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TITLE
Inclined railway at Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Scheme
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_7_008
PLACENAME
Storr Lochs
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
4 October 1950
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8760
KEYWORDS
Storr Lochs
hydro-electric
railway
Bearreraig Bay
Inclined railway at Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Scheme

This photograph gives a good idea of the scale and difficulty of the job that faced the workers building the Storr Lochs railway with most of the work being done with pick and shovel. The inclined railway ran from the winch house on the top of the hill, 350 feet down a steep cliff to the generating station at Bearreraig Bay. To get a solid base for the railway the workers had to excavate into the side of the cliff, and then pour great amounts of concrete to build the foundation.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.

Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity.


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Inclined railway at Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Scheme

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

Storr Lochs; hydro-electric; railway; Bearreraig Bay

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph gives a good idea of the scale and difficulty of the job that faced the workers building the Storr Lochs railway with most of the work being done with pick and shovel. The inclined railway ran from the winch house on the top of the hill, 350 feet down a steep cliff to the generating station at Bearreraig Bay. To get a solid base for the railway the workers had to excavate into the side of the cliff, and then pour great amounts of concrete to build the foundation.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.<br /> <br /> Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>