Tag Archives: Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1918 – ‘Clan’& ‘Clan Goods’ Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1918 – ‘Clan’& ‘Clan Goods’

Highland RailwayClan Mackinnon as running in 1928

Clan Mackinnon as running in 1928

C.Cumming was the last locomotive superintendent on the Highland Railway and his contribution to the locomotive stock consisted of two large 4-4-0s in 1916, followed by two classes of 4-6-0s, each consisting of eight engines, which appeared between 1917 and 1921.

The passenger type (the ‘Clan’ class) were Nos. 49 and 51-7, four of which came out in 1919 and the other four in 1921.  The smaller-wheeled variety were intended for freight work, but in later years were used for passenger work on the Kyle road.  These were Nos. 75-82, the first four built in 1917 and the remainder in 1919.  All of both classes were built by Hawthorn Leslie & Co.  At the grouping they became LMS Nos. 14762-9 and 17950-7.

The ‘Clans’ did good service over the Highland main line, and after the grouping several were transferred to the Oban line of the Caledonian.  They were taken out of service from 1943 onwards.  The last to survive was ‘Clan Mackinnon’, withdrawn in 1950 as BR No. 54767.  The ‘Clan goods’ were withdrawn between 1946 and 1952.  Five of them survived to carry BR numbers 57950-1 and 5794-6.

‘Clan’ – Driving wheels – 6’ 0”,  Cylinders – 21”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 23690 lb.,  Weight – 62¼ tons,  LMS classification – 4P,  BR classification – 4P

‘Clan goods’ – Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Cylinders – 20½”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Tractive effort – 25800 lb.,  Weight – 56½ tons,  LMS classification – 4F,  BR classification – 4MT57955

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1896 Jones ‘Loch’ Class Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1896 Jones ‘Loch’ Class

Highland Railway

No.14393 Loch Laochal as running in 1928 in early LMS livery but otherwise in original condition.

This was David Jones’ final design for the Highland, and was introduced to replace some of his earlier 4-4-0s on the main line between Inverness and Perth.  Fifteen were built in 1896 by Dubs & Co., Nos.119-33, and all named after Scottish lochs.  That it was a very successful design is shown by the fact that 21 years later, in 1917, when there was an acute engine shortage on the Highland, three more of the class were hurriedly built, recourse being had to this type rather than to Peter Drummond’s later designs.  The new engines were Nos.70-2, also named after lochs, and at the grouping the class became LMS Nos.14379-96, all retaining their names.  From 1925 onwards several were rebuilt with larger boilers of Caledonian Railway Dunalastair IV type, but this modification does not seem to have been very successful, and the engines became very heavy on coal.  Withdrawal took place from 1930 onwards, the last survivor being No.14385 Loch Tay, scrapped in 1950.  It never bore its allocated BR No.54385.  No.14390 Loch Fannich retained its early LMS red livery until withdrawn in 1937, one of the last of the smaller LMS classes to do so, as after 1928 it was only applied to the principal main line engines.

As built – Driving wheels – 6’ 3½”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 175 lb.,  Weight – 47 tons,  LMS classification – 2

As rebuilt – Driving wheels – 6’ 3½”,  Cylinders – 19”x 24”,  Pressure – 180 lb.,  Weight – 54½ tons,  LMS classification – 2

The Loch class 4-4-0s of 1896�1917 had a very high power/weight ratio. They were among several classes carrying the louvered chimney. When No 14393 Loch Laoghal was photographed it was owned by the LMS Northern Division.  http://www.douglas-self.com

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1894 Jones 4-6-0 Highland Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1894    Jones 4-6-0  Highland Railway

No 117 as running without smokebox wing plates

These engines are famous as being the first examples of the 4-6-0 type in the British Isles, a wheel arrangement that has since become so widespread and universally popular.  Fifteen of them were built by Sharp Stewart & Co. in 1894, and at the time they were the most powerful main line engines in the country.  Although intended primarily for freight work they have also done much passenger duty in the height of the busy season, and were of inestimable value to the highland under its difficult operational conditions.  They remained little altered throughout their existence except for the removal in some cases of the smokebox wing plates and the substitution of a later pattern of chimney for the distinctive Highland louvre type.  Their original numbers were 103–17, and they became LMS Nos.17916-30 at the grouping.  They were taken out of service gradually between 1929 and 1940, but the original No.103 was preserved and has recently been restored to working order in its original condition (1959).No. 103  preserved – photo:  Malcolm McCrow

Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Cylinders – 20”x 26”,  Pressure – 175 lb., – Weight – 56 tons.


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1878 Jones 4-4-0T Highland Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1878  Jones  4-4-0T 

Highland RailwayIllustration: No. 15010 taken in 1930, showing very clearly the louvre-type chimney, which was a distinctive feature of Highland engines for many years.

Three engines constructed in 1878 and 1879 for branch line work.  They were built as 2-4-0Ts but the leading bogie was very soon substituted for the pony truck.

The numbers and names were 17 Breadalbane, 58 Burghead and 59 Highlander, No.17 becoming Aberfeldy in 1886, and renumbered 50 in 1901.  Later they were placed on the duplicate list as 50B, 58B and 59B.  All survived into the grouping days, when the LMS renumbered them 15010-12, and they lost their names.  No. 15011 was scrapped in 1928, No.15012 in 1930, whilst 15010 remained in service until 1932, at which time it was the last remaining working example of an Alexander Allan Crewe-type framing.

Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 0”, Cylinders – 16”x 22”,  Pressure 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 12158 lb.,  Weight – 44 tons.

Some Early Lines – The Highland Railway, Scotland

The Highland Railway, Scotland


Dates of operation 1855–1923
Successor London, Midland & Scottish Railway
Track Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (Standard gauge)
Headquarters Perth

Locomotive at Evanton Station, near to Culcairn, Highland, Great Britain. View eastward; ex-Highland Inverness – Wick (Far North) line. The locomotive is ex-Caledonian Pickersgill 3P 4-4-0 No. 54496.  Date 25 September 1957

Source From geograph.org.uk; transferred by User:chevin using geograph_org2commons. Author Ben Brooksbank Permission (Reusing this file) Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

The Highland Railway (HR) was one of the smaller British railways before the Railways Act, 1921; it operated north of Perth Railway Station in Scotland and served the farthest north of Britain. Formed by amalgamation in 1865, it was absorbed into the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1923.



The Highland Railway served the counties of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross & Cromarty, Inverness, Perth, Nairn, Moray and Banff. Southward it connected with the Caledonian Railway at Stanley Junction, north of Perth, and eastward with the Great North of Scotland Railway at Boat of Garten, Elgin, Keith and Portessie. The headquarters were at Inverness, as were the workshops, Lochgorm Works.As was ancient custom, elderly engines in the pre-war years were usually out to grass on quiet branch lines.  HR 4-4-0 then LMS No.14394 was no exception and is seen here at Fort George terminus on 28th May, 1930.  H.C.Casserley.


  • The Inverness & Nairn Railway (INR): 15 miles (24 km) in length, was incorporated in 1854; the first train ran on 5 November 1855; it was the original part of the HR;
  • A railway between Nairn and Keith opened in 1858; in 1861 this was amalgamated with the INR to become the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway (I&AJR);
  • Two railways were to follow:
    • the Inverness & Perth Junction Railway, opened in 1863, which connected with the I&AJR at Forres, and which in turn joined the Perth & Dunkeld Railway (opened 7 April 1856) at Dunkeld, completing the main line of the HR, which itself came into being in 1865;
  • Lines to north were also being opened; all were merged with the HR by 1884:
    • 23 March 1856 the Inverness & Ross-shire Railway, Inverness to Invergordon; it was extended to Bonar Bridge in 1864;
    • 13 April 1868: the Sutherland Railway, Bonar Bridge to Golspie;
    • 19 August 1870: the Dingwall & Skye Railway, Dingwall to Stromeferry;
    • 19 June 1871: the Duke of Sutherland’s Railway, Golspie to Helmsdale built by the Duke of Sutherland;
    • 28 July 1874: the Sutherland & Caithness Railway, Helmsdale to Wick and Thurso completed the line;
    • 2 November 1897: the Dingwall and Skye Railway extended from Stromeferry to Kyle of Lochalsh;
    • 1 November 1898: the “direct line”  between Aviemore and Inverness opened, reducing the journey from 60 to 35 miles (97 to 56 km).
  • There were also several branch lines of the HR. From the south, these were:
    • the Aberfeldy Branch;
    • the Buckie & Portessie Branch: opened 1 August 1884, closed 7 August 1915 (to passengers and central section between Aultmore and Buckie totally)
    • the Fochabers Town branch: closed 14 September 1931
    • the Hopeman branch: also closed 14 September 1931
    • the Findhorn Railway: opened 1860, closed 1869 as being a failure
    • the Fort George branch: also closed 14 September 1931
    • the Fortrose branch: closed 1 October 1951
    • the Strathpeffer branch: closed to passengers 23 February 1946, closed to freight 26 March 1951
  • There were two light railways opened and run by the HR:
    • 2 June 1902: the Dornoch Light Railway, again under the auspices of the Duke of Sutherland, 7.5 miles (12.1 km), between The Mound and Dornoch;
    • 1 July 1903: The Wick and Lybster Light Railway, 13.5 miles (21.7 km). The line was abandoned on 3 April 1944.
  • In 1921, the railway comprised 484 miles (779 km) of line and the company’s capital stood at nearly £7 million.The morning train  from Dornoch waits at ‘The Mound’ behind ex- Highland 0-4-4 tank, then BR 55053 in October 1951.  P.B.Whitehouse

One of the inspired acts of the Scottish Region during recent years has been the steaming of their veteran museum engines, a gesture to enthusiasts and railway students which has been greatly appreciated.  In June 1960, the BBC ‘Railway Roundabout’ team made a film of the ‘Jones Goods’ 4-6-0 No.103 heading a normal service train over one of her old stamping grounds, the line from Inverness and Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh.  The veteran ran like clockwork and had no trouble at all with the severe gradients from Dingwall up to Achterneed and beyond.  P.B.Whitehouse

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era 1855 – Highland Railway 2-4-0

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era

 1855 – Highland Railway 2-4-0

 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.

Some Early Lines – The Wick & Lybster Light Railway

The Wick & Lybster Light RailwayFollowing on from the Dornoch Light Railway, this was another north of Scotland line.

The Wick and Lybster Railway was a light railway worked by, and later absorbed by the Highland Railway in Caithness, Scotland following a coastal route south from Wick to Lybster. It was intended to profit from the fishery based in Lybster but the harbour declined not long after the line opened. It was built under the Light Railways Act 1896.History

Although the line was worked at cost by the Highland Railway, it remained independent until becoming part of the LMS in 1923. The line gained additional passenger traffic in the 1920s and 1930s when the people of Wick voted for prohibition of alcohol sales. Drinkers would travel to bars near to stations on the line. The last trains ran after a short life in 1944, and the line was officially closed in 1951.


Golf and the railway at Lybster

Golf has been played in Lybster for over a hundred years.

The original course was situated at the Black Park (the present location). In 1904, after the completion of the Wick to Lybster Light Railway, the course was moved to the Reisgill Burn, just to the south side the village.

In 1926 the club moved back to its present location and the club was formally established and a constitution drawn up.

In recognition of the fact that our clubhouse is the former ticket office and that the railway line bisected the course, we adopted the steam train in our club logo. The train, which ran between Wick and Lybster, was referred to locally as the ‘Coffee Pot’. The Wick to Lybster Light Railway, which bisected the course, was closed in 1944.

In the mid 1970s the railway ticket office was refurbished, and is now the clubhouse. Our equipment store, at the back of the first green, was previously the clubhouse!

More information on the Lybster Golf Club website:  lybstergolfclub.co.ukTHE END OF THE RAILWAY in Scotland. This interesting photograph shows a train at Lybster, Caithness, the last station on the Northern Section of the L.M.S. Lybster is 742-1/2 miles from Euston.


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – ‘Skye Bogies’

Highland Railway L Class – ‘Skye Bogies’

One of my favourite classes of locomotive, based on looks alone – they always put me in mind of a greyhound smoothly galloping along.  Not the best way to judge engines I suppose, but that’s my opinion.

While I am giving my opinions, it is surprising how many times I look at a photograph, say I like it, and find that it was taken by H.C.Casserley – a master of his craft!A view of the Highland Railway at Inverness looking over the Moray Firth.  In the foreground is Skye Bogie No.14279.  Photo taken in June 1927 by H.C.Casserley

The Highland Railway Jones L Class 4-4-0s were more commonly known as ‘Skye Bogies’ due to their association with the Kyle of Lochalsh Line. They were essentially mixed traffic versions of the earlier F Class. The 17-by-24-inch (432 mm × 610 mm) cylinders, valve gear and motion were common to the two classes, but they had smaller 5-foot-3-inch (1,600 mm) driving wheels and higher pressure 150-pound-force-per-square-inch (1,030 kPa) boilers.

Nine were built at Lochgorm Works over the period 1882 to 1901. Listed in order of construction:

They were never named.

Eight passed to the LMS in 1923, but had gone by Nationalisation.Former Highland ‘Skye Bogie’ 4-4-0 No.14277 is turned at Dingwall: these locomotives were normally used between Dingwall and the Kyle of Lochalsh – H.C.Casserley

Highland Railway L class
Power type Steam
Designer David Jones
Builder HR Lochgorm Works
Build date 1882-1901
Total production 9
Configuration 4-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
Locomotive weight 43 tons 0 cwt (96,300 lb/43.7 t)
Boiler pressure 150 lbf/in² (1.03 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 17 in × 24 in (432 mm × 610 mm)
Tractive Effort 14,037 lbf (62.44 kN)
Career HR – LMS
Class HR: L
Power class 1P
Number in class 1 January 1923: 8
Nicknames Skye Bogies
Retired 1922-1930
Disposition All scrapped

HR Number Built LMS Number Notes 70 (later 67)

1882 14277 Swapped numbers with 67 c.1916 85

1892 — 86

1893 14279 87

1893 14280 Withdrawn before renumbered by the LMS 88

1895 14281 Withdrawn early 1926 before renumbering by the LMS 5 (later 32)

1897 14282 6 (later 33)

1897 14283 7 (later 34)

1898 14284 48

1901 14285Highland Railway ‘Skye Bogie’ No.14279 at that most delightful of railway outposts, Kyle of Lochalsh in June 1927 – H.C.Casserley.