Kyle of Lochalsh railway station

Coordinates: 57°16′48″N 5°42′50″W / 57.2800°N 5.7138°W / 57.2800; -5.7138
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Kyle of Lochalsh

Scottish Gaelic: Caol Loch Aillse[1]
National Rail
158704 standing at Kyle of Lochalsh, with the Isle of Skye visible in the distance
General information
LocationKyle of Lochalsh, Highland
Coordinates57°16′48″N 5°42′50″W / 57.2800°N 5.7138°W / 57.2800; -5.7138
Grid referenceNG762271
Managed byScotRail
Other information
Station codeKYL[2]
Original companyHighland Railway
Pre-groupingHighland Railway
Key dates
2 November 1897Opened[3]
2018/19Decrease 60,606
2019/20Decrease 57,786
2020/21Decrease 7,858
2021/22Increase 40,702
2022/23Increase 46,634
Listed Building – Category B
Designated16 December 1986
Reference no.LB6954[4]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Kyle of Lochalsh railway station is the terminus of the Kyle of Lochalsh Line in the village of Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands, northern Scotland. The station is 63 miles 64 chains (102.7 km) from Dingwall.[5] ScotRail, who manage the station, operate all of the services here.


Kyle station in 1939
Kyle station in September 1973

The station was opened on 2 November 1897[6] by the Highland Railway, following the completion of the extension of the Dingwall and Skye Railway from Stromeferry. The extension took more than four years to complete due to the unforgiving nature of the terrain through which it was driven - 29 bridges had to be constructed and more than 30 cuttings excavated through solid rock, which led to it costing £20,000 per mile[7] (making it the most expensive rail route to be built in the UK at the time). As built, the station consisted of a broad island platform on a pier next to the water's edge and a chalet-style station building close to the western end. Several sidings were provided, along with a signal box and small locomotive shed.[citation needed] The station was host to two LMS caravans from 1935 to 1937 followed by one caravan in 1938 to 1939.[8]

Originally the station provided a connection to the ferry services for the Outer Hebrides. However, as the ferry terminal at the Kyle of Lochalsh was 71 miles (114 km) from Stornoway, in 1970 Ross and Cromarty council voted to create a new £460,000 (equivalent to £7,569,800 in 2021)[9] ferry terminal at Ullapool which was only 43 miles (69 km) from Stornoway.[10]

The signal box closed in 1984, when Radio Electronic Token Block working was introduced on the line by British Rail - although no longer operational it is still intact and has been adapted for use as a holiday cottage.[11]

The station is located next to the piers that used to offer sailings to Skye, the ferries being superseded on 16 October 1995 by the Skye Bridge that lies close to the station.


The station is well-equipped, with a ticket office, accessible toilets, benches and a telephone. There is a small restaurant/gift shop on the platform. There are car parking places on the access bridge.[12]

Platform layout[edit]

The lesser used platform 2 at the station. The Class 158 is standing in platform 1, on the right.

The station has two platforms, which can each accommodate a nine-coach train, though only the western face (platform 1) is normally used by passenger trains.[13] Three sidings are also still intact, including a run-round loop for loco-hauled trains alongside platform 1, and a loading bank siding adjacent to this). Access to each of the sidings and platform 2 is by means of ground frames.[5] Use of platform 2 is rare, and is only booked to be used by one return train from Inverness on a Sunday.[14]

Passenger volume[edit]

Passenger Volume at Kyle of Lochalsh[15]
2002–03 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20 2020–21 2021–22 2022–23
Entries and exits 41,243 44,263 44,770 46,749 48,290 52,672 60,164 60,528 66,272 66,828 67,278 64,256 65,706 62,704 65,182 60,606 57,786 7,858 40,702 46,634

The statistics cover twelve month periods that start in April.


There are four daily departures from the station to Dingwall and Inverness during the week, and either one (winter) or two (summer) services on Sundays.[13][16]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Duirinish   ScotRail
Kyle of Lochalsh Line
  Historical railways  
Line and station open
  Highland Railway
Kyle of Lochalsh Extension


  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ Deaves, Phil. "Railway Codes". Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  3. ^ Butt (1995), p. 137
  4. ^ "KYLE OF LOCHALSH RAILWAY STATION AND PIER". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Bridge, Mike, ed. (2017). TRACKatlas of Mainland Britain: A Comprehensive Geographic Atlas Showing the Rail Network of Great Britain (3rd ed.). Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. p. 97. ISBN 978-1909431-26-3.
  6. ^ "Railways in the Western Highlands. Opening of New Kyle Extension". Glasgow Herald. British Newspaper Archive. 3 November 1897. Retrieved 15 August 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ The Kyle Line - History; Retrieved 2013-010-08
  8. ^ McRae, Andrew (1997). British Railway Camping Coach Holidays: The 1930s & British Railways (London Midland Region). Vol. Scenes from the Past: 30 (Part One). Foxline. p. 22. ISBN 1-870119-48-7.
  9. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Ross and Cromarty council vote. Ullapool is Ferry Terminal". Aberdeen Press and Journal. Scotland. 22 October 1970. Retrieved 25 November 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Welcome To Kyle Station Museum - Kyle Station Museum". Retrieved 25 December 2023.
  12. ^ "National Rail Enquiries -". Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  13. ^ a b eNRT May 2022 Edition, Table 219
  14. ^ "UT Tracker Home Page". Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Estimates of station usage | ORR Data Portal". Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  16. ^ eNRT December 2021 Edition, Table 219


External links[edit]