Altnabreac railway station

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Altnabreac National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Allt nam Breac[1]
Altnabreac Station (1) (geograph 2382619).jpg
Altnabreac railway station
Location
PlaceAltnabreac
Local authorityHighland
Coordinates58°23′18″N 3°42′21″W / 58.3882°N 3.7059°W / 58.3882; -3.7059Coordinates: 58°23′18″N 3°42′21″W / 58.3882°N 3.7059°W / 58.3882; -3.7059
Grid referenceND003456
Operations
Station codeABC
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13Increase 296
2013/14Decrease 138
2014/15Increase 240
2015/16Increase 312
2016/17Increase 356
History
Original companySutherland and Caithness Railway
Pre-groupingHighland Railway
Post-groupingLMSR
28 July 1874Opened[2]
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Altnabreac from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Altnabreac railway station is a rural railway station serving the area of Altnabreac, in the Highland council area of Scotland; a settlement in which the station is itself the main component. The station is on the Far North Line, within the former county of Caithness, 23 miles (37 km) as the crow flies west of Wick (27½ route miles by rail[3]).

One of Britain's most isolated stations, it is a request stop used almost solely by walkers and those who enjoy visiting obscure locations.

History[edit]

The station was opened by the Sutherland and Caithness Railway on 28 July 1874[2] and later absorbed by the Highland Railway.[4] Taken into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923, the line then passed on to the Scottish Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

When Sectorisation was introduced by British Rail, the station became part of ScotRail until the Privatisation of British Rail.

The reason for the station's construction is a mystery. At the time of construction it was 8 miles (13 km) from the nearest village and 10 miles (16 km) from the nearest road.[5] The only source of traffic at the station, Lochdhu Lodge approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the south, was not built until 1895 and the Altnabreac School was not built until 1930. However it had passing loop with a water tank, so may have been established for purely operational reasons.

Train approaching the station.

The station is 133 miles 76 chains (215.6 km) from Inverness, and has a single platform which is long enough for a four-coach train.[6]

Services[edit]

In the May 2017 timetable, there are four trains north to Wick via Thurso and three south to Inverness from Mon-Sat (if requested). There is a fourth Wick to Inverness service, but this is not advertised to stop at Altnabreac. There is a single train each way on Sundays.[7]

The apparent almost 100% increase in patronage over the last few years may be due to a change in the methods used to measure passenger numbers; see Usage Notes.[8] Despite these increases, Altnabreac remains the 24th-least-used station in Britain and 3rd on the Far North line according to 2016-17 statistics.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Forsinard   Abellio ScotRail
Far North Line
  Scotscalder
  Historical railways  
Forsinard
Station and Line open
  Highland Railway
Sutherland and Caithness Railway
  Scotscalder
Station and Line open

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b Butt (1995), page 15
  3. ^ British Rail Passenger Timetable, summer 1992, p1342
  4. ^ "The Sunderland and Caithness Railway". The Scotsman. British Newspaper Archive. 27 July 1874. Retrieved 14 August 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ "They're just loco - Britain's most bizarre train stations". The Express. 31 March 2014.
  6. ^ Brailsford 2017, map 20D.
  7. ^ Table 239 National Rail timetable, May 2017
  8. ^ Office of Rail Regulation: Station Usage

Sources[edit]

  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • 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 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.

External links[edit]