THE Highland Railway does not reach Perth, as generally-
Railway cartographers -
And so, like the outline of a dissected puzzle, it swings westward to Dalnaspidal, eastward to Aviemore, westward to Beauly, eastward to Fearn, westward to Lairg, eastward to Golspie on the coast, then up the coast and westward to Forsinard and northward to Georgemas, our most northerly junction, where it branches south-
It began with the Inverness & Nairn, fifteen miles long, which opened in November 1855, and became in 1861 the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction by amalgamation with the then three-
Meanwhile the lines were being pushed northwards. The Ross-
EXPRESS PASSENGER ENGINE NO. 61, “BEN” CLASS.
The Highland has always had good engines, well kept and smart as though their drivers took a pride in them. There is no mistaking them in their green livery, without referring to their Gaelic names which look so alarming and sound so sonorous. The first locomotive superintendent was William Barclay; he, after ten years of office and an interval, was followed by William Stroudley, who came from Cowlairs, where he received the yellow inspiration he took on to the Brighton.
To him was due the invention of the snow-
COMPOSITE CORRIDOR SLEEPING CARRIAGE NO. 8.
Stroudley was succeeded by David Jones, who had been in the company’s works from the beginning when it possessed but a couple of engines, five coaches (in good condition as they always have been), and just six-
THE HIGHEST SUMMIT LEVEL IN BRITAIN, 1484 FT. BETWEEN DALNASPIDAL AND DALWHINNIE.
Though the passenger expresses between Perth and Inverness are drawn by the Castle class of 4-
Just as the Beattock bank made the Caledonian engines good from the first, so have the curves and gradients of the Highland had their effect. Power had to be had, sometimes at both ends, as even in these days, to get the trains along its undulating track.
From Perth you go north through the picturesque to the desolate. Perth is a joint station belonging to the Caledonian, with the Highland and North British as junior partners, and it has long been proverbial for its exhibitions of rolling stock. Your train is the harlequin, so called from its being made up of patches of through coaches and vans from every line of importance, Scottish and otherwise.
Up through Perthshire you go with its beautiful woods and hillsides; past Dunkeld with its larches, the first planted in Scotland and that as far back as 1738; over Dalguise Bridge across the Tay; through Pitlochry and the Killiecrankie Pass, over a curving, ten-
From Aviemore the old roundabout route will take you past Boat of Garten, the western outpost of the Great North, and up by steep gradients to the Knock of Brae Moray and down again to Dava. Then you speed over the Divie Bridge, which, like so many of the other viaducts, begins and ends with battlemented towers, and down to Dunphail, and on to Forres through the mighty cutting and along the embankment that is just 77 ft high. Farther north, if you would see the scenery of the west, the sternest and wildest of Caledonia, you go off the main line at Dingwall, and begin by climbing the Raven’s Rock for four miles at 1 in 50 before you get really going on your way to Strome Ferry and beyond.
BRIDGES AT STRUAN STATION.
From Inverness on your northward way you continue going west for a time over the Ness Bridge and the swing bridge across the Caledonian canal, skirting the three firths -
STATION AND PIER, KYLE OF LOCHALSH.
[From Our Home Railways by W J Gordon, published 1910]