TS18: 80 Highland Miles
Just Trains’ Kyle Line is coming soon, and with it over 80 miles worth of stunning Scottish Highland scenery!
Today, we’re going to run through some of the key stations along the Kyle Line, starting from the concourse of Inverness Station.
Serving the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness Station sees on average 1.2 million passengers per year and is the starting point for travellers bound for lands afar, with 4 trains a day departing on the 83-mile journey to Kyle of Lochalsh.
The first intermediate station along the route, Beauly, is on record for having the shortest station platform in Britain – short enough for only one coach and typically only one set of doors to be opened. Despite this, it still clocks in well over 50’000 passengers a year.
Muir of Ord
By stark contrast to Beauly, Muir of Ord station features much longer platforms and is the first point where a passing loop resides, allowing services to cross on this mostly single-track line. Originally built as a junction station for a now-lost branch line, it has seen declining numbers over the years.
Originally opened in 1862, and closed in 1960, Conon Bridge station was brought back to the line in 2013 as a ‘major’ investment between ScotRail, Network Rail, and the Highland Council. It quickly picked up the pace with around 15’000 a year using the newly rebuilt, Beauly-like station.
Considered as the official beginning of the Kyle Line, Dingwall station is where services for the Far North Line, upon which we have technically been travelling so far, go their separate ways. This station acts as another passing loop and sees around 80’000 passengers a year.
At Garve station, the first along the Kyle Line, another passing loop is present, one of three between Dingwall and Kyle of Lochalsh. From here on, plenty of stations see very limited annual usage, with the railway being the only access some people have to the rest of the country.
Skipping to the next station of significant usage, Strathcarron, is by chance where the next passing loop was built. It serves two villages within the Highlands to the tune of an average 8000 passengers a year, and is 45 miles from Dingwall station, 65 from Inverness.
Originally a private railway station, Duncraig serves only the local castle and is, like many stations along the line, a request stop. It is notable for being closed in 1964, with drivers refusing to acknowledge the closure, continuing to call at the halt for 11 years before it was officially re-opened.
Kyle of Lochalsh
Proving the line is travelled end-to-end, typically for the scenic views en route, Kyle of Lochalsh sees in excess of 60’000 people per year visit by rail. The station, which dates back to 1897, was once a key link to Skye via a ferry connection, although this has since been superseded by a road bridge.
All these stunning locations, and more, will be available to explore with Just Trains’ Kyle Line, which covers the sprawling 83-mile route from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. Atop all that, multiple Highland reskins for the Class 37 are included to make the experience as authentic as possible!