Nairn railway station

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Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Narann[1]
National Rail
Nairn railway station, August 2013.JPG
The station in 2013
LocationNairn, Highland
Coordinates57°34′49″N 3°52′18″W / 57.5803°N 3.8716°W / 57.5803; -3.8716Coordinates: 57°34′49″N 3°52′18″W / 57.5803°N 3.8716°W / 57.5803; -3.8716
Grid referenceNH881560
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Other information
Station codeNRN
Key dates
5 November 1855Opened
2015/16Increase 0.130 million
2016/17Decrease 0.120 million
2017/18Decrease 0.112 million
2018/19Increase 0.118 million
2019/20Increase 0.135 million
Listed Building – Category B
Designated12 March 1981
Reference no.LB38454[2]
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Nairn railway station is a railway station serving the town of Nairn in Scotland. The station is managed by Abellio ScotRail and is on the Aberdeen to Inverness Line. It is a category B listed building.[2] The station appeared as 'Inverness' in the 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.


The station was first opened in 1855 by the Inverness and Nairn Railway. In 1857, the line was extended eastwards to Dalvey. The route from Aberdeen to Inverness was merged into one company, the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, in 1861. Many of the local stations either side of here succumbed to the Beeching Axe between 1965 and 1968, though Nairn was one of those that survived the cutbacks.

The station is 128 miles 72 chains (207.4 km) from Perth (measured via Dava), and has a passing loop 29 chains (580 m) long, flanked by two platforms which can each accommodate an eight-coach train.[3]

The station was notable for being the last working example of Highland Railway signalling principles, where a signal box was provided at each end to work the signals & points whilst the key token instruments for working the single line were located in the main building. The distance between the boxes was such that a bicycle was officially provided by BR (and later Railtrack) for the signaller to use.[4] The practice came to an end in April 2000, when the station was resignalled with colour lights and control shifted to a panel in the station building - as a result, most passenger services use the northern (former eastbound) platform in both directions (the southern one is now only used by Aberdeen-bound services if two trains are scheduled to pass here).

Control of the signalling at the station has since transferred to a new workstation in the Inverness signalling centre, following a 10-day line closure that also saw the loop at Elgin lengthened and a new station and loop commissioned at Forres.[5] A replacement bus service ran whilst the work was in progress, with the line reopening on schedule on 17 October 2017.


There is approximately one service per two hours in each direction, with some additional trains at weekday peak-times. The first morning eastbound service runs to Dundee and Edinburgh Waverley, whilst the last evening service in the opposite direction comes from there; certain peak hour trains only run to/from Elgin, including one through working from Kyle of Lochalsh.[6]

On Sundays, there are five trains each way between Aberdeen and Inverness, plus a pair of services from the latter that run only as far as Elgin.

Transport Scotland and Scotrail intend to improve the service frequencies from here to Elgin and Inverness to hourly from 2018.[7]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Forres   Abellio ScotRail
Aberdeen–Inverness line
  Historical railways  
Connection to
Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway
  Inverness and Nairn Railway   Gollanfield Junction
Line open; Station closed
Line open; Station closed
  Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway   Connection to
Inverness and Nairn Railway


  1. ^ Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. "Gaelic/English Station Index". Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  2. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "NAIRN RAILWAY STATION (Category B Listed Building) (LB38454)". Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  3. ^ Brailsford 2017, map 18B.
  4. ^ Section C - 2000The Signal Box; Retrieved 2013-10-09
  5. ^ Engineers set to begin 10-day infrastructure upgrade between Inverness-KeithNetwork Rail Media Centre press release 5 October 2017; Retrieved 30 October 2017
  6. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May - December 2017, Table 240
  7. ^ "‘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

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, David (26 August – 8 September 1998). "The last of its kind...". RAIL. No. 338. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 32–34. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links[edit]