by our refurbished InterCity trains. These trains will provide more than 2,500 extra seats each day, increasing seating capacity by 50%. Customers will also benefit from extra luggage space, greater comfort and an enhanced food and drink service.

There will be an hourly service between Inverness, Aviemore and Pitlochry to Perth and Edinburgh or Glasgow. All stations on the route will benefit from the enhanced timetable.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line Inverness and Perth Junction Railway


Aviemore: 170415 with the 1431 service to Inverness departing Aviemore past the semaphore signals at the north end.
Graham Morgan 06/07/2007


Pitlochry: One train in each direction daily between Edinburgh and Inverness is worked by a pair of Class 158s, and they pass at Pitlochry.
John Yellowlees 06/01/2017


Aberdour: Dawn of a new era as ScotRail HST (power cars 43132 and 43021) nears Aberdour, heading from Craigentinny to Aberdeen on 10 September 2017.
Bill Roberton 10/09/2017

Transport Scotland has appointed WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to produce a business case for improvements to the Highland Main Line between Perth and Inverness.

The project will establish the business case for reducing journey times, increasing capacity and enhancing freight operations on the route, which links the Highlands with Scotlands Central Belt and the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line Transport Scotland


Buchanan Street: The 10.15am to Inverness leaves Buchanan Street on 11 July 1955 behind B1 4-6-0 61180.
G H Robin collection by courtesy of the Mitchell Library, Glasgow 11/07/1955


Inchmagranachan Crossing: The East Coast Kings Cross - Inverness 'Highland Chieftain' HST heading north near Dunkeld on 30 June 2011.
Brian Forbes 30/06/2011


Millburn Junction: A triple-headed southbound train takes a run at the 1 in 60 gradient shortly after passing Millburn Junction, Inverness, in the summer of 1971. With 11 coaches, a restaurant car third from the front, and a Travelling Post Office at the rear, this looks like the 16.35 Inverness-Edinburgh.
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1971

The new Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership (HML CRP) celebrates its launch at an event at Pitlochry Station today (Monday 9 November 2015).

More than 40 guests– including Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance - were welcomed by Sally Spaven, Chair of the HML CRP.

CRPs are designed to form a bridge between the railway and local communities and to work with community groups, businesses and organisations in the area - as well as the rail industry - to encourage more local people and visitors to use trains.

The HML CRP includes the rail route from Dunkeld and Birnam to Carrbridge, taking in Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kingussie, and Aviemore.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line Phil Verster ScotRail


Pitlochry: Photograph taken at the launch of the Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership. [See news item]
David Brown Photography 09/11/2015

Donations to charities from the
Pitlochry Station bookshop have now exceeded £75,000.
The shop - opened in 2005 under ScotRail’s Adopt a Station scheme – sells
second hand books, with the proceeds going to six charities.

They include the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) - which is
also ScotRail’s charity partner.

And this month, the bookshop made its first payment to a sixth charity –
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.

Ken Nichol, chairman of the Pitlochry Station Bookshop, said: “We simply
opened the shop to give customers the chance to buy a book for their train
journey and hand it back on return to re-sell.

“We are now open six days a week, and are so grateful to ScotRail for its
continuing support – without which we would not have raised so much money,
which benefits a number of charities.”

John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, said: 'Pitlochry is
the doyen of our adopted stations. We are delighted at the bookshop's
continuing success, and note next year marks the 150th anniversary of the
completion of the original Highland Main Line from Perth to Inverness.'

The accommodation that houses the bookshop was recently improved with new
secondary glazing, with assistance from the Railway Heritage Trust, and
funding for painting was given by Perth & Kinross Council.
(Permalink) Bookshop Highland Main Line ScotRail Station Adoption


Pitlochry: Welcome to the Station Bookshop - Pitlochry, July 2012. [See adjacent news item]
John Yellowlees /07/2012


Pitlochry: Having called on the way from Inverness to Glasgow, 170414 is ready to depart south from Pitlochry. The station buildings are in good condition as are other pieces of infrastructure such as the signal box. A local charity bookshop occupies the room next to the booking office. View north towards Blair Atholl.
Mark Bartlett 30/03/2009


Pitlochry: Window display at Pitlochry Station Bookshop - see news item.
John Yellowlees /07/2012

A HIGHLAND Perthshire bookshop celebrated a major milestone at the weekend – raising more than £50,000 for charity. The Pitlochry Station venture has sold more than 100,000 books at 50p a time since opening in 2005.


(Permalink) Bookshop Highland Main Line


Pitlochry: The northbound platform wooden building at Pitlochry in September 2006.
Brian Forbes /09/2006


Pitlochry: A Glasgow to Inverness service, formed by 170403, calls at Pitlochry in this view from the station footbridge looking south towards Dunkeld and Birnam.
Mark Bartlett 30/03/2009


Pitlochry: Pitlochry - view north, August 1989.
John McIntyre 17/08/1989

Nearly eight years after the re-opening of the original Highland Main line between Boat of Garten and Broomhill and eighteen months after reaching the River Dulnain, the Strathspey Railway Charitable Trust launched the 'Rails to Grantown' appeal at Broomhill Station, near Dulnain Bridge yesterday. Local and national politicians as well as leaders of the many organisations that are giving support to the project attended. The intention of the appeal is to raise at least £182,000 in the current year, part of the estimated £5M it will cost to restore a train service to Grantown-on-Spey.
Braeriach, a 0-6-0 tank locomotive formerly on the Weymss Private Railway, pulling the LMS Inspection Officers Saloon heralded the launch of the appeal event at noon. During the afternoon, this train took guests down some of the new track already laid towards Grantown. [With thanks to Sue Davies]
(Permalink) Highland Main Line Strathspey Railway [Preserved]


Broomhill: Strathspey Railway No.17 is seen nearing Broomhill. Nicely turned out in lined green and named Braeriach. A huge improvement on last year.
John Gray 18/06/2007


Broomhill: Reinstatement of passenger railway service. A delightful poster at Broomhill.
Ewan Crawford 01/06/2002


River Dulnain Viaduct: Drivers eye view of the approach to the site of Dulnain Bridge on 10 October 2008. [With kind permission of the Strathspey Railway.]
John Gray 10/10/2008

Very stong winds and rain impacted on most of Scotland's rail services in this period. The heaviest rain since 1822 fell in Carlisle causing widespread flooding when the River Eden burst its banks, a P&O ferry was blown onto the shore at Cairnryan and passengers and crew spent 30 hours aboard before re-floating. The Highland Main line was closed repeatedly due to flooding at Dalguise and Kingussie. Both the Forth and Tay bridges were closed. On the 12th the entire ScotRail network was closed as winds gusts reached 124mph. Routes were re-opened once proved safe. The Edinburgh - Glasgow line re-opened at 0715 with trains running at a restricted 50mph. Most lines re-opened although the Glasgow-Paisley line closed with an overhead line fault at Ibrox. The Highland Main Line, Carlisle-Lockerbie/Dumfries, Mallaig, Kyle and Wick lines remained closed. The front cover of the Scotsman featured a spectacular photograph of a train being engulfed by a wave at Saltcoats. The Highland Main Line re-opened on the 13th.
(Permalink) Forth Bridge Highland Main Line Kyle Line ScotRail Tay Bridge West Highland Lines

The Highland Main Line is closed for works which will take a week.


- Replacement of central track section of the 'A' listed timber 5-span Moy viaduct over the Alit Craeg Bheithin, north of Moy, at a cost of £2.6m

- Partial replacement of the Dalnaspidal bridge over the Altavaich Burn, between Struan and Dalnaspidal, at a cost of £500,000

- Reinforcement of Kingswood Tunnel, south of Dunkeld, with a concrete lining and other works at a cost of £420,000

- Installation of new drainage, renewal of cesses and repairs to embankments damaged by heavy rainfall in September, between Culloden and Cradlehall, at a cost of £1m

- Maintenance to signalling at Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, Dalwhinnie, Kingussie and Aviemore


The work will involve 150 engineers and contractors and should be complete on Sunday the 3rd of November at 10am.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line

The Highland Main Line will be closed between Inverness and Aviemore throughout the week commencing 27 October while Railtrack build a modern structure within the timber Allt na Slanaich Viaduct, just north of Moy, which will eliminate the speed restriction there. The bridge will be retained as a timber viaduct.

The viaduct is the last remaining timber viaduct on the railway network.

(Permalink) Highland Main Line Railtrack

The Highland Main Line re-opens after repairs to an embankment near Moulinearn washed out on the 6th of August.


(Permalink) Highland Main Line

30 July saw monsoon conditions, with over a month's rainfall in a day over much of Scotland. All three routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh were closed until after end of service by flooding or landslips. Through most of 31 July Edinburgh and Glasgow services were diverted to Springburn, which remained the terminus for local services from Stirling and Cumbernauld for over a week while the Maryhill route was suspended. Glasgow Queen Street's trackbed was flooded to 15 inches and track circuits damaged.

On Sunday 4 August Edinburgh and Aberdeen services were diverted to Central, taking Turbostars there for the first time so that engineers could repair the track circuits in the Queen Street Tunnel.

Monday 5 August saw the reopening of the Highland Main Line at Slochd after repairs to a damaged embankment near Slochd viaduct. Barrhead locals went half-hourly for the first time since introduction of the special timetable on 7 January. However the reintroduction of the 15-minute interval service between Edinburgh and Glasgow (which had been announced for 5 August before the flood damage) had to be deferred, and the Argyle Line remained closed due to damage to track circuits associated with flooding at Dalmarnock where the track was submerged between the platforms.
(Permalink) Highland Main Line Landslide Slochd Viaduct

KML version