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TITLE
Two service trains meet at Strathcarron station, 1997
EXTERNAL ID
NRM_NBNW_KL_DS080549
PLACENAME
Strathcarron
DISTRICT
Lochcarron
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochcarron
DATE OF IMAGE
March 1997
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Lynn Patrick
SOURCE
National Railway Museum, York
ASSET ID
20035
KEYWORDS
railway
railways
trains
stations
Two service trains meet at Strathcarron station, 1997

Photographed in March 1997, the ScotRail Class 156 446 from Inverness and the ScotRail Class 156 474 from the Kyle of Lochalsh meet at Strathcarron station. These trains are timetabled to arrive within minutes of each other. Strathcarron is one of the few places on the Kyle line, which is primarily single track, which has a passing loop.

The station at Strathcarron opened in 1870 when the Dingwall & Skye Railway Company completed the line to Stromeferry. It was one of the original stations on the line and the buildings are similar to those at Achnasheen and Grave which also date from the opening of the line. The passing loop here is designed to allow space for train-mounted fishing boats to pass each other. The east signal box closed in 1984 when the west box became a gate box until the conversion to automatic barriers. The building on the westbound platform is the former Strathcarron west signal box, now a waiting room. The station footbridge was constructed by the Rose Street Foundry, Inverness, and was added in 1900.

When the motor car became the de facto mode of transport in the UK, the railways suffered, and traffic along the Kyle line fell dramatically to the point where the railway management looked into its viability. Dr Beeching marked the line for closure in 1963 but the line was reprieved. In 1970 the line was again destined to close but again the decision was overturned in 1974. Both the Kyle and Far North lines saw increased rail traffic during the oil boom. Today, they form one of the lifelines to remote communities and are a popular tourist attraction.

Strathcarron is at the head of Loch Carron. The loch is a long, tidal sea loch and both the loch and the area take their names from the River Carron.

Background
Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.

'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.

We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:

Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.

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High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
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Two service trains meet at Strathcarron station, 1997

ROSS: Lochcarron

1990s

railway; railways; trains; stations

National Railway Museum, York

North by Northwest - The Kyle Line

Photographed in March 1997, the ScotRail Class 156 446 from Inverness and the ScotRail Class 156 474 from the Kyle of Lochalsh meet at Strathcarron station. These trains are timetabled to arrive within minutes of each other. Strathcarron is one of the few places on the Kyle line, which is primarily single track, which has a passing loop.<br /> <br /> The station at Strathcarron opened in 1870 when the Dingwall & Skye Railway Company completed the line to Stromeferry. It was one of the original stations on the line and the buildings are similar to those at Achnasheen and Grave which also date from the opening of the line. The passing loop here is designed to allow space for train-mounted fishing boats to pass each other. The east signal box closed in 1984 when the west box became a gate box until the conversion to automatic barriers. The building on the westbound platform is the former Strathcarron west signal box, now a waiting room. The station footbridge was constructed by the Rose Street Foundry, Inverness, and was added in 1900.<br /> <br /> When the motor car became the de facto mode of transport in the UK, the railways suffered, and traffic along the Kyle line fell dramatically to the point where the railway management looked into its viability. Dr Beeching marked the line for closure in 1963 but the line was reprieved. In 1970 the line was again destined to close but again the decision was overturned in 1974. Both the Kyle and Far North lines saw increased rail traffic during the oil boom. Today, they form one of the lifelines to remote communities and are a popular tourist attraction.<br /> <br /> Strathcarron is at the head of Loch Carron. The loch is a long, tidal sea loch and both the loch and the area take their names from the River Carron. <br /> <br /> Background<br /> Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.<br /> <br /> 'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.<br /> <br /> We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:<br /> <br /> Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.