Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era
The beginnings of the Highland railway, formed in 1865 by the amalgamation of several smaller concerns, lay in the small Inverness and Nairn Railway, opened in 1855 connecting the towns of Inverness and Nairn. Opening had been delayed from 1 August 1855 due to delays in the contractor’s equipment arriving due to weather delays affecting the seaborne delivery. The line finally opened on 5 November 1855.
There were stations at Inverness, Culloden (later Allanfearn), Dalcross, Gollanfield and Nairn. On 17 May 1861 it became part of the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway. The line was later absorbed by the Highland Railway, which in turn became part of the LMS in 1923.
For working the line two 2-2-2 engines were built by Hawthorn of Leith to the design of the locomotive superintendent, Barclay. They had 6’ 0” driving wheels and 15”x 20” cylinders, and were numbered 1 Raigmore and 2 Aldourie. They were rebuilt by William Stroudley, during his short term of office on the Highland Railway from 1866-9, as 2-4-0 engines; later they acquired larger boilers and in this form embodied several features which became distinctive of Highland practice until 1896, such as Allan framing and Stroudley cab, whilst No.1 (but not No.2) was fitted with the well-known louvre chimney. No.2 remained in service until 1899, but the other engine was scrapped somewhat earlier.
Driving wheels – 6’ 0”, Leading wheels – 3’ 6”, Cylinders – 15”x 20”,
Weight – 27½ tons.