John Speller's Web Pages Highland Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Other Railways
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The Highland Railway, centered on Inverness, Scotland, and the northernmost railway in the British Isles was formed by the amalgamation of smaller lines. The first of these, the Inverness and Nairn Railway, 15 miles in length, was incorporated in 1854; the first train ran on 5 November 1855. Next, the railway between Nairn and Keith opened in 1858. This made it possible to run through trains between Inverness and Aberdeen making use of running powers over the Great North of Scotland Railway. The Nairn & Keith Railway was amalgamated with the Inverness & Nairn Railway to become the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway on 21 July 1856. The Perth and Dunkeld Railway, incorporated on 10 July 1854 and opened on 7 April 1856 ran from Dunkeld to Stanley Junction, just north of Perth, and ran into Perth station making use of running rights over the Caledonian Railway. The Inverness & Perth Junction Railway, incorporated 21 July 1861, provided the final link between Inverness and Dunkeld, completed the main line route to Perth, and was completed in 1863. Meanwhile the Highland Railway had been formed by the amalgamation of the Perth & Dunkeld Railway, the Inverness & Aberdeen Railway, and the Inverness & Perth Junction Railway on 29 June 1865. Further branch lines were built over the ensuing years, including the picturesque Dingwall & Skye Railway to the Kyle of Lochalsh, where there was a ferry service to the Isle of Skye, opened piecemeal between 1870 and 1897. The northernmost line in Britain, the Sutherland and Caithness Railway to Thurso & Wick, opened on 28 July 1874. The Highland Railway became part of the London, Midland & Scottish system in 1923, at which time it comprised a total of 484 route miles.

The section of the former Perth to Inverness main line between Aviemore and Broomhill via Boat of Garten has been preserved as the Strathspey Steam Railway.
Map of the Highland Railway
Goods train behind ex-Highland Railway "Ben" Class 4-4-0 No. No. 14401 "Ben Vrackie" at Dingwall on 25 August 1948. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Postcard view of an Inverness to Perth express behind "Castle" Class 4-6-0 No. 44, "Blair Castle," in around 1910. The Highland Railway was the first British line to employ 4-6-0 locomotives
Perth to Inverness express mail train behind another Highland "Castle" Class 4-6-0 in a postcard view of around 1910
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