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TITLE
Terrain Difficulties on the Dingwall & Skye Line
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_13
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2077
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, compares the line with those found in parts of Switzerland. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

The summit, on paper, the height doesn't look all that tremendous but you must remember it's on a very short stretch of line. The distance across from Dingwall to Strome is fifty-three miles and the railway has got to climb three summits in that short distance. Certainly, there are very much higher summits in Switzerland but the highest ones, of course, are not reached by ordinary adhesion railways; they're reached by rank and pinion railways or specialist mountain railways of some kind. Also, I think you'll find that very often these Swiss railways don't start off at sea level, or almost at sea level, as the Kyle line does. The height at Dingwall is fourteen feet above sea level. At Strome, seventeen feet. So it climbs in the fairly short distance up to over six hundred feet and drops down again to seventeen. The thing that matters, of course, is the gradient, the steepness of the gradient, and the one in fifty gradient up to Raven's Rock is just about as tough as you would get in any main line adhesion railway anywhere

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Terrain Difficulties on the Dingwall & Skye Line

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, compares the line with those found in parts of Switzerland. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> The summit, on paper, the height doesn't look all that tremendous but you must remember it's on a very short stretch of line. The distance across from Dingwall to Strome is fifty-three miles and the railway has got to climb three summits in that short distance. Certainly, there are very much higher summits in Switzerland but the highest ones, of course, are not reached by ordinary adhesion railways; they're reached by rank and pinion railways or specialist mountain railways of some kind. Also, I think you'll find that very often these Swiss railways don't start off at sea level, or almost at sea level, as the Kyle line does. The height at Dingwall is fourteen feet above sea level. At Strome, seventeen feet. So it climbs in the fairly short distance up to over six hundred feet and drops down again to seventeen. The thing that matters, of course, is the gradient, the steepness of the gradient, and the one in fifty gradient up to Raven's Rock is just about as tough as you would get in any main line adhesion railway anywhere