Inverness railway station

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Inverness National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis[1]
Inverness Station 2.jpg
Inverness railway station
Local authorityHighland
Coordinates57°28′48″N 4°13′23″W / 57.4800°N 4.2230°W / 57.4800; -4.2230Coordinates: 57°28′48″N 4°13′23″W / 57.4800°N 4.2230°W / 57.4800; -4.2230
Grid referenceNH667454
Station codeINV
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Owned byNetwork Rail
Number of platforms7
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2014/15Increase 1.304 million
– Interchange 72,055
2015/16Increase 1.307 million
– Interchange Decrease 64,364
2016/17Decrease 1.259 million
– Interchange Decrease 61,978
2017/18Decrease 1.239 million
– Interchange Decrease 59,821
2018/19Increase 1.243 million
– Interchange Increase 61,433
Original companyInverness and Nairn Railway
Pre-groupingHighland Railway
5 November 1855Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Inverness from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Inverness railway station is the railway station serving the Scottish city of Inverness.


Inverness railway panorama in 1948

Inverness station was opened on 5 November 1855[2] as the western terminus of the Inverness and Nairn Railway[3] to designs by the architect, Joseph Mitchell.[4] The station originally comprised a single covered passenger platform 200 feet (61 m) with three lines of rails, one for arrivals, one for departures and a spare line for carriages.

In 1857 the railway company erected a clock in front of the station facing Academy Street. This clock by Bryson & Sons, Princes Street, Edinburgh, was illuminated at night.[5]

In 1865 the station was enlarged. The platform was lengthened to 300 feet (91 m) and a shed added which was 300 feet (91 m) long, 51 feet (16 m) wide and 20 feet (6.1 m) high. There were double lines for north and south traffic.[6]

The platforms were extended again to 500 feet (150 m) and the platform roofs were extended in 1876 by Murdoch Paterson. The station platforms were lit by electricity for the first time in 1908.[7]

The station layout in 1902

In 1933, as part of an internal reorganization, the London and North Eastern Railway closed their offices at the station and the staff relocated to Aberdeen.[8]

Between 1966 and 1968 under British Rail the station buildings were replaced, the new design by Thomas Munro and Company.

It is now the terminus of the Highland Main Line, the Aberdeen-Inverness Line (of which the Inverness and Nairn Railway is now a part), the Kyle of Lochalsh Line and the Far North Line.

A revamp by Mott Macdonald of the station's frontage, forecourt and concourse is planned to be completed by 2018.[9]


  • G.H. Critchley 1863 - 1888
  • William Forbes 1888 - 1898[10] formerly stationmaster at Grantown railway station
  • Colin Mackay 1898[11] - 1919, formerly stationmaster at Grantown railway station
  • Frank MacPhail 1919[12] - 1931, formerly station master at Elgin railway station
  • William Macleod 1931 - 1938
  • James Donaldson 1938 - 1940
  • John A. MacRae 1942[13] - 1956


The main circulation area
Inverness approaches
Inverness station
Ness Viaduct over River Ness
Platforms 6 & 7
Rose Street Junction
Platform 5
Inverness TMD
on both sides of line
Platforms 1 to 4
Welsh's Bridge Junction
Millburn Junction

Inverness is owned by Network Rail. However, it is operated by Abellio ScotRail who run most of the services using the station. Caledonian Sleeper and London North Eastern Railway run the only non-ScotRail services.

The station itself sits at one apex of a triangular junction in the centre of Inverness, with each half of the station connected to one line. The Highland Main and Aberdeen Lines both approach the station from the east and use Platforms 1–4, while the Far North Line (which also carries traffic heading for the Kyle Line) approach from the north-west and use Platforms 5–7. Platform 5 also has a connection from the east side, but it is only usable by a two car train, and even then, it must not be in passenger service and movements from Platform 5 to the east line are not allowed. Platform 1 is long enough for a 13-coach train; platform 2 can hold 15 coaches; platforms 3 and 4, eight each; and platforms 5–7 will accommodate five coaches each.[14]

The third chord runs between Rose Street Junction on the Far North Line and Welsh's Bridge Junction on the Aberdeen/Perth line. The Aberdeen and Perth lines diverge at Millburn Junction a short distance beyond Welsh's Bridge. Platforms 1–4 are 118 mileschains (190.0 km) from Perth (measured via Carrbridge); Millburn Junction, 117 miles 37 chains (189.0 km) from Perth, is also 143 miles 39 chains (230.9 km) from Perth (measured via Dava). The station is the zero point for the Far North Line, and platforms 5–7 are 2 chains (40 m) along this line; Rose Street Junction, 18 chains (360 m) along the Far North Line, is 118 miles 1 chain (189.9 km) from Perth.[14] Signalling for the entire area is controlled from a panel box near the station built in 1988. This supervises the station area & approaches and also houses the Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) control desk that monitors the full length of the Kyle & Far North lines. RETB was installed by British Rail.

Platform destination LED screens are installed, along with a main departures and arrivals information board. Each of Platforms 1-7 has its own screen showing departures from that platform. Screens are also present behind the wall for all platforms from 3-6. In addition, several other screens are also visible for general information.



The main coach and bus station is located in Margaret Street, 150 m northwest of and just around the corner from the railway station. Many services can also be joined at the stop on Millburn Road outside Marks and Spencer, closer to the station.

Aside from local buses, there are also long-distance coach services which allow rail passengers to continue their journey to areas of the Highlands not on the rail network:

Connections to the airport[edit]

Stagecoach North Scotland route 11 runs every 30 minutes between Inverness city centre and Inverness Airport. The bus leaves from Strothers Lane, just around the corner from the station. Journey time to the airport is 25 minutes.


Current services[edit]

As of May 2016:

Future planned improvements[edit]

From 2018, this station will be one of those to benefit from a package of timetable enhancements to be introduced by Transport Scotland and Scotrail. The current Perth to Inverness timetable will be increased to hourly each way, with trains south of there running on alternate hours to Edinburgh & Glasgow. Journey times will be reduced by 10 minutes to both cities. The service to Nairn, Forres & Elgin will also be enhanced to hourly and some Aberdeen trains extended through to Dundee and beyond.[20]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Aviemore   London North Eastern Railway
East Coast Main Line
(Highland Chieftain)
Carrbridge   Abellio ScotRail
Highland Main Line
Nairn   Abellio ScotRail
Aberdeen to Inverness Line
Terminus   Abellio ScotRail
Far North Line
Kyle of Lochalsh Line
Aviemore   Caledonian Sleeper
Highland Caledonian Sleeper
  Historical railways  
Culloden Moor
Line open; station closed
  Highland Railway
Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway
Line open; station closed
  Highland Railway
Inverness and Nairn Railway
Terminus   Highland Railway
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
Line open; station closed


  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ Butt (1995)
  3. ^ "Opening of the Inverness and Nairn Railway". Inverness Courier. Scotland. 8 November 1855. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ The Buildings of Scotland, Highland and Islands. John Gifford. Yale University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-300-09625-9
  5. ^ "Inverness Railway Station". Nairnshire Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Northern Counties. Scotland. 22 April 1857. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Inverness Railway Station Extensions and Improvements". Inverness Courier. Scotland. 8 June 1865. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Improvements on Highland Line". DundeeCourier. Scotland. 24 March 1908. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Inverness Railway Station Changes". The Scotsman. Scotland. 6 June 1933. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "Design team for Inverness Station revamp". BBC News. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Retirement of Inverness stationmaster". Dundee Advertiser. Scotland. 10 June 1898. Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Appointment of Inverness stationmaster". Aberdeen Press and Journal. Scotland. 7 July 1898. Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "New Stationmaster for Inverness". Dundee Evening Telegraph. Scotland. 11 September 1919. Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Larbert Stationmaster for Inverness". Falkirk Herald. Scotland. 4 July 1942. Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ a b Brailsford 2017, map 18B.
  15. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 229
  16. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 240
  17. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 239
  18. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 26
  19. ^ GB eNRT May 2016 Edition, Table 403
  20. ^ "‘Rail revolution’ means 200 more services and 20,000 more seats for Scots passengers" Archived 2016-08-20 at the Wayback MachineTransport Scotland press release 15 March 2016; Retrieved 18 August 2016


  • 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.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

External links[edit]