|Owned by||Network Rail|
|Original company||Inverness and Nairn Railway|
|5 November 1855||Opened|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Inverness railway station is the railway station serving the Scottish city of Inverness. It is 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.
The Aberdeen and Perth lines diverge at Millburn Junction a short distance beyond Welsh's Bridge. Platforms 1–4 are 118 miles 3 chains (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.
Inverness station was opened on 5 November 1855 as the western terminus of the Inverness and Nairn Railway to designs by the architect, Joseph Mitchell. 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.
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.
Between 1966 and 1968 under British Rail the station buildings were replaced, the new design by Thomas Munro and Company.
A revamp by Mott Macdonald of the station's frontage, forecourt and concourse was planned to be completed by 2018. However this was delayed. The nearby Royal Highland Hotel refused to give up their lease of parking spaces in front of the station.
The station is located between three roads in the city centre - Falcon Square, Academy Street and Strothers Lane. It is a 2-minute walk from the Eastgate Shopping Centre, and approximately 8 minutes from Inverness Castle and the Museum & Art Gallery. A taxi rank is located on the corner of Academy Street and Falcon Square.
Rose Street Curve
This line is a rarely-used piece of track which avoids the station, linking the Far North and Kyle of Lochalsh lines to the Highland Main Line and the line to Aberdeen. In recent years it has fallen in to disuse, but up to 2019 it was used weekly on Saturdays by a train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Elgin. Such trains would not easily be visible from the station.
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 concourse is equipped with a ticket office and ticket machines, a barber shop, a bar, a cafe, toilets, a waiting room, a lost property office, a vending machine, a cash machine, payphones and help points. The station has 3 car parks and all of the station has step-free access.
Inverness is owned by Network Rail. However, it is operated by 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.
As of May 2022, Inverness has the following Monday–Saturday services:
- 6 trains per day to Edinburgh Waverley (6 via Aviemore and 1 via Aberdeen)
- 7 trains per day to Glasgow Queen Street via Perth
- 11 trains per day to Aberdeen (one of which extends to Stonehaven)
- 6 trains per day to Elgin only
- 4 trains per day to Wick via Thurso
- 4 trains per day to Kyle of Lochalsh
- 1 train per day to each of Dingwall, Invergordon, Tain and Ardgay
- 1 train per day to London King's Cross via Falkirk Grahamston, Edinburgh Waverley, Newcastle and York ("Highland Chieftain"), operated by LNER
- 1 sleeper train per day to London Euston via Preston and Crewe (Highland Caledonian Sleeper - doesn't operate on Saturday nights)
On Sundays a reduced service operates on all routes, this being:
- 5 trains per day to Edinburgh Waverley via Perth
- 2 trains per day to Glasgow Queen Street
- 5 trains per day to Aberdeen
- 2 trains per day to Elgin
- 1 train per day to Wick
- 1 train per day to Kyle of Lochalsh
- 3 trains per day to Tain
- 1 train per day to Invergordon
- 1 train per day to London Kings Cross
- 1 sleeper train per day to London Euston via Preston and Crewe (Highland Caledonian Sleeper)
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Carrbridge (Sunday southbound only)
|London North Eastern Railway
Highland Main Line
Nairn (Sundays only)
Muir of Ord
Far North Line
Kyle of Lochalsh line
|Aviemore or Carrbridge||Caledonian Sleeper
Highland Caledonian Sleeper
Line open; station closed
Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway
Line open; station closed
Inverness and Nairn Railway
Line open; station closed
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
In early 2020, a massive reconstruction project was announced, which included the neighbouring Sports Direct and TK Maxx stores being purchased as well as the former Royal Mail sorting office and car park. It is part of a plan to majorly reduce CO2 emissions in the City Centre, with this, the ability to have electric trains running to the station suggested electrification of lines north of the central belt. It was also announced that it would have fuelling for hydrogen vehicles as well as e-bike stations.
In the future,[when?] 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. As of May 2022, this has still not yet taken place.
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:
- Scottish Citylink route 961 operates two daily return services to Ullapool to connect with Caledonian MacBrayne ferry sailings to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Rail passengers may also connect with this bus at Garve on the Kyle of Lochalsh line, but the timings are not so convenient.
- Scottish Citylink route 919 operates six daily return services down the Great Glen to Fort William, calling at Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus and intermediate points. Two of these services allow onward connections with Citylink route 918 from Fort William to Oban.
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.
- Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
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