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TITLE
Strome, Dingwall & Skye Railway
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_10
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2072
KEYWORDS
Highland Railway
railways
transport
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 line extensions to Kyle of Lochalsh (on the Dingwall and Skye line) and Mallaig (on the West Highland line). The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

This is Strome. This was the point where the railway stuck for twenty-seven years and it was decided that it would be quite impossible to build a line from here to Kyle on expense account alone. An extremely difficult stretch lay ahead and it meant that a ledge for the railway quite literally had to be cut out of the mountain side, and indeed we'll pass along that ledge for the next ten miles. However, in the early '90s, [1890s] the Westminster government began to have a troubled conscience over the plight of the people of the West Highlands and Islands and they considered that the only way to improve the lot of the people was to improve communications. So a government commission investigated the possibility of building further railway lines in this area. The outcome of the investigation was that two lines were authorised and both of these lines had to be given a government subsidy. One was the Mallaig extension of the West Highland Railway, from Fort William to Mallaig, and the other was the extension of this line, from Strome Ferry to Kyle of Lochalsh. The papers covering the extension from Strome to Kyle specified that there'd be a large pier at Kyle and also a large pier capable of taking steam ferries at Kyleakin. The government undertook to subsidise the railway to the extent of £45,000, which was a big subsidy in those days. Construction was started in 1893 and the line was opened in November, 1897. So at last the dream of the Highland gentlemen in the Caledonian Hotel, Inverness, in 1864, came true. The line reached Kyle

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Strome, Dingwall & Skye Railway

ROSS

1980s; 1990s

Highland Railway; railways; transport; 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 line extensions to Kyle of Lochalsh (on the Dingwall and Skye line) and Mallaig (on the West Highland line). The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> This is Strome. This was the point where the railway stuck for twenty-seven years and it was decided that it would be quite impossible to build a line from here to Kyle on expense account alone. An extremely difficult stretch lay ahead and it meant that a ledge for the railway quite literally had to be cut out of the mountain side, and indeed we'll pass along that ledge for the next ten miles. However, in the early '90s, [1890s] the Westminster government began to have a troubled conscience over the plight of the people of the West Highlands and Islands and they considered that the only way to improve the lot of the people was to improve communications. So a government commission investigated the possibility of building further railway lines in this area. The outcome of the investigation was that two lines were authorised and both of these lines had to be given a government subsidy. One was the Mallaig extension of the West Highland Railway, from Fort William to Mallaig, and the other was the extension of this line, from Strome Ferry to Kyle of Lochalsh. The papers covering the extension from Strome to Kyle specified that there'd be a large pier at Kyle and also a large pier capable of taking steam ferries at Kyleakin. The government undertook to subsidise the railway to the extent of £45,000, which was a big subsidy in those days. Construction was started in 1893 and the line was opened in November, 1897. So at last the dream of the Highland gentlemen in the Caledonian Hotel, Inverness, in 1864, came true. The line reached Kyle