The lines we did, Perth -Inverness

The lines we did, the Highland Line-Perth-Inverness

Intro

My first trip on the Highland line was back in July 1958 but unfortunately being 10 months old i have no idea of the power! Having family in Inverness allowed frequent visits, free board! and a good few “Freedoms” based in Inverness.

The scenery continues to impress and with the sleeper you get the delights of waking up at Dalwhinnie or wherever, a world apart from Euston and i continue to do the Highland line a few times each year.

A few failures, railtours, farces too all hopefully detailed below. There is still the air of the unexpected with unreliable 73s currently on the sleeper so i can hopefully build on my loco tally a bit more.

Failures

47193 – August 2nd 1975 –

47193 one of Crewe’s finest had worked the 13 coach Clansman North from Mossend and arrived Inverness about 10 down. As I approached the loco on the platform smoke started billowing from the 47’s bogies and through the top. The driver quickly pulled the fire switch and the smoke quickly vanished.

40123 – September 1st 1977 –

40123 had put in a characteristically noisy run North on the 1740 Edinburgh – Inverness. We were checked at Tomatin for an up train. On departure the loco thrash was suddenly silenced by a loud bang. A few attempts at a restart failed and about 50 minutes later 26013 arrived from Inverness to haul us into Inverness well late.

47419 – May 29th 1982 –

The down “Internal Overnight” was already well late after 47149 had failed at Larbert with the Glasgow – Inverness portion, 37096 assisting to Perth. 47419 on the combined train then failed at milepost 34 South of Blair Athol.  After a long, long delay 27037 took us forward to Blair Athol before returning to its up van train. 27111 and 27038 then arrived from the North and worked us forward several hours down.

47467 – January 18th 1989 –

47467 was low on power at Pitlochry on the up “Internal Overnight”  after a short delay 47641 assisted forward.

47790 – October 25th 1997

47790 on the down “Royal Highlander” overnight sleeper slipped to a stand on frosty rails at Struan North of Blair Athol. After a long delay 47773 arrived from Perth to bank us to Dalwhinnie from where 47790 went forward unassisted.

47733 – July 24th 2001

47733 on the down “Royal Highlander” overnight sleeper failed at Dunkeld with the driver getting out and kicking the loco after a restart failed! 47758 arrived from Perth to take us forward well late.

Other Highland line bits

5330}   1720 Glasgow QS – Inverness August 71

5333}

I was recently reminded of this first solo Highland line trip. I had travelled solo aged just 13 from Leighton Buzzard including a taxi from Glasgow Central to Queen St. I was dressed in my rancid Sunday best brown suit and with a fiver pinned in my top pocket for emergencies!

47476 Feb 76

A rare for me daylight Winter Highland line run with 47476 battling through thick snow from Carrbridge to Dunkeld, wonderful sights and sounds

40050  Sep 77

On a weeks Freedom me and a mate sampled 40050 in full song from Perth to Inverness on Sep 7th and Sep 9th 1977. On Sep 10th on 40050 on the 0815 Inverness – Glasgow we all bellowed over Scholdt with a damn good flail at the “German Soldier’s Helmet” rock formation just South of the summit too. The unique rock formation survives today and still gets a wave on passing

37287 and 47096 Jan 27th 1985

The snow was very thick and the wind was causing severe drifting over Drumochter. We were checked at Aviemore waiting for the independant plough to clear the lines. 37287 and 47096 were uncoupled and moved forward to top up 47096’s strong boiler before we departed 2 hours down.

Over Drumochter we crossed the down Highland Chieftain tram with a 26 piloting it! 26006 was on Inverness spare the next morning and it is highly likely this was the HST pilot that stormy Sunday night

 My Highland line loco haulages full list

5330}  Queen St-Inverness                             1725 Glasgow – Inverness                  -/8/71

5333}                                                                                                                          -/8/71

5340}  Inverness-Perth                                   0820 Inverness – Edinburgh                1/8/72

5344}                                                                                                                          1/8/72

2 days earlier on July 30th 1972 5330 and 5344 arrive at Inverness with the down “Royal Highlander” from Euston

5116}  Perth-Inverness                                   1725 Glasgow – Inverness                  1/8/72

5333}                                                                                                                          1/8/72

5344}  Inverness-Waverly                              0820 Inverness – Edinburgh                4/8/72

5333}                                                                                                                          4/8/72

24130}   Queen St-Inverness                        1735 Glasgow – Inverness                   31/7/75

26033}                                                                                                                                   

47193#            Perth-Inverness                       0940 Euston-Inverness                       2/8/75

#          caught fire on arrival at Inverness

26021}            Inverness-Queen St                  2345 Inverness-Glasgow                    3/8/75

27011}                                                                                                                                   

40061  Perth-Inverness                                   1735 Glasgow – Inverness                  4/8/75

24116}     Queen St-Inverness                        1735 Glasgow – Inverness                  6/8/75

26012}                                                                                                                                   

24113}            Inverness-Queen St                  1635 Inverness – Glasgow                  7/8/75

26014}                                                                                                                                   

26025}        Queen St-Inverness                      1735 Glasgow – Inverness                  9/8/75

26011}                                                                                                                                   

40115  Inverness-Eastfield                             1215 Inverness – Glasgow                  13/8/75

47467  Moss End-Inverness                           0940 Euston-Inverness                       29/1/76

Probably off a Highland line working, 40063 whistles into Lochgorm depot on January 31st 1976

47467  Inverness-Moss End                           1030 Inverness-Euston                       4/2/76

40123#  Perth-Tomatin                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  1/9/77

#          failed on full power with a loud bang.          

26013  Tomatin-Inverness                              1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  1/9/77

25078}   Inverness-Perth                                   0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    3/9/77

25233}                                                                                                                                   

26031}    Haymarket-Inverness                          1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  3/9/77

26034}                                                                                                                                    25227}     Inverness-Perth                                2345 Inverness-Glasgow/Edinburgh  4/9/77

25241}                                                                                                                                   

26028}            Waverly-Inverness                      2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  6/9/77

25076}                                                                                                                                   

40050  Perth-Inverness                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  7/9/77

47427  Inverness-Perth                                   1030 Inverness-Euston                       8/9/77

40050  Perth-Inverness                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  8/9/77

47516  Inverness-Moss End                           1030 Inverness-Euston                       9/9/77

40167  Perth-Inverness                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  9/9/77

40050  Inverness-Perth                                   0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    10/9/77

26012}    Perth-Inverness                                1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  10/9/77

26043}                                                                                                                                    40167  Inverness-Edinburgh                          2345 Inverness-Edinburgh/Glasgow  11/9/77

47274  Perth-Inverness                                   2320 Glasgow/Edinburgh-Inverness  13/9/77

47141  Inverness-Aviemore                            0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    25/9/80

40081  Aviemore-Newtonmore                      0945 Inverness-Edinburgh                  25/9/80

47104  Newtonmore-Aviemore                      0905 Glasgow-Inverness                    25/9/80

47544  Aviemore-Inverness                            0945 Edinburgh-Inverness                  25/9/80

47544  Inverness-Kingussie                            1642 Inverness-Edinburgh                  25/9/80

40081  Kingussie-Aviemore                           1525 Edinburgh-Inverness                  25/9/80

47472  Aviemore-Inverness                            0935 Euston-Inverness                       25/9/80

40165  Inverness-Aviemore                            0945 Inverness-Edinburgh                  26/9/80

47550  Aviemore-Kingussie                           1040 Inverness-Euston                       26/9/80

47011  Kingussie-Aviemore                           0905 Glasgow-Inverness                    26/9/80

47210  Aviemore-Inverness                            0945 Edinburgh-Inverness                  26/9/80

47467  Perth-Inverness                                   0935 Euston-Inverness                       29/5/81

47053  Inverness-Perth                                   0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    1/6/81

47419#  Edinburgh-Blair Athol (m/p 34) 2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness 28/5/82

#          failed here

27037  m/p 34-Blair Athol                              2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  29/5/82

27111}            Blair Athol-Inverness              2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  29/5/82

27038}                                                                                                                                   

47403  Inverness-Aviemore                            1430 Inverness-Glasgow                    29/5/82

47546  Aviemore-Inverness                            1322 Edinburgh-Inverness                  29/5/82

47570  Kircaldy-Dunkeld                               1710 Edinburgh-Inverness                  30/5/82

37035}   Dunkeld-Perth                                 1745 Inverness-Edinburgh                  30/5/82

47434}    

                                                                     

37035 piloting 47434 arrives at Dunkeld with the 1745 Inverness – Edinburgh on May 30th 1982

47109  Perth-Inverness                                 2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  1/6/82

47160  Inverness-Perth                                   1430 Inverness-Glasgow                    1/6/82

47570  Larbert-Inverness                                1735 Glasgow-Inverness                    2/6/82

26023}Inverness-Stirling                              0830 Inverness-Edinburgh                  3/6/82

26027}                                                                                                                                 

The late Tony Ewer catches 26023 and 26027 prior to departure with the 0830 Inverness – Edinburgh after a 47 had blown up on an earlier diagram on June 3rd 1982

47469  Stirling-Inverness                                2310 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  2/8/83

47416  Inverness-Perth                                   1430 Inverness-Glasgow                    2/8/83

47595  Perth-Inverness                                   2310 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  10/4/84

47467  Inverness-Perth                                   1030 Inverness-Euston                       10/4/84

26003}  Edinburgh-Inverness “Grampian Highlander” 2130 St.Pancras-In’ess RT 17/11/84

26007}      

26003 and 26007 an xos duo swing onto the Mighty Culloden viaduct with the epic RESL Grampian Highlander tour on November 17th 1984

                                                                                                                              47096  Perth-Inverness                                   2325 Edinburgh-Inverness                  27/1/85

37287#} Inverness-Perth                                1700 Inverness-Edinburgh                  27/1/85

47096#}                                                                                                                                 

#          delayed 2 hrs at Aviemore awaiting snow plough to clear Drumochter

47546  Perth-Inverness                                   2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  29/1/85

47469  Inverness-Blair Athol                          2350 Inverness-Glasgow/Edinburgh  29/1/85

47610  Blair Athol-Inverness                          2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  30/1/85

47467  Inverness-Queen St                             1220 Inverness-Glasgow                    30/1/85

26041} Edinburgh-Inverness “Sutherland Highlander” 1710 Cardiff-Thurso RT     4/5/85

26032} 

                                                                                                                                   26032}  Inverness-Edinburgh “Sutherland Highlander” 1225 Thurso-Cardiff RT 4/5/85      26041}                                                                                                                              47614  Perth-Inverness                  2330 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  12/12/85

47006  Perth-Inverness                      1803 Glasgow-Inverness                    20/6/86

47473  Inverness-Stirling                                1650 Inverness-Glasgow                    22/6/86

47470  Moss End-Inverness                           2055 Euston-Inverness                       18/9/87

47640  Inverness-Moss End                           1930 Inverness-Euston                       27/9/87

47644  Perth-Inverness                                   2325 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  14/1/89

47643  Inverness-Queen St                             1625 Inverness-Glasgow                    14/1/89

47570  Inverness-Aviemore                            1935 Inverness-Euston                       16/1/89

47622  Aviemore-Inverness                            1803 Glasgow-Inverness                    16/1/89

47546  Inverness-Queen St                             2340 Inverness-Edinburgh/Glasgow  16/1/89

47563  Perth-Blair Athol                                2325 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  18/1/89

47467  Blair Athol-Perth                                2340 Inverness-Edinburgh/Glasgow  18/1/89

47641# Pitlochry-Queen St                            2340 Inverness-Edinburgh/Glasgow  18/1/89

#          assisted due low power on 47467      

47470  Waverly-Inverness                              2325 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  18/1/89

47644  Inverness-Queen St                             0655 Inverness-Glasgow                    19/1/89

47704  Carstairs-Inverness                              2205 Euston-Inverness                       20/6/90

47643  Carstairs-Inverness                              2110 Euston-Inverness                       17/1/91

47518  Inverness-Waverly                              1010 Inverness-Euston                       18/1/91

37285}    Waverly-Inverness                           1440 Edinburgh-Inverness                  17/8/92

37251}                                                                                                                                   

37221  Inverness-Haymarket                          1015 Inverness-Edinburgh                  20/8/92

37510}   Waverly-Inverness                              2055 Euston-Inverness                       16/8/93

37113}                                                                                                                                   

37113}    Inverness-Waverly                              2020 Inverness-Euston                     19/8/93

37510}                                                                                                                                   

37683}      Carstairs-Inverness                          2130 Euston-Inverness                     18/8/94

37685}  

                                                                                                                                 

The magic of the Sleeper, 37683 and 37685 climbing into the hills near Struan with 1S25 on August 18th 1994

37427  Inverness-Aviemore                            1015 Inverness-Edinburgh                  24/8/94

37262  Inverness-Aviemore                            1015 Inverness-Edinburgh                  25/8/94

Ex “Stratford rubbish” in 37262 at Inverness with the 1015 to Edinburgh on August 25th 1994

37088  Aviemore-Inverness                            0925 Edinburgh-Inverness                  25/8/94

37184  Inverness-Aviemore                            1015 Inverness-Edinburgh                  26/8/94

37184  Inverness-Waverly                              1015 Inverness-Edinburgh                  27/8/94

37685}     Waverly -Inverness                         2130 Euston-Inverness                       19/4/95

37240}                                                                                                                                   

47763  Waverly -Inverness                             2130 Euston-Inverness                       16/5/96

47791  Waverly -Inverness                             2130 Euston-Inverness                       27/3/97

47790  Inverness- Waverly                             2020 Inverness-Euston                       30/3/97

47790#            Waverly -Inverness                 2130 Euston-Inverness                       25/10/97

#          slipped to stand at Struan (frost)

47773  Struan-Dalwhinnie                            2130 Euston-Inverness                       25/10/97

47790  Inverness-Waverly                              2020 Inverness-Euston                       26/10/97

47790  Waverly-Inverness                              2130 Euston-Inverness                       8/4/98

47767  Inverness-Waverly                              2020 Inverness-Euston                       12/4/98

47565#} Waverly-Inverness                           2130 Euston-Inverness                       29/10/98

47756#}                                                                                                                                 

# pilot due leaf fall

47565#} Inverness-Waverly                           2020 Inverness-Euston                       1/11/98

47756#}                                                                                                                                 

47634  Waverly-Inverness                              2110 Euston-Inverness                       5/4/99

47634  Inverness-Waverly                              2020 Inverness-Euston                       11/4/99

47773  Waverly-Inverness                              2130 Euston-Inverness                       20/4/00

47764  Inverness-Waverly                              2020 Inverness-Euston                       23/4/00

47733  Waverly-Dunkeld (fail)                       2105 Euston-Inverness                       24/7/01

47758}            Dunkeld-Inverness                 2105 Euston-Inverness                       24/7/01

47733(d)}

After 47733 failed at Dunkeld, 47758 assisted the Euston – Inverness sleeper forward seen here on at the blocks on July 24th 2001

47791}            Inverness-Waverly                   2040 Inverness-Euston                       25/7/01

47733(d)}

67003  Waverly-Inverness                              2105 Euston-Inverness                       8/4/03

67010  Inverness-Waverly                              2040 Inverness-Euston                       10/4/03

67025  Waverly-Inverness                              2105 Euston-Inverness                       25/2/04

67015    Inverness-Waverly                            2040 Inverness-Euston                       26/2/04

67024    Waverly-Inverness                            2030 Euston-Inverness                       2/8/04

67008    Inverness-Waverly                            2040 Inverness-Euston                       6/8/04             

67007    Waverly-Inverness                            2115 Euston-Inverness                       01/3/05

67008  Inverness-Waverly                              2040 Inverness-Euston                       03/3/05

67009    Waverly-Inverness                            2115 Euston-Inverness                       28/2/06

67014     Inverness-Waverly                           2040 Inverness-Euston                       03/3/06

67015    Waverly-Inverness                            2115 Euston-Inverness                       15/8/06

67004   Inverness-Waverly                             2040 Inverness-Euston                       17/8/06

67012    Waverly-Inverness                            2013 Euston-Inverness                       27/2/07

67012    Inverness-Waverly                            2040 Inverness-Euston                       1/3/07

40145  Linlithgow-Georgemas Jn                   2159 Linlithgow-Thurso Railtour       23/6/07

40145 rests at Perth before tackiling the Highaland and Far North lines overnight on June 23rd/24th 2007

67009     Inverness-Waverly                           2040 Inverness-Euston                       26/6/07

67030  Waverly-Inverness                              2115 (23/01) Euston – Inverness         24/1/08

67011  Waverly – Inverness                         2115 (18/2) Euston -Inverness            19/02/08

67011  Inverness – Waverly                          2040 (22/2) Inverness-Euston             22/02/08

67007  Waverly – Inverness                          2115 (21/7)  Euston – Inverness          22/07/08

67007  Inverness – Waverly                            2038 Inverness – Euston                     25/07/08

67009  Waverly-Inverness                            2115 (22/1) Euston – Inverness           22/01/09

67030  Inverness-Waverly                              2038 Inverness-Euston                       23/01/09

67011  Waverly-Inverness                              2115 (09/3) Euston-Inverness             10/3/09

67011  Inverness-Waverly                              2038 Inverness-Euston                       12/3/09

67009  Waverly – Inverness                          2116 (18/1) Euston-Inverness             19/01/10

67011  Inverness-Waverly                              2046 Inverness-Euston                       22/01/10

67007  Inverness-Waverly                              2046 Inverness-Euston                       20/01/11

67007  Waverly-Inverness                             2115 (14/2) Euston-Inverness             15/02/11

67007  Inverness-Waverly                              2046 Inverness-Euston                       17/02/11

67030  Waverly-Inverness                             2055(10/7) Euston-Inverness              11/07/11

67004  Inverness-Waverly                        2046 Inverness-Euston        14/07/01                     

67030  Inverness-Waverly                              2046 Inverness-Euston                       16/11/11

67024  Waverly-Inverness                              2115(16/1) Euston-Inverness              17/1/12

67024  Inverness-Waverly                              2047 Inverness-Euston                       19/1/12

67011  Waverly-Inverness                           2115(24/4) Euston-Inverness              25/04/12

67027  Inverness-Waverly                              2044 Inverness-Euston                       24/01/13

67004  Waverly-Inverness                            2115 (9/10) Euston – Inverness           10/10/13

67030  Inverness-Waverly                            2044 Inverness-Euston                       15/10/13  

67004  Waverly – Inverness                            2115 (15/1) Euston – Inverness          16/1/14

67009  Inverness – Waverly                            2044 Inverness – Euston                     20/1/14

67011  Edinburgh – Inverness                         2115 (5/3) Euston – Inverness             6/3/14

37259}   Crewe – Kyle            1Z50 0140 Crewe – Kyle “Lochalsh Highlander” RT  25/4/14

37423}

37423}   Kyle – Crewe           1Z51 1608 Kyle – Crewe Rtn Railtour                         25/4/14     37259}

67028  Waverly – Inverness                               2057(18/1) Euston – Inverness         19/1/15

67015  Waverly – Inverness                               2116 (2/3) Euston – Inverness          3/3/15  67007}  Waverly – Inverness                          2116 (21/10) Euston – Inverness   22/10/15      67011}

67007}   Aviemore – Inverness                       2116 (23/10) Euston – Inverness         24/10/15

67011}

67015  Waverly – Inverness                        2057 (28/2) Euston – Inverness           29/02/16

67012  Waverly – Inverness                  1S25 2028 (1/5) Euston- Inverness               2/5/16

67012  Inverness – Waverly                  1M16  2044 (2/5) Inverness – Euston           2/5/16

66733}   Waverley – Inverness             1S25 2057 (8/1) Euston – Inverness              9/1/17 

73971(idling)}

66740 and 73966 at Inverness with 1S25 on January 12th 2017

67013  Waverley – Inverness              1S25 2115 (14/3) Euston – Inverness             15/3/17 

67020  Waverly – Inverness                1S25 2057(6/8) Euston -Inverness                  7/8/17

67020     Inverness – Waverly             1M16 2044 Inverness – Euston                       9/8/17

67007    Waverly – Inverness              1S25 2057(3/12) Euston -Inverness                4/12/17

67007    Inverness – Waverly              1M16 2044 Inverness – Euston                       5/12/17

Open Mk III doors on the up sleeper at a mild Inverness with 67007 powering on December 5th 2017

67018    Waverly – Inverness              1S25 2057 (14/1) Euston – Inverness              15/1/18

67007  Waverly – Inverness                1S25 2057 (4/3) Euston – Inverness                5/3/18

67007    Inverness – Waverly              1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       6/3/18

67030    Inverness – Waverly              1M16 2026 Inverness – Euston                       6/5/18

67005    Waverly – Inverness              1S25 2026 (3/6) Euston – Inverness                4/6/18

67030  Inverness – Waverly                1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       6/6/18

67007  Waverly – Inverness                1S25 2057(6/1) Euston – Inverness                 7/1/19

67007  Inverness – Waverly             1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston          10/1/19                                    

67007  Waverly – Inverness                1S25  2057(3/3)  Euston – Inverness               4/3/19

67007  Inverness – Waverly                1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       5/3/19             

67007  Waverly – Inverness                1S25 2026(28/4) Euston – Inverness                29/4/19

67007  Inverness – Waverly                1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       30/4/19

67002  Waverly – Inverness                1S25 2057 (1/9) Euston – Inverness                2/9/19                         

67002  Inverness – Waverly                1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       4/9/19                                     

73969}  Waverly – Inverness              1S25 2057 (2/2) Euston – Inverness                3/2/20

73970}

73969 and 73970 at Inverness after working the 2057 “Caledonian Sleeper” from Euston on February 3rd 2020

73970}  Inverness – Waverly              1M16 2045 Inverness – Euston                       7/2/20

73969}

66727} Waverly – Inverness               1S25 2115 (15/3) Euston – Inverness              16/3/20

73966}

66727}  Inverness – Waverly              1M16 2044 Inverness – Euston                       17/3/20

73966}

66738} Waverly – Inverness               1S25 2115 (29/6) Euston – Inverness              30/6/21

73971}

The train crew are in deep discussion as 66738 and 93971 rest after working the 2115 “Caledonian Sleeper” from Euston on June 30th 2021

66743} Inverness – Waverly               1M16 2026 Inverness – Euston                       4/7/21 

73971}

Highland power – my list

24113/116/130                                                               3

25076/078/227/233/241                                               5

26003/007/011/012/013/014/021/023/025/027/028/030/031/032/033/034/040/041/043/044                                                                         20

27011/037/038/111                                                       4

37035/088/113/184/221/240/251/259/262/285/287                                                                11

37510/683/685                                                              3

37423/427                                                                 2

40050/061/081/115/123/145/165/167                        8

47006/011/053/096/104/109/141/160/193/274                                                                       10

47403/416/419/427/434/467/469/470/472/473/516/518/544/546/550//563/565/570/595/610/614/622/634/640/641/643/644                     26                                                      

47704/733/756/758/763/764/773/790/791                  9

66727/733/738/743                                                        4

67002/3/4/5/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/18/20/24/25/27/28/30  ..                                          …………………………………………………………………………20

73966/969/970/971                                                         4

TOTAL         129                                                                                                                     

The lines we did, the Highland Line-Perth-Inverness,  the Stations and much more!

History

The 118 mile Highland line between Perth and Inverness via Aviemore and Carrbridge was opened as a through route in 1898. This scenic line climbs high into the Cairngorm mountains with signposted summits at Drumochter (1484 ft) and Schodt (1315ft). There are numerous spectacular viaducts with perhaps the Findhorn viaduct (nr Tomatin) and Culloden the longest/highest.

The bleak, wild snow covered Drumochter on January 30th 1985

Slochd summit from a passing train on April 25th 2014

As far as Aviemore the line was largely double track but the 1960’s route rationalisation saw the line largely singled throughout. The 8 mile Aberfeldy branch from Ballanluig closed in May 65, the much longer Aviemore – Granton – Keith Jn branch closed on October 1965.

Stations

Today there are 10 surviving stations about half still staffed. From Perth Northward they are Dunkeld,  Pitlochry, Blair Athol,  Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore, Carrbridge and Inverness.

Until May 65 there were loads of now closed stations serving small communities, the platforms like those at Daviot still survive. The long closed 16 stations Northwards from Perth include:

Luncarty (closed June 1951), Strathord (closed April 1931), Stanley (closed June 1956), Murthly (closed May 1965), Dalguise (closed May 1965), Guay (closed August 1959),Ballinluig (Jn for Aberfeldy branch, (closed May 1965), Killiecrankie (closed May 1965), Struan (closed May 1965), Dalanraoch (closed May 1965), Dalnaspidal (closed May 1965), Kincraig (closed May 1965), Aviemore – Keith Jn branch (closed Oct 1965),Tomatin (closed May 1965), Moy (closed May 1965), Daviot (closed May 1965) and Culloden Moor ((closed May 1965).

Highland power

Class 24’s/26’s often in pairs or in mixed pairs started Highland Line operation in 1960/1961 replacing Black 5’s. By the early 70’s and especially with the introduction of the Euston – Inverness “Clansman” in May 1974 saw class 47s become more common on the Clansman and overnight Euston services. From 1975 class 40s became regular performers and occasions pairs of class 25’s and 27’s worked passenger turns too once the 24s had gone in 1976.

40050 personally has sharp Highland memories as we sampled her on the full length of the Highland line 3 times in early Sep 1977

40050  Perth-Inverness                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  7/9/77

40050  Perth-Inverness                                   1740 Edinburgh-Inverness                  8/9/77

40050  Inverness-Perth                                   0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    10/9/77

Bringing back the memories of the late 70’s, 40145 at Perth with a SRPS tour from Linlithgow to Thurso on June 22nd 2007

Class 26’s in pairs and a few pairs of 27s continued on occasions through much of the 80’s. Class 37s became regular passenger power singly by day and in pairs by night from 1989-1994 too.

Sprinters and HSTs replaced loco hauled daytime Highland line services from 1995 leaving just the Sleeper to and from Euston which became solid 47 hauled from 1996. Class 67’s then worked the Sleeper from 2003-2019, then 66’s and 73’s or pairs of 73 if available. So the Highland still has some interesting passenger power, long may it continue!

Improvements

By the late 70s North Sea oil related freight traffic on the Highland line and passenger traffic had grown considerably and delays due lengthy single line selections became a real problem. Compared with the monumental cost of improving the parallel A9 to trunk road status the improvements have seen some resignalling and eventual reinstatement of 23 miles of double track from Blair Athol to Dalwhinnie.

Shack scratching

Getting the Highland line shacks in first started for me in 1972. By 2012 with Carrbridge finally scratched it just leaves Pitlochry for me to get in.    

5116}  Perth-Inverness                                  1725 Glasgow – Inverness                  1/8/72

5333}

47570  Kircaldy-Dunkeld                             1710 Edinburgh-Inverness                  30/5/82

37035}  Dunkeld-Perth                              1745 Inverness-Edinburgh                 

47434}           

37035 and 47434 arrive at Dunkeld with the 1745 Inverness – Edinburgh on May 30th 1982

Pitlochary station – visited during a car move in April 99, a proper move is planned!

47469  Inverness-Blair Athol                         2350 Inverness-Glasgow/Edinburgh  29/1/85

47610  Blair Athol-Inverness                         2305 Edinburgh/Glasgow-Inverness  30/1/85

The classic (rancid) 2am leap at Blair Athol off the Internal overnight along with sleeper attendants and other train crew.                                                                                                                          

170406 Inverness – Dalwhinnie                     0918 Inverness – Glasgow 22/1/09

170393 Dalwhinnie – Aviemore                    1011 Glasgow – Inverness 22/1/09

Did a bit of lochside walking then due late running, sheltered from the snow in the atmospheric brick bothy at Dawhinnie station

67015 at a wintry Dalwhinnie with the 2115 Euston – Inverness “Caledonian Sleeper” on February 29th 2016

The legendary “bothy” (waiting room) at Dalwhinnie on June 30th 2021. Unfortunately it cannot offer passengers and bashers shelter from the storms due Covid closure!

40081  Aviemore-Newtonmore                      0945 Inverness-Edinburgh                  25/9/80

47104  Newtonmore-Aviemore                      0905 Glasgow-Inverness                    25/9/80

Didnt want to get off 40081 as she was making a fine racket, return North was much less rateable power!.

47141  Inverness-Aviemore                           0815 Inverness-Glasgow                    25/9/80

40081  Aviemore-Newtonmore                     0945 Inverness-Edinburgh                  25/9/80

A 90 minute fester at busy Aviemore was rewarded with 40081 out of Aviemore

47792 at Aviemore with the 2130 Euston – Inverness “Royal Highlander” on March 3rd 2015

170434 Inverness – Carrbridge                     1722 Inverness – Glasgow                  17/1/12

170402 Carrbridge – Inverness                     1510 Glasgow – Inverness                  17/1/12

This was a tight plus but late running of the down service helped. Steve Wolverton bailed here in the mid 80’s and said how he whittled away the long fester watching red squirrels playing on the far end of the platform!           

Highland freight at a wintry Carrbridge, 37610 and 37611 with a flask for Georgemas Jn/Douneray on January 21st 2015

5340}  Inverness-Perth                                  0820 Inverness – Edinburgh                1/8/72

5344}                                                                                                                         

end

                                                                                                                                                                         

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