This railway crosses northern Scotland, running west from Inverness via Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh. The original terminus was at Stromeferry.
It is a scenic line passing mountains and inland lochs. From Stromeferry its extension follows the coast. The line is single track with passing places at Garve, Achnasheen and Strathcarron.
There is no regular freight service.
The distances are
Inverness to Dingwall 18 miles (via the former Inverness and Ross-shire Railway)
Dingwall to Stromeferry 53 miles
Stromeferry to Kyle of Lochalsh 10 miles (Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway))
Overall 81 miles
The line is supported and promoted by the Friends of the Kyle Line .
This was the first line built to the western seaboard of Scotland, opening in 1870. (Oban was opened in 1880, Fort William 1894, Mallaig 1901)
The line served the hinterland, the many estates and lodges of major landowners and, with its steamer connections, Skye and the Outer Hebrides. In addition to passengers and tourists, fish, sheep and cattle were carried.
The line is served by trains from Inverness.
|05/07/1865||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Dingwall and Skye Railway authorised to run west from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh.
|02/05/1868||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Deviation authorised; Kyle of Lochalsh to Attadale not to be built. Attadale to have a terminus and pier. Engineer; Joseph Mitchell & Company. Contractors; J & A Granger (Dingwall to Achanalt), A and K Macdonald (Achanalt to Attadale) and Donald McGregor & Company (Attadale Pier).
|/ /1869||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Terminus plans altered from Attadale to Strome Ferry around this time.
|05/08/1870||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Opened to goods traffic only
|19/08/1870||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Railway opened from Dingwall to Strome Ferry Pier. Stations at Strathpeffer [1st], Garve, Achanalt, Achnasheen, Strathcarron and Strome Ferry. Loops at Garve, Achnasheen, Strathcarron and Strome Ferry.
|09/11/1870||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
SS Oscar lost off Applecross
|/ /1871||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Hotel at Achnasheen, designed by Alexander Ross, opened
|/ /1872||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Glencarron Platform opened.
|26/04/1872||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Lochluichart [1st], a private platform, becomes public and is re-built further west (Lochluichart [2nd]).
|31/07/1872||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strome Ferry Engine Shed burns down
Sold by the North British Steam Packet Company to the Dingwall and Skye Railway to operate the Strome Ferry to Portree service.
|/ /1873||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Attadale Platform opened
|24/04/1877||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Railway takes over steamer operations. (Including PS Carham.)
|01/03/1878||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Siding opened at Attadale.
|30/03/1880||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
PS Carham grounds off the island of Raasay.
|17/04/1880||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Railway abandons steamer operations in favour of David MacBrayne.
|01/09/1880||Dingwall and Skye RailwayHighland Railway|
Amalgamation of the Dingwall and Skye Railway with Highland Railway.
|04/01/1882||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
First Skye Bogie locomotive introduced
|01/06/1885||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strathpeffer [1st] renamed Auchterneed for opening of Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway).
|16/10/1891||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strome Ferry station train shed burns down
|01/06/1900||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Achnashellach box and loop opened.
|13/06/1911||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Hotel [Strathpeffer] opens.
|01/07/1914||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Luib Crossing opens
|/ /1917||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
American Mine base opens at Kyle of Lochalsh.
|/ /1918||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
American Mine base at Kyle of Lochalsh closes.
|16/01/1919||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Loan Crossing and sidings opens for Admiralty (Alternative date: 1 February 1918)
|/ /1920||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Railway purchases Loan Crossing from Admiralty.
|/ /1920||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Loan Crossing and sidings closed.
|/ /1921||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Loan Crossing and sidings lifted.
|/10/1925||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Raven Rock Summit quarry siding opens.
|/ /1936||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Fodderty Junction box closes (for 4 years).
|/09/1937||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strome Ferry pier demolished.
|/07/1939||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Raven Rock Summit quarry closes.
|23/06/1940||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Fodderty Junction box re-opens.
|20/08/1944||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Fodderty Junction box closes.
|/03/1952||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Raven Rock Summit siding removed.
|01/05/1954||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Lochluichart [2nd] and two miles of track close. (Alternative date : 3 May 1954)
|03/05/1954||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Lochluichart (new) and diversion open.
|27/01/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Lochluichart (new) closed to goods.
|27/01/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Achnashellach closed to goods.
|18/05/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Auchterneed closed to goods.
|15/06/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Stromeferry closed to goods.
|02/11/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Achanalt closed to goods.
|07/12/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Auchterneed closed to passengers.
|07/12/1964||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Glencarron closed to passengers. (Alternative date: 1966).
|20/03/1966||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Stromeferry east and west signal boxes and loop closed.
|22/03/1966||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Achnashellach box and loop closed.
|23/03/1966||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Achanalt East and West boxes and loop closed.
|24/03/1966||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Auchterneed box and loop closed.
|15/08/1966||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Attadale closed to goods.
|/11/1969||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Building of first road along south shore of Loch Carron leads to temporary blockage of line.
|13/03/1970||Dingwall and Skye Railway
Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Strathcarron to Strome Ferry re-opens (following major rockfall).
|/12/1971||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Announcement of line closure on the 31rst of December 1973 by Secretary of State for Scotland.
|26/03/1973||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Ullapool to Stornoway ferry service starts.
|02/11/1973||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Line reprieved until the 31rst of December 1974.
|31/12/1973||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Original planned closure.
|/ /1974||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Decision taken to retain line and use in connection with Oil Platform construction.
|31/12/1974||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
End of period of reprieve, but line retained for Oil Industry.
|/ /1975||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Howard Doris^ Loch Kishorn Fabrication Yard depot opened at Strome Ferry.
|/ /1979||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Ground frame and siding removed at Attadale.
|/ /1982||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Depot at Strome Ferry closed and track disconnected from main line.
|01/04/1984||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Garve East and West boxes close.
|17/06/1984||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strathcarron east box closed, Strathcarron west box converted into gate box.
|13/07/1984||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Radio Electric Token Block introduced
|/ /1988||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Disused depot track at Strome Ferry lifted
|21/10/1999||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Timber traffic returns to the Kyle of Lochalsh line.
|29/10/2001||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
158733 damaged after hitting rocks from a landslip near Stromeferry (described as Strathcarron in the press). The line was planned to be closed until Nov 20.
|/11/2001||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Plans to make the hillside above the line near Stromeferry are abandoned in favour of a £2.5M deviation of the line north of its original alignment, requiring a new embankment on the Loch Carron shore. The site was east of Stromeferry and was reached by driving along the shore at low tide. The hillside was partly cleared and fitted with netting.
From Dingwall the line runs west up the relatively level Strath Peffer, by the River Peffery, to Fodderty from which it climbs to Auchterneed. It then climbs hard, passing north of the village of Strathpeffer, to the watershed at Ravens Rock before dropping down to the Black Water and the south shore of Loch Garve. At the north west end of the loch it leaves behind the small village of Garve, turns west and crosses to the north shore of Loch Luichart. From the west end of the loch it runs alongside the River Bran through Strath Bran to Achnasheen. Turning south west into Strath Carron it runs by the River Carron to pass Achnashellach and reach Strathcarron at the eastern end of Loch Carron, a west coast sea loch. The rocky southern shore, overhung by cliffs, is followed to Strome Ferry.
This line is divided into a number of portions.
This junction is north of Dingwall station. This is where the line from Inverness divides into portions running west to Kyle of Lochalsh on the west coast and Thurso and Wick on the north coast. Both lines are single track. Just to the south is the north end of the loop through Dingwall station. There is a pedestrian level crossing and the former Dingwall Canal passes ...More details
This panel box was located on the Kyle of Lochalsh line, west of Dingwall Junction. It was between Dingwall No 1 LC and Dingwall Middle LC and was on the south side of the line. Dingwall No 2 LC is even further west.
The crossing opened in 1979 with the building of a new bypass and main road north from Dingwall, Newton Road. The crossing is equipped with single half barriers.
This is a level crossing with Bridgend Avenue equipped with single half barriers.
This was the junction between the Dingwall and Skye Railway and the 1885 branch to Strathpeffer. The town town had been, at its request, bypassed by the Dingwall and Skye Railway when it opened in 1870. With the tourist development of Strathpeffer as a Spa town a branch, approaching from the east, opened in 1885 from this junction, a little west of Dingwall.
This was the first station to serve Strathpeffer, just under two miles to the south. It was inconveniently located away from the town and up a hill due to local opposition (largely Sir William Mackenzie, 9th Baronet of Coul House) to taking the line through the town.
This is one of two notable summits on the Kyle line, this being a summit of 458 ft (further west is Luib Summit of 646 ft). Many trains would require banking, a locomotive pushing in the rear to assist the climb, going west, from Dingwall. Also known as Raven^s Rock Summit.
This is a two platform station with an original station building, now in other uses, on the up (eastbound) platform.
This was a single platform station with a small building and small goods yard. This station replaced a private halt Lochluichart [1st] which was closer to Lochluichart Lodge and to the east. The station closed when Loch Luichart was damned for a hydroscheme and replaced by a new station just to the north, Lochluichart on the Lochluichart Deviation (British Railways).
This is a single track four span girder viaduct east of Achanalt station. It crosses the watercourse, the River Bran, between Loch Achanalt (west) and Loch a^ Chuilinn. To the west the north side of Loch Achanalt. To the east the line is on the south side of Loch a^ Chuilinn. The viaduct is around 230 ft long.
This was a two platform station. The original timber bulding (by Murdoch Paterson) on the up (eastbound) platform was lost in 1889. Its replacement survived until at least the 1960s.
This is a two platform station with a loop. The platforms are slightly staggered. The station building on the up (eastbound) platform remains standing. It is of the same style by Murdoch Paterson as those at Strathcarron and Garve. The line crosses the River Bran at the west end of the station.
A relief siding was installed here in 1914 to assist with taking large loads up the Glencarron Bank. Long trains would be taken up in portions which were deposited here and then assembled into a single train for taking on to Achnasheen. The location was 2 3/4 miles east of Luib Summit, a little west of Loch Sgamhain. The siding was on the north side of the line, approached from the ...More details
This was a single platform halt with a small wooden shelter and passenger operated signal to let drivers of trains know that a call was needed.
This is a one platform station. There are not many facilities, just the platform. There is no parking here, but it may be possible nearby on the main road to the south of the station.
This is a level crossing with the A890 without barriers. The crossing has been eased to cross at shallow angle, the road formerly had two tight bends and crossed the railway at right angles. There was a crossing keeper^s cottage, which has not survived, on the north side of the line and east of the road.
This is a two platform station with a passing loop on a single track railway. The main station building, of two storeys and of the same style as those at Achnasheen and Garve, is on the eastbound platform.
This is a very small station with a single platform. The original small timber building has been replaced with a concrete equivalent. The platform is on the south side of the line. From the platform there is rather a fine view of Loch Carron and the beach. There is no car park but there is space for a car or two to park in a layby by the station.
This concrete structure crosses over the railway and A890 south west of Attadale station. The shelter protects the railway and road from the cliff above to the south east.
This is a single platform station located in the small village of Stromeferry with some parking nearby. It opened in 1870 and was the terminus of the railway from Dingwall near Inverness until extension west to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1897.
This oil rig fabrication yard, opened in connection with North Sea oil extraction, was served by sea from a railhead at Stromeferry.
A series of lights and buoys were provided by the Highland Railway to protect steamers from a series of submerged rocks while passing Plockton on the approach to Strome Ferry Pier. A vessel approaching Strome Ferry Pier would leave Sgeir Golach Beacon to port, Cat Islands Lighthouse and Hawk Rock Buoy to starboard, then Bonadu Sgeir to port and, avoiding Birch Rock Buoy, leave Ulluva Beacon to starboard. A chart note ^The light, beacons and buoys are the property of the Highland Railway Company. The light is only shown for the Railway Company^s steamers during the fishing season^.
Highland Railway: People and Places - From the Inverness and Nairn Railway to Scotrail
History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands: Skye Railway v. 5
Insider Rail Guide: Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh (The Insider Rail Guide)
OS Explorer Map (428) Kyle of Lochalsh, Plockton and Applecross (OS Explorer Active Map)
Rails to Kyle of Lochalsh: Story of the Dingwall and Skye Railway Including the Strathpeffer Branch (Oakwood Library of Railway History)
The Dingwall & Skye Railway: A Pictorial Record of the Line to Kyle of Lochalsh
The Highland Railway
The Highland Railway : The History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands - Vol 2
The Kyle Line: An Illustrated History and Guide
The Kyle of Lochalsh and Far North Lines
The Kyle of Lochalsh Line: Great Railway Journeys Through Time