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TITLE
Inclined railway at Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Scheme
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_7_009
PLACENAME
Storr Lochs
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
13 December 1950
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8762
KEYWORDS
Storr Lochs
hydro-electric
railway
generating station
Bearreraig Bay
Inclined railway at Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Scheme

This photograph shows the dramatic situation of the Storr Lochs hydro-electric scheme above Bearreraig Bay. The railway ran from the winch house at the top of the hill, dropped 350 feet down a very steep incline. To get a good solid foundation for the railway, workers had to excavate deep into the hillside, and great amounts of concrete were then poured into forms to create the base. The railway was then used to move men, materials and machinery to the site of the generating station, which was just starting to be cleared when this photograph was taken. Beside the railway 647 steps were built as another access to the site.

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; generating station; Bearreraig Bay

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph shows the dramatic situation of the Storr Lochs hydro-electric scheme above Bearreraig Bay. The railway ran from the winch house at the top of the hill, dropped 350 feet down a very steep incline. To get a good solid foundation for the railway, workers had to excavate deep into the hillside, and great amounts of concrete were then poured into forms to create the base. The railway was then used to move men, materials and machinery to the site of the generating station, which was just starting to be cleared when this photograph was taken. Beside the railway 647 steps were built as another access to the site.<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>