This company provided services between Perth, Inverness, Elgin, Keith, Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso and Wick. Most routes are still open and today passengers services are provided by ScotRail. The company came into being by a series of amalgamations.
In particular, the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway and Inverness and Perth Junction Railway merged to form the Highland Railway.
The Highland Railway Society studies and preserves the memory of the former company.
|29/06/1865||Inverness and Aberdeen Junction RailwayInverness and Perth Junction RailwayHighland Railway|
Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway and Inverness and Perth Junction Railway merger: company named the Highland Railway.
|03/07/1865||Aberfeldy Branch (Highland Railway)|
Ballinluig to Aberfeldy opened.
|/ /1866||Scottish North Eastern Railway
Scottish North Eastern Railway absorbed by Caledonian Railway. Confirmation of running powers for the Highland Railway between Perth General and Stanley Junction. Confirmation of running powers for North British Railway, London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway. The SNER's running powers over the Montrose and Bervie Railway are transferred to the Caledonian.
|/ /1866||Highland Railway
Scottish Central Railway|
Highland Railway granted access to Perth Harbour over the former Scottish Central Railway.
|19/06/1871||Duke of Sutherland's Railway|
Golspie (Sutherland Railway) to Dunrobin opened, Dunrobin becomes private station for the Duke of Sutherland. West Helmsdale to Helmsdale opened. Highland Railway works line.
|24/04/1877||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Railway takes over steamer operations.
|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.
|/11/1882||Glasgow and North Western Railway|
Glasgow and North Western Railway proposed, the Bill presented to Parliament to seek approval.. The route was to have been a 167 mile long railway from Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William. Supported by the North British Railway and opposed by the Highland Railway, Caledonian Railway (part owners of the Callander and Oban Railway), Caledonian Canal, David MacBrayne and some landowners. The Bill was rejected in 1883. It was not built (a less ambitious variation of it, the West Highland Railway with an Act in 1889, did open).
|/ /1884||Duke of Sutherland's RailwayHighland Railway|
Duke of Sutherland's Railway absorbed by Highland Railway.
|/ /1884||Sutherland RailwayHighland Railway|
Sutherland Railway absorbed by Highland Railway.
|/ /1884||Perth General Enlargement (Perth Station Committee (Caledonian Railway, North British Railway and Highland Railway))|
Perth General station enlargement authorised.
|28/07/1884||Sutherland and Caithness RailwayHighland Railway|
Sutherland and Caithness Railway absorbed by Highland Railway.
|28/07/1884||Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Act passed. This was partly in response to the proposed incursion of the North British Railway's Glasgow and North Western Railway from Glasgow to Inverness via Loch Lomond, Crianlarich, Glencoe, Fort William and the Great Glen.
|01/08/1884||Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)|
|/ /1885||Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)|
Strathpeffer [2nd] station built to design of Murdoch Paterson.
|01/06/1885||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Strathpeffer [1st] renamed Auchterneed for opening of Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway).
|03/06/1885||Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)|
|01/05/1886||Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)|
Combined Portessie [GNSR] and Portessie [HR] station and junction opened with the opening of the Moray Coast Railway (Great North of Scotland Railway).
|/ /1887||Perth General Enlargement (Perth Station Committee (Caledonian Railway, North British Railway and Highland Railway))|
Reconstruction and enlargement of Perth General completed.
|/ /1889||West Highland Railway|
Fort William [Fort]'s wall breached for railway building.
|29/01/1889||West Highland Railway|
Charles Forman (of engineers Forman & McCall), James Bulloch (Forman's chief engineer), J.E. Harrison (assistant engineer), Robert McAlpine (contractor), John Bett (factor of the Breadalbane Estates), Major Martin (factor of the Poltalloch estates) and N.B. MacKenzie (solicitor, local agent for the railway company) meet at a hotel in Spean Bridge to conduct a survey of the proposed route of the line over Rannoch Moor.
|30/01/1889||West Highland Railway|
The party are taken by coach from Spean Bridge to Inverlair Lodge. The party set out to walk from Inverlair Lodge to the north end of Loch Treig. The party are rowed from the north end of Loch Treig to the south end and stay overnight at William Frederick Scarlett's (Lord Abinger) Craig-uaine-ach Lodge.
|31/01/1889||West Highland Railway|
The party set out to walk to Rannoch Lodge, then the walkers change their minds and decide to continue to Inveroran. The party split in poor weather conditions as it darkens, Robert McAlpine decided to go on to Inveroran and James Bulloch heads to Gorton cottage. Bulloch reaches Gorton. Charles Forman, McKenzie, Martin, Harrison and Bett are taken to a nearby hut by shepherds from Gorton.
|01/02/1889||West Highland Railway|
Robert McAlpine reaches a cottage by Loch Tulla. Charles Forman, McKenzie, Martin, Harrison and Bett are taken to Gorton to join Bulloch. The party are taken to Inveroran, via Loch Tulla to pick up Robert McAlpine.
|02/02/1889||West Highland Railway|
A blizzard covers Rannoch Moor and the party have to work their way through deep drifting to reach Tyndrum [CandO] station on the Callander and Oban Railway.
|12/08/1889||West Highland Railway|
Act passed and West Highland Railway authorised. Proposed by Charles Forman.
Highland Railway agreement with Caledonian Railway over land in Perth.
|23/10/1889||West Highland Railway|
First sod cut by William Frederick Scarlett (Lord Abinger) near Fort William.
|/ /1890||Scottish Midland Junction Railway|
Agreement over land at Dovecotland (for Dovecotland Goods) between the Caledonian Railway and Highland Railway.
|20/07/1890||West Highland Railway|
Banavie [1st] branch authorised.
|/07/1891||West Highland Railway|
Runs out of money when the contractor requests further funds, and construction is abandoned.
|/08/1891||West Highland Railway|
In a court case held in Dumbarton the contractor is told that the line must be built for the amount specified in the contract.
|14/10/1891||West Highland Railway|
Work re-starts, though the West Highland Railway agrees to pay an extra £10,000.
|08/07/1892||Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Aviemore to Carrbridge opened.
|/ /1893||West Highland Railway|
Financial crisis; Mr James Hall Renton, a director of the line, used part of his personal fortune to get the line completed.
|/ /1893||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Extension from Stromeferry to Kyle of Lochalsh authorised.
|03/09/1893||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Contracts for extension let to John Best.
|05/09/1893||West Highland Railway|
Last spike driven by Mr James Hall Renton on Rannoch Moor.
|16/10/1893||Fochabers Branch (Highland Railway)|
|/ /1894||Sharp, Stewart and Co Ltd
Build a 4-6-0 for the Highland Railway, who number it 103.
|01/02/1894||Fortrose Branch (Highland Railway)|
|01/07/1894||Fochabers Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fochabers renamed Fochabers Town.
|31/07/1894||West Highland Railway|
West Highland Railway (Mallaig Extension Railway) Act Passed.
|03/08/1894||West Highland Railway|
Opened from Craigendoran Junction to Fort William [1st].
|03/08/1894||West Highland Railway|
Inspection by Board of Trade.
|07/08/1894||West Highland Railway|
Public opening from Fort William to Craigendoran. Stations opened at Craigendoran Upper, Helensburgh Upper, Row, Garelochhead, Arrochar and Tarbet, Ardlui, Crianlarich, Tyndrum [WHR], Bridge of Orchy, Gortan (private), Rannoch, Corrour (private), Inverlair, Roy Bridge, Spean Bridge and Fort William [1st].
|11/08/1894||West Highland Railway|
|04/09/1894||West Highland Railway|
Helensburgh to Garelochhead train de-railed at Woodend Farm Crossing by a stone placed on the line.
|01/11/1894||West Highland Railway|
Refreshment baskets available at Arrochar and Tarbet.
|20/12/1894||Callander and Oban Railway|
Spur from Crianlarich station (West Highland Railway) to Crianlarich Junction [CandO] opened. New passing loop at Crianlarich Junction [CandO] allows removal of up platform and loop at Crianlarich [CandO] station.
|01/01/1895||West Highland Railway|
Inverlair renamed Tulloch.
|27/05/1895||West Highland Railway|
Glen Douglas siding opened.
|01/06/1895||West Highland Railway|
Banavie [1st] branch opened.
|/07/1895||West Highland Railway|
Refreshment baskets available at Crianlarich [WHR].
|01/05/1896||West Highland Railway|
|06/05/1896||West Highland Railway|
Derailment at Banavie Junction [1st] (now Fort William Junction).
|/08/1896||West Highland Railway|
West Highland Railway (Ballachulish Extension Act) passed, but not built.
|/ /1897||West Highland Railway
North British Railway|
The proposed Bill by the West Highland Railway and North British Railway for extension of the West Highland to Inverness is rejected by the Commons. (The Highland Railway's route via Carrbridge was partly open and would be completed in 1989.)
|21/01/1897||West Highland Railway|
First sod of Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway) cut at Corpach by Lady Margaret Cameron of Lochiel.
Bill for railway from Inverness to Fort Augustus is rejected in the House of Lords (was passed by the Commons).
|19/07/1897||Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Carrbridge to Daviot opened. This section includes the Aultnaslanach Viaduct, (currently the only in use timber railway viaduct left in Scotland).
|02/11/1897||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Line opened from Stromeferry to new terminus and pier at Kyle of Lochalsh. Stations at; Plockton, Duirinish and Kyle of Lochalsh.
|20/12/1897||West Highland Railway|
Connection to Callander and Oban Railway at Crianlarich, from Crianlarich Junction to Crianlarich Junction [CandO].
|01/11/1898||Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Daviot to Inverness, Millburn Junction, opened, completing the shortcut line from Aviemore to Inverness.
|01/07/1899||Fort George Branch (Highland Railway)|
Line opened. The original Fort George [1st] station on the Inverness and Nairn Railway was sited slightly further west and renamed Gollanfield Junction.
|01/04/1901||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Line opened from Banavie to Mallaig, extending the West Highland Railway to Mallaig.
|22/07/1901||West Highland Railway|
Sleeper cars from Kings Cross to Fort William commence.
|06/03/1902||Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway|
Working agreement with Highland Railway drawn up.
|21/07/1903||Highland RailwayInvergarry and Fort Augustus Railway|
Act passed which allows the Highland Railway to operate the services over the Fort Augustus line.
|22/07/1903||Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway
Line opened by Eliza Stewart Ellice of Invergarry House. The service was operated by the Highland Railway who were keen to keep the North British Railway away from Inverness. Connecting David Hutcheson and Co steamers operating along the Caledonian Canal connecting the line to Inverness via Loch Ness and the canal. Stations opened at Gairlochy, Invergarry, Aberchalder, Fort Augustus and Fort Augustus Pier. The Lovat Arms and Station Hotel was rebuilt and reopened in connection with new line.
|17/12/1905||Great North of Scotland Railway
Provisional order produced for the merger of the Great North of Scotland Railway and Highland Railway.
|/ /1906||Great North of Scotland RailwayHighland Railway|
Amalgamation of the Great North of Scotland Railway with the Highland Railway falls through.
|08/08/1906||West Highland Railway|
Accident at Pulpit Rock, by Loch Lomond.
|30/04/1907||Invergarry and Fort Augustus RailwayHighland Railway|
Highland Railway withdraws locomotives and rolling stock from the Invergarry line and ceases its operation.
|31/12/1908||North British Railway
West Highland Railway|
North British Railway formally takes over the West Highland Railway line from Craigendoran to Fort William [1st], Mallaig and the branch to Banavie [1st].
|06/12/1909||West Highland Railway|
Accident at Glen Douglas.
|18/06/1914||Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Heavy rainfall causes a bridge washout of the Baddengorm Burn Viaduct (north of Carrbridge). As a result a train crashes down into the riverbed with loss of life.
|09/08/1915||Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)|
Closed to passengers, and to freight between Aultmore (excluded) and Buckie [HR] (excluded).
|/ /1917||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Rail served American Mine base operating in Kyle of Lochalsh.
|/ /1918||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
American Mine base closed. This received mines to be transported to US Naval Base 18.
|/ /1920||Dingwall and Skye Railway|
Highland Railway purchases Loan Crossing from Admiralty.
|01/01/1923||Dundee and Newtyle Railway
Arbroath and Forfar Railway
Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway
Glasgow and South Western Railway
Callander and Oban Railway
Glasgow and Kilmarnock Joint Railway
Cathcart District Railway
Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway
Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Committee
Brechin and Edzell District Railway
Dornoch Light Railway
Wick and Lybster Light Railway|
Grouped into London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
|01/06/1924||West Highland Railway|
Row renamed Rhu.
|01/05/1926||West Highland Railway|
Gortan renamed Gorton.
|08/07/1929||West Highland Railway|
Restaurant car introduced.
|/10/1929||West Highland Railway|
Sleepers start to operate all year round.
|27/01/1931||West Highland Railway|
De-railment in Rannoch Moor.
|06/07/1931||West Highland Railway|
A loop added at Rhu.
|01/08/1931||West Highland Railway|
Fersit Halt and branch opened, Loch Treig was to be converted into a reservoir to serve the smelter at Fort William.
|14/09/1931||Fochabers Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fochabers Town to Orbliston Junction closed to passengers.
|07/08/1932||West Highland Railway|
Loch Treig diversion and tunnel opened. The line was re-aligned at a higher level as the Loch became a reservoir, part of the Lochaber Smelter scheme.
|/ /1934||Highland Railway|
London, Midland and Scottish Railway withdraw locomotive 103.
|09/07/1934||Welsh Highland Railway|
Nantmor Halt renamed Aberglaslyn.
|15/09/1934||West Highland Railway|
Corrour opened to the public having been a private halt.
|01/01/1935||West Highland Railway|
|28/09/1936||Welsh Highland Railway|
|/09/1937||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Stromeferry pier demolished.
|02/09/1939||West Highland Railway|
Banavie Pier to Fort William (Banavie Junction [2nd]) closed to passengers.
|02/10/1939||West Highland Railway|
|28/04/1940||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Box opened at Duirinish.
|27/04/1941||West Highland Railway|
Faslane Junction (Croy) opened with exchange sidings for a double track railway to Military Port #1, Faslane Military Port.
|21/12/1941||West Highland Railway|
New signal box and longer loop opened at Helensburgh Upper to help with Faslane traffic.
|15/11/1942||West Highland Railway|
Camus-na-ha Signal Box opened.
|26/03/1943||West Highland Railway|
Corpach Naval Sidings opened.
|05/04/1943||Fort George Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fort George to Gollanfield Junction closed to passengers.
|01/04/1944||Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)|
Closed to freight between Portessie [HR] and Buckie [HR].
|05/04/1944||West Highland Railway|
Restaurant cars withdrawn.
|26/08/1945||West Highland Railway|
Faslane Platform opened, for moving prisoners of war to the halts at Inveruglas Platform and Glenfalloch Platform in connection with the building of the Loch Sloy Hydro Electric scheme.
|28/10/1945||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Temporary box at Duirinish closed.
|29/10/1945||West Highland Railway|
Inveruglas Platform, signal box and loop opened.
|23/02/1946||Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)|
Strathpeffer [2nd] branch closes to passengers (Alternative date: 2 March 1946).
|02/03/1946||Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)|
Strathpeffer [2nd] branch closes to passengers (Alternative date: 23 February 1946).
|10/04/1946||West Highland Railway|
Glenfalloch Platform opened.
|/06/1946||West Highland Railway|
Restaurant cars re-start.
|23/05/1949||West Highland Railway|
Passenger services between Glasgow Queen Street High Level, Crianlarich and Oban start.
|23/05/1949||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Duncraig Halt opened to public.
|26/03/1951||Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)|
Strathpeffer [2nd] to Dingwall (Fodderty Junction) closed to freight (complete closure).
|06/08/1951||West Highland Railway|
Banavie Pier to Fort William (Banavie Junction [2nd]) (excluded) closed to freight.
|01/10/1951||Fortrose Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fortrose to Muir of Ord closed to passengers.
|01/02/1954||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Duirinish closed to goods.
|17/04/1954||West Highland Railway|
Collision at Bridge of Orchy.
|09/01/1956||West Highland Railway|
|24/09/1956||West Highland Railway|
Television train runs.
|11/08/1958||Fort George Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fort George to Gollanfield Junction closed to freight.
|04/04/1960||West Highland Railway|
|13/06/1960||Fortrose Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fortrose to Muir of Ord closed to freight.
|14/06/1964||West Highland Railway|
Craigendoran (West Highland, high level), Rhu, Shandon, Whistlefield and Glen Douglas closed as the local service from Craigendoran to Arrochar and Tarbet is withdrawn.
|07/09/1964||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Plockton closed to goods.
|07/09/1964||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Duncraig closed to passengers .
|03/05/1965||Aberfeldy Branch (Highland Railway)|
Aberfeldy to Ballinluig closed to passengers.
|28/03/1966||Fochabers Branch (Highland Railway)|
Fochabers Town to Orbliston Junction closed to freight.
|03/10/1966||Buckie and Portessie Branch (Highland Railway)|
Closed to freight between Keith (excluded) and Aultmore.
|21/07/1968||West Highland Railway|
Glasgow bound track at Helensburgh Upper lifted and signal box closed.
|/11/1969||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Building of first road along south shore of Loch Carron leads to temporary blockage of line near Stromeferry.
|13/03/1970||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Strathcarron to Strome Ferry re-opens.
|/12/1971||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Announcement of line closure on 31 December 1973 by Secretary of State for Scotland.
|26/03/1973||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Ullapool - Stornoway ferry service starts.
|02/11/1973||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Line reprieved until 31 December 1974.
|31/12/1973||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Original planned closure.
|/ /1974||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Decision taken to retain line and use in connection with Loch Kishorn Fabrication Yard.
|31/12/1974||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
End of second reprieval period.
|/ /1975||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Loch Kishorn Fabrication Yard depot opened at Strome Ferry.
|17/03/1975||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree mailboat service ends.
|13/06/1975||West Highland Railway|
New Fort William station opened, old station Fort William [1st], by the pier, closed.
|/ /1980||West Highland Railway|
As the Pulp Mill at Scottish Pulp and Paper Mills, Corpach, closes much traffic is lost.
|/ /1982||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Depot at Strome Ferry closed and track disconnected from main line.
|/ /1983||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Re-introduction of observation cars in the summer.
|/ /1983||West Highland Railway|
Sunday service introduced.
|/ /1984||West Highland Railway|
Steam trains return to the line.
|/ /1984||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Steam trains return to the line. This is now a regular occurrence each summer.
|27/05/1984||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
Steam returns to the West Highland Line as a tourist attraction. The first such train ran on Sunday the 27th of May.
|03/06/1984||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Kyle of Lochalsh signal box closes.
|13/07/1984||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Radio Electric Token Block introduced.
|/ /1985||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Considerable track reduction at Kyle of Lochalsh.
|/ /1988||Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)|
Disused depot track at Strome Ferry lifted.
|14/05/1990||West Highland Railway|
Motorail service commences running to Fort William.
|28/05/1995||West Highland Railway|
Motorail service withdrawn.
|27/06/1995||Mallaig Extension (West Highland Railway)|
The West Coast Railway Company commences running the steam service on the Mallaig Extension as The Jacobite.
|26/09/2001||West Highland Railway|
Fort William Oil Depot re-opened.
|08/09/2002||Inverness and Nairn Railway
Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway (Highland Railway)|
Blocked by flood-water.
Dornoch Light Railway: History of a Highland Railway Branch Line
Heilan Line: The Portessie Branch of the Highland Railway
Highland Railway (Railway History)
Highland Railway (The David & Charles series)
Highland Railway Album
Highland Railway Album: No. 1
Highland Railway Album: No. 2
Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons
Highland Railway Liveries: Dathan na Gaidhealtachd
Highland Railway Locomotives, Book 2: Drummond, Smith and Cumming Classes
Highland Railway: People and Places - From the Inverness and Nairn Railway to Scotrail
Highland Steam: A Scrapbook of Images from the 'Kyle, Mallaig and Highland Lines
History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands: Highland Railway
Locomotives of the Highland Railway (Britain's Pre-Grouping Railways)
The Highland Railway
The Highland Railway (Britain in Old Photographs)
The Highland Railway : The History of the Railways of the Scottish Highlands - Vol 2
|The Perth and Dunkeld Railway||Track Plans from the Highland Railway, 1900|