Strathpeffer railway station

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Strathpeffer railway station was a former station serving the small town of Strathpeffer in the county of Ross and Cromarty, (later Highland Region), Scotland.

Ruth Strathpeffer Rly Stn 23.06.11 edited-2.jpg
The station in 2011, from the west end, when in use as an information office, cafe and retail shops. The railway line lay behind the bushes at right.
Place Strathpeffer
Area Strathpeffer
Original company Highland Railway
Pre-grouping Highland Railway
Post-grouping London Midland and Scottish Railway
Platforms 1
3 June 1885 station opens
23 February 1946 station closes
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
Portal icon UK Railways portal

First station[edit]

The first station to serve Strathpeffer was opened on 19 August 1870 by the Highland Railway and was located two miles to the north of the town on the Dingwall and Skye Railways line to Kyle of Lochalsh. It was renamed Achterneed railway station on 3 June 1885 and was closed on 7 December 1965.[1]

Second station[edit]

The attraction of the spa facilities in Strathpeffer led to growing numbers of visitors. In 1885, the Highland Railway therefore built a branch line from the railway running from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh, leaving the main line at Fodderty Junction near the hamlet of Fodderty. The route was composed of a single line, with a run round loop in the station, and terminated near the centre of Strathpeffer. The new station was opened on 3 June 1885.[2]

Station facilities[edit]

The station building was constructed to a substantial specification. The attractive main structure is timber cladded. The canopy over what was the platform area is supported by the original decorative cast iron columns and supports. Provision was made for a booking hall, waiting rooms, parcel facilities, toilets, etc., as befitted a terminal station intended to cater for long distance travellers to the spa town from many parts of Scotland and England. A Railway Telegraph Office was located in the station and provided message facilities up to at least 1895.[3]

Goods trains also served Strathpeffer and a goods yard was provided to the east of the passenger station. Freight trains continued to operate to the yard until 26 March 1951, when British Railways Scottish Region completely closed the branch and station facilities.[4]

Train services[edit]

1899 map showing the line to Strathpeffer from Fodderty Junction and the Achterneed station previously named Strathpeffer until 1885

The passenger train service to Strathpeffer was designed to connect at Dingwall with Highland Railway (HR) trains from and to Inverness, and to the far north of Scotland and Kyle of Lochalsh.

In December 1895, the HR operated seven trains each way over the five-mile long route from Dingwall. The journey time was ten minutes, with no intermediate stops. The first train reached Strathpeffer at 7.50 a.m. and the last at 5.42 p.m. The first departure for Dingwall was at 8.40 a.m. and the last at 8.10 p.m.[5]

In July 1922, six HR trains were operated each way. The first train left Dingwall for Strathpeffer at 8.20 a.m. and the last at 6.15 p.m. In the other direction, the first train left Strathpeffer for Dingwall at 9.00 a.m. and the last at 6.35 p.m.[6]

The HR was absorbed into the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR) on 1 January 1923. The frequency of the branch line passenger train service was reduced by the LMSR during World War II, and in October 1942 four trains were operated in each direction. The first Strathpeffer train left Dingwall at 7.53 a.m. and the last at 4.00 p.m. The first train to Dingwall left Strathpeffer at 8.30 a.m. and the last left at 4.30 p.m. In 1922 and 1942, no trains were operated on Sundays.[7]

Strathpeffer station was closed by the LMSR and the passenger train service terminated on 23 February 1946.[8]

Current use[edit]

The old railway station currently performs an important role in the town's tourist trade and cultural activities. It houses the Highland Museum of Childhood, several retail shops and a cafe.

Railway restoration project[edit]

A locally based group has outlined plans for restoration of steam train services to Strathpeffer, starting with an initial one-mile length of track. It later hopes to extend the track to reach the existing main line.[1] This link also contains a photograph of the station with an LMSR three-coach train standing at the platform.


  1. ^ Butt 1995 page 222
  2. ^ Butt, 1995, page 222
  3. ^ Bradshaw, 1895, p. xliii
  4. ^ Hurst, 1991, page 5
  5. ^ Bradshaw, 1895, p. 586
  6. ^ Bradshaw, 1922, page 868
  7. ^ Bradshaw, 1942, page 751
  8. ^ Butt, 1995, page 222
  • Bradshaws, none (2011). Bradshaw's Railway Guide December 1895 (reprint ed.). Middleton Press. ISBN 978-1-908174-11-6. 
  • Bradshaws, none (1922). Bradshaw's July 1922 Railway Guide (reprint ed.). David & Charles. 
  • Blacklock, Henry (1942). Bradshaws Guide to the British Railways. 
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  • Hurst, Geoffrey (1991). Register of Closed Railways 1948-1991. Milepost Publications. ISBN 0-947796-18-5. 

Coordinates: 57°35′24″N 4°32′05″W / 57.5901°N 4.5346°W / 57.5901; -4.5346