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TITLE
Highland Railways During Wartime
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_16
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2081
KEYWORDS
Highland Railway
railways
transport
World War I
World War II
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 value of the Highland Railways during wartime. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

I wonder if you would care to comment of the value which the two lines north and west of Inverness were to the country during the Second World Wars?

Yes, well there's one word for that - vital. The lines were of immense importance. During the First War, for instance, every day a train ran from London to Thurso, the famous 'Jellico Specials', with naval personnel. Trains of Welsh coal followed the same route. The line was used to the absolute uttermost capacity, so much so that the Highland locomotives just couldn't cope with the traffic and locomotives came up from other lines in Scotland and even from English lines to work the traffic over these Highland lines. This line [Dingwall and Skye] too was extremely important; there was an American base at Kyle and special trains were worked over the line. In fact, there was only one public train each way per day on this line during the First War. The line otherwise was commandeered by the government and carried only military traffic. Both lines - the line west of Inverness, the line north of Inverness - were completely vital to the war effort

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Highland Railways During Wartime

ROSS

1980s; 1990s

Highland Railway; railways; transport; World War I; World War II; 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 value of the Highland Railways during wartime. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> I wonder if you would care to comment of the value which the two lines north and west of Inverness were to the country during the Second World Wars?<br /> <br /> Yes, well there's one word for that - vital. The lines were of immense importance. During the First War, for instance, every day a train ran from London to Thurso, the famous 'Jellico Specials', with naval personnel. Trains of Welsh coal followed the same route. The line was used to the absolute uttermost capacity, so much so that the Highland locomotives just couldn't cope with the traffic and locomotives came up from other lines in Scotland and even from English lines to work the traffic over these Highland lines. This line [Dingwall and Skye] too was extremely important; there was an American base at Kyle and special trains were worked over the line. In fact, there was only one public train each way per day on this line during the First War. The line otherwise was commandeered by the government and carried only military traffic. Both lines - the line west of Inverness, the line north of Inverness - were completely vital to the war effort