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Snow and strong winds has sparked major rail disruption on some Highland railway lines, ScotRail has confirmed.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line ScotRail Snow Weather Wind

Heavy downpour overnight is impacting rail services in the Highlands.
(Permalink) Far North Line Flooding Kyle Line Weather West Highland Line

Rail passengers in the Highlands were facing a third day of disruption on Tuesday after sustained rainfall sparked further cancellations and delays.
(Permalink) Flooding Highland Main Line Kyle Line Weather West Highland Line

Rail passengers in the Highlands have been warned to expect disruption today after several trains were cancelled amid a yellow weather warning.
(Permalink) Cancellations Flooding Highland Main Line Kyle Line Weather

Rail passengers on the Kyle line were facing disruption on Wednesday after two trains were cancelled between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.
(Permalink) Kyle Line

A landslip just west of Dingwall has closed the Kyle rail line for the rest of the day, ScotRail has warned. [Journeycheck: Due to a landslip between Dingwall and Garve all lines are closed. Disruption is expected until the end of the day on 09/12/20.]
(Permalink) Dingwall Dingwall and Skye Railway Garve Kyle Line Landslip

Rail passengers are being warned of added speed restrictions on Kyle Line services ahead of more rain and strong winds tonight and tomorrow.
(Permalink) Kyle Line

Rail passengers are being warned of plans to reduce speed limits on the Kyle line during forecast rain later this week.
(Permalink) Kyle Line Weather

A number of rail services in the Highlands will face delays today after a speed restriction was put in place on the line. It means services to and from Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh will be delayed this morning.
(Permalink) Flooding Kyle Line

Firefighters have been called to the railway line near Stromeferry following reports of a car on the track.
(Permalink) Car on line Dingwall and Skye Railway Kyle Line Stromeferry

A Royal visitor was spotted travelling on a Ross-shire railway this week “ but they were perhaps not quite what you'd expect.
(Permalink) Dingwall and Skye Railway Kyle Line Royal Saloon

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 ...
Transport Scotland 28/07/2020

A close ally of Jeremy Corbyn who is helping to lead Labour general election campaign has been ridiculed after suggesting he likes to travel by train to the Northern Isles.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line

A landslide at Garve is expected to cause disruption to rail and road journeys between Inverness and the west coast today.
Rail services between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh have been cancelled after the landslip at around 6am. It is understood that around 50 tonnes of earth were moved during the incident.
The main A835 Tore to Ullapool road was also blocked in both directions by the same landslide.
(Permalink) Garve Kyle Line Landslide

Garve: DRS 37607 and 37218 pile on the power as they start the climb out of Garve over the level crossing on 4 April 2015 with the 1Z69 Pathfinder Tour to Kyle of Lochalsh.
John Gray 04/04/2015

Garve: 26024 arrives at Garve with a Kyle - Inverness train on 25 September 1982. Waiting to head west is Black 5 no 5025 with the Scottish Steam Railtours Group Raven's Rock Express.
John Robin 25/09/1982

Garve: 158708 on the level crossing over the A835 about to run into Garve station during a downpour on 1 October 2009. The train is the 1443 Kyle of Lochalsh - Inverness.
John Furnevel 01/10/2009

The Ayr to Stranraer line is the best performing rural railway line in Scotland.
And that's official following the release of figures by the Office of Rail Regulation that show passenger numbers on the Stranraer line increased dramatically in 2012/13 and are nearly up to the level reached when ferry services operated out of the town.
The number of passenger journeys is up a staggering 14.4% and the 60-mile line to Stranraer has outperformed the West Highland Line to Fort William, the West Highand line extension to Mallaig, the Kyle of Lochalsh line, the Oban line and the Far North line to Wick and Thurso. Indeed all the Highland lines saw a reduction in passenger numbers last year except the Far North line which returned growth figures of 0.6%.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line Stranraer West Highland Lines

Stranraer: The 12.36 service to Glasgow Central waits to leave Stranraer Harbour on 24 May 2012.
Colin Miller 24/05/2012

Maybole: A southbound train pulls away from a colourful Maybole station and heads for Girvan on the last day of May 2007.
John Furnevel 31/05/2007

Girvan: The immaculate interior of the waiting room at Girvan, Scotland's only art deco station, seen on 3 June. Even the ceiling is glossy. The more modern seating is unfortunately not sympathetic, though pr ...
David Panton 03/06/2010

IT IS known as the idyllic Highland village to which tourists make a beeline and where the BBC drama Hamish Macbeth was set.
However, the reputation of the west coast settlement has been bismirched by loitering and litter-dropping school pupils at its railway station, which have triggered a deluge of complaints to community leaders.
The station is on the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh line that Michael Palin has hailed as one of the world’s greatest railway journeys.
Now British Transport Police (BTP) have moved to stamp out the anti-social behaviour by enlisting youngsters from Plockton High School, which adjoins the station, to help with its upkeep by looking after its plants and picking up litter.
In a ceremony today, a plaque was unveiled by Highlands MSP Jean Urquhart to mark the station being “adopted” by a committee of pupils.

(Permalink) Kyle Line Station Adoption

Plockton: In a ceremony at Plockton station a plaque was unveiled by Highlands MSP Jean Urquhart to mark the station being 'adopted' by a committee of pupils from Plockton High School.
John Yellowlees 26/04/2013

Plockton: Celebrations at Plockton station on 26 April 2013 in connection with the adoption of the station by pupils of nearby Plockton High School - see adjacent news item.
John Yellowlees 26/04/2013

Unused rooms at one of Scotland’s oldest working stations have been transformed into a clubhouse for model railway enthusiasts, thanks to a ScotRail community project.

Kyle Model Railway Club this week moved into the revamped rooms above the main premises at Irvine station, which dates back to 1839.

The award-winning club has ‘adopted’ the station as part of ScotRail’s Adopt a Station project, which enables volunteers to develop floral displays at stations and find innovative uses for vacant rooms.

Tom Rout, chairman of the Kyle Model Railway Club, said: “We are delighted to be based at Irvine station, where it will be easier for us to recruit new members than at our previous, more out-of-the-way location at Dunaskin.”

The clubhouse, which was previously used as a training suite, offers an
attractive space for railway enthusiasts to exhibit their miniature railway

John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, opened the new
clubhouse on Monday 16 April.

Mr Yellowlees said: “Our Adopt a Station policy is about finding community
uses for surplus accommodation, and model railway clubs are a good use
because they encourage young people to respect the railway environment.”

The accommodation has been converted with assistance from the Railway
Heritage Trust and IDP Architects.

Irvine is the fifth ScotRail station to house a model railway club, with
others at Gleneagles, Lanark, Fort Matilda and Maxwell Park.

(Permalink) Kyle Line ScotRail Station Adoption

Irvine: Looking west towards Irvine station in May 2007 showing the attractive and effective atrium / stairway / canopy arrangement constructed around the station building.
John Furnevel 03/05/2007

Irvine: ScotRail's external relations manager John Yellowlees (centre) with Kyle Model Railway Club members (l-r) Roy Garrett, Hugh McCrindle, David Wyllie, Tom Rout, Ed Bristow, and Ian Blain.
First ScotRail 16/04/2012

Irvine: Roy Garrett and Tom Rout, from Kyle Model Railway Club, with one of their new layouts at Irvine station.
First ScotRail 16/04/2012

Road traffic could be allowed to travel along railway tracks to avoid an area where landslides have closed a road for more than two weeks.

Highland Council said it was an option being considered for the section of A890 Lochcarron to Kyle road.

In October 1990, traffic was allowed onto the nearby railway line after rockfalls in the same area.

The method uses railway sleepers and would end the need for motorists to make a 140 mile (225km) diversion.

Network Rail said it was looking at the possibility of allowing traffic onto the line again.

(Permalink) Kyle Line Landslide Network Rail Rockfall Stromeferry

Avalanche Shelter: A class 26 hauled train heading west towards Kyle of Lochalsh in the early 1970s about to enter the Loch Carron avalanche shelter. Located to the south west of Attadale station, the shelter was constr ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //

Avalanche Shelter: Rock falls are an ever present hazard on parts of the Kyle line. Along the shore of Loch Carron, between Attadale and Ardnarff, a particularly bad fall on 16 November 1969 resulted in closure of the ...
John Furnevel 29/09/2009

Stromeferry: View west over the new alignment of the railway to the east of Stromeferry station in February 2002, just prior to tracklaying in the aftermath of the mudslide. The original course was very slightly c ...
Ewan Crawford 10/02/2002

The future of 22 rural train stations used by only a handful of passengers every week is under threat after Network Rail said the facilities were 'driving up' the cost of running Scotland's railway.

An industry report highlighted the 'low footfall' stations, the majority of which are in the Highlands, including six which attract an average of one passenger for every 10 trains - or even fewer - that pass through them.

The findings will heap pressure on the Scottish Government to reconsider their future when setting out its funding priorities next summer for the period between 2015 and 2019.

Network Rail, which owns and operates the UK's track and signals, said it was not always apparent the stations were providing a 'valuable social link' for the high level of subsidy they required.

Stations with low footfall have a high ratio of cost per passenger. This drives up the costs of operating trains on these lines

A spokesman for the company said: 'Stations with low footfall have a high ratio of cost per passenger use. These stations drive up the costs of operating trains on these lines.

'It is Network Rail's role to highlight these cost drivers to the government and wider industry for consideration.'

The report, the Initial Investment Plan for Scotland, called for cost-saving to lower the '700m annual taxpayer support for running the rail network north of the border.

Of the 22 low-footfall stations, five are on the West Highland Line to Oban and Mallaig, six on the Far North Line connecting Inverness to Wick and Thurso and six on the line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh.

But they also include a number of stations on busier routes such as Breich on the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh line and Springfield in Fife. Barry Links in Angus, which has only one train in each direction every day, had the lowest footfall of any Scottish station, with just 90 passengers a year, while its neighbouring station, Golf Street, had 190.

Many of the stations in the Highlands are request stops at which trains do not stop unless signalled by a passenger on board a train or at a platform.

But the low number of passengers meant the ticket revenue was not even enough to pay for the fuel used by stopping a train and then accelerating out of the station, the IIP report found.

The report also highlighted the Girvan to Stranraer line, which it found has only 11 passengers per train, a figure it said was likely to diminish with the closure of Stranraer ferry terminal.

By contrast, Edinburgh to Glasgow provides more than one-quarter of ScotRail's revenue and journeys. One-third of the Strathclyde population used a train in the past month, compared with only 11% in the Highlands and North-east, where people are far more dependent on the car.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland, which funds the Scottish rail network and is responsible for the ScotRail franchise, would only say that delivering a 'lower cost railway' would be central when it came to specifying funding priorities.

Previous attempts to close low-use stations have failed after protests by local communities who claimed they provided an important social link. A similar IIP report produced in 2006 called for a number of stations to be closed but the recommendations were rejected by the then Scottish Executive.

However, industry analysts said there was now greater pressure on the UK and Scottish governments to achieve cost savings given the squeeze on public finances and recent findings that Britain's railway costs around 30% more to run than similar European railways.

ScotRail, which operates 95% of passenger trains in Scotland, said low-use stations went back to the days of British Rail and were inherited when it was awarded the franchise in 2004.

(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line ScotRail Stranraer West Highland Lines

INITIAL findings of a project to explore the archaeology of the Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh line are now on display at Kyle of Lochalsh and Achnasheen.

(Permalink) Kyle Line

Strathcarron: Trains crossing at Strathcarron station following a shower of rain in the summer of 1974. Approaching the camera is a Class 26 hauled service from Kyle of Lochalsh bound for Inverness.
David Spaven //1974

Query4854: Black 5s under the wires - where and when? [Added 9 May 2013]
Notes and Queries //

Achnasheen: Kyle line trains, hauled by BRCW Type 2 Class 26 locos, cross at Achnasheen in the summer of 1972. View from the Kyle bound train as the driver of the Inverness working hands over the single line toke ...
David Hindle //1972

On Thursday 8th of April Peter Ovenstone, Chairman of the Railway Heritage Committee, presented the painting “Kyles of Bute” to Sam Galbraith, Chairman of Trustees of the Scottish Maritime Museum.
(Permalink) Kyle Line ScotRail

Irvine Harbour: Peter Ovenstone, Chairman of the Railway Heritage Committee presents the painting Kyles of Bute by Alasdair MacFarlane, on behalf of owner BRB (Residuary) Ltd to Sam Galbraith, chairman of trustees a ...
Scottish Maritime Museum 08/04/2010

Some preliminary info on the forthcoming North Briton railtour
supplied by Brian Forbes –
updates will be added as and when available...

Sat 12 April
d Kings Cross 0648 to York (loco 60019)
d York 1346 to Edinburgh (loco 71000)

Sun 13 April
tba Edinburgh/Perth/Dundee/Perth (loco 60009)
Perth to Inverness (locos 60009 & 45407)

Mon 14 April
d Inverness 0625 to Kyle (loco 45407)

Tue 15 April
d Inverness 0900 to Perth (locos 45407 & 60009)
d Perth 1300 to Glasgow Central (loco 60009)

Wed 16 April
d Glasgow C 0620 to KX (via WCML) (loco 71000)

(Permalink) Kyle Line

Network Rail is warning that will take more than a week to clear debris from a track in the Highlands. Heavy rain on Wednesday caused five separate landslips along a 20-mile (32km) stretch of track between Strathcarron and Achnasheen.
(Permalink) Achnasheen Kyle Line Landslide Network Rail Strathcarron

Achnasheen: Achnasheen station, during a stop by the LCGB weekend 'Skyewayman' railtour from Euston to Kyle of Lochalsh (that travelled overnight from London to Inverness), in April 1974. The 19th of August 2020 ...
David Bosher 06/04/1974

Achnasheen: K1 No.62005 heads * The Great Britain X * to Kyle of Lochalsh.Pictured approaching Achnasheen.The peaks in the background are Sgurr a'Choire-Rainich 848M and Sgurr a'Ghlas Leathaid 844M.
John Gray 06/05/2017

Achnasheen: The 'Highlands & Islands Explorer' approaching Achnasheen, hauled by 61306 'Mayflower' on 12th May 2019. In the background, the River Bran, the ruins of Camashie and the peak is Sgurr a' Choire-rainic ...
John Gray 12/05/2019

An investigation is launched after an Inverness to Kyle train hits a car on a level crossing at Dingwall. The incident happened at the crossing on the A862 Newton Road, Dingwall, at about 1130 GMT on Tuesday.
(Permalink) Crash Dingwall Dingwall and Skye Railway Kyle Line Level crossing


Both the Kyle and Dumfries to Carlisle lines have re-opened following the severe weather a week ago.
(Permalink) Kyle Line

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 Rail Partnership was formed in 1997 to promote development of the Highland rail network for passenger, freight and heritage business. Successes have included winter Sunday trains to Wick and Kyle, an extended season for summer weekend trains to Oban and Mallaig, reopening of Beauly Station, the Safeway Flier to Inverness and Georgemas, return of oil deliveries to rail at Fort William and Lairg, lineside timber-loading at Kinbrace and 'The Jacobite' which is Britain's only daily mainline steam operation.
(Permalink) Frank Roach Highland Rail Partnership Kyle Line West Highland Lines

A memorial seat to Frank Spaven was unveiled at Inverness Station prior to a meeting of the Highland Rail Partnership. Frank Spaven was the first head of planning at the Highlands and Islands Development Board and was instrumental in the saving of the Far North and Kyle lines from Inverness.
(Permalink) Frank Spaven Kyle Line

Michael Peason's latest book in the "Iron Road" series has been launched. This volume covers the lines from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso and Wick.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line New Book

The railway bridge over Shore Road in Inverness was damaged and track slewed at 0600 on the 4th by an excavator on the back of a truck. Shore Road runs down the east side of the River Ness. The Inverness to Kyle and Inverness to Thurso and Wick lines were closed between Dingwall and Inverness, buses operating between Dingwall and Inverness.
(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line

ScotRail's summer timetable (2 June to 28 September) is now available. It is available in two books; ScotRail services and connections excluding Strathclyde, ScotRail services covering Strathclyde.

The following routes continue to see a reduced timetable while a backlog of driver training is made up in the aftermath of the dispute :

Edinburgh-Glasgow (half-hourly plus extras in peak hours)

Glasgow North Bank (evening timetable)

Argyle Line (no services to Coatbridge Central)

Maryhill (hourly)

Barrhead (locals hourly)

West Calder (two Edinburgh-Glasgow trains each way don't run east of Shotts, there are no weekday terminators from Edinburgh)

Cowdenbeath (hourly daytime terminators suspended)

There are the following innovations :

Edinburgh Crossrail with new stations at Brunstane and Newcraighall - runs across Edinburgh from Bathgate to Newcraighall to Dunblane

Full Class 322 timetable to North Berwick with twice-daily services each way from/to Glasgow Central High Level

Additional services at 0809 from Prestonpans and 0737 from West Calder to Edinburgh

Sunday evening service to/from East Kilbride extended to weekday last train times

Far North/Kyle Sunday trains retimed to improve connections

Other Train Operating Company changes effecting Scotland include :

GNER 1900 Kings Cross-Edinburgh terminates Newcastle FX and 2300 Edinburgh-Newcastle withdrawn. Kings Cross-Glasgow services stepped back to allow longer turnround time, some call additionally at Haymarket

Arriva Trains Northern reinstate 0947 Leeds-Glasgow and 1410 return

(Permalink) Barrhead Brunstane Cowdenbeath East Kilbride Far North Line Kyle Line Maryhill Newcraighall ScotRail

A mudslide on the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness line blocks the line and damages a train. The section between Strathcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh has been closed while Railtrack plan a new causeway to circumvent the danger. A replacement bus service is operating.
(Permalink) Kyle Line Railtrack landslide mudslide

Work to build a new £200,000 Beauly station begins. The station will be served by trains from Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso and Wick to Inverness. Journey time to Inverness will be 15 minutes. The station facilities will include a 15 metre long single platform (allowing access for disabled passengers and cyclists), a shelter, car park, lighting and public telephone access to train running information. The station will be built by Glasgow based First Engineering.

(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line

The Strategic Rail Authority announced a £84k award of Rail Passenger Partnership funding to Highland Rail Developments towards the £200k cost of reopening Beauly Station (which closed 13 June 1960) from the start of the winter 20001/2 timetable as a very short platform alongside which the two centre doors of a Class 158 will open.

Chris Austin of the SRA and Charles Kennedy MP were photographed afterwards standing on the old platform with the 1152 Kyle of Lochalsh to Edinburgh posing alongside them.

(Permalink) Far North Line Kyle Line

An exhibition of the Far North and Kyle lines on the SCAN (Scottish Archive Network) website. Photographs by National Railway Museum photographers and text.
(Permalink) Kyle Line

KML version