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TITLE
Raven's Rock, Dingwall & Skye Railway
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_03
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2063
KEYWORDS
Highland Railway
railways
transport
accidents
crashes
audio

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The Dingwall and Skye Railway was opened in 1870 but only went as far as Strome Ferry on Loch Carron. It would be another twenty-seven years before the railway reached the terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh. In this audio extract, John Thomas (1914-1982), one of Britain's leading railway historians, talks about the steep gradients encountered on the railway route. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

The is Ravens' Rock summit, 438 feet above sea level. You will notice how dramatically the scenery has changed since our last stop, only four and a quarter miles away. The railway never need have climbed here at all, had it been granted a passage through Strathpeffer. Our locomotive has consumed diesel fuel needlessly. For nearly a hundred years, steam locomotives burned thousands of tons of coal they need never have burned. And that four and a quarter mile climb, mostly on a gradient of 1 in 50, that we have just left behind us, gave many an engine driver a headache. Strathpeffer was the loser in the end. It admitted the railway by means of the branch from Fodderty in 1884 but if its inhabitants had been more enlightened twenty years earlier, the village would have been on the main line and not on a branch. Moreover, it would still have had a railway connection. The disused station which we passed on the way up the gradient was Aucterneed, originally called Strathpeffer. On 25th September, 1897, a train consisting of several goods wagons with four passenger carriages coupled on behind them, had almost reached the spot where we are now when a coupling broke and six wagons, and the four passenger carriages, with passengers in them, ran backwards down the gradient, up which we have just come. The brakes proved useless and the runaway train roared down the slope, swaying round the curves, on any which it might well have been derailed. It ran out of control for six miles, eventually stopping after crashing through a pair of level crossing gates within site of Dingwall Station.

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Raven's Rock, Dingwall & Skye Railway

ROSS

1980s; 1990s

Highland Railway; railways; transport; accidents; crashes; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Dingwall & Skye Railway

The Dingwall and Skye Railway was opened in 1870 but only went as far as Strome Ferry on Loch Carron. It would be another twenty-seven years before the railway reached the terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh. In this audio extract, John Thomas (1914-1982), one of Britain's leading railway historians, talks about the steep gradients encountered on the railway route. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> The is Ravens' Rock summit, 438 feet above sea level. You will notice how dramatically the scenery has changed since our last stop, only four and a quarter miles away. The railway never need have climbed here at all, had it been granted a passage through Strathpeffer. Our locomotive has consumed diesel fuel needlessly. For nearly a hundred years, steam locomotives burned thousands of tons of coal they need never have burned. And that four and a quarter mile climb, mostly on a gradient of 1 in 50, that we have just left behind us, gave many an engine driver a headache. Strathpeffer was the loser in the end. It admitted the railway by means of the branch from Fodderty in 1884 but if its inhabitants had been more enlightened twenty years earlier, the village would have been on the main line and not on a branch. Moreover, it would still have had a railway connection. The disused station which we passed on the way up the gradient was Aucterneed, originally called Strathpeffer. On 25th September, 1897, a train consisting of several goods wagons with four passenger carriages coupled on behind them, had almost reached the spot where we are now when a coupling broke and six wagons, and the four passenger carriages, with passengers in them, ran backwards down the gradient, up which we have just come. The brakes proved useless and the runaway train roared down the slope, swaying round the curves, on any which it might well have been derailed. It ran out of control for six miles, eventually stopping after crashing through a pair of level crossing gates within site of Dingwall Station.