125 Years Ago
Sheep Traffic on the Highland and Northern Railways
The sheep traffic on the Northern railways during the months of August, September, and October, is every year an important item in railway business, and has of late years assumed very large proportions.
The delivery of the July wool market purchases, and the forwarding of sheep to winter quarters, take place during these months, and occasion a singular demand on the resources of the companies. Of course, before the existence of these railways, the sheep that were reared in the Highlands were removed as now - the cause of the traffic existed, though, doubtless, not on the same scale as at present; but now, by the courtesy of the railway officials and the minute manner in which railway business is recorded, we are enabled to give details that are interesting. Since the beginning of August, in addition to the ordinary service, upwards of 360 special trains have been run over the Highland Railway and its system with live stock, chiefly sheep.
Tree Planting along the Sutherland and Caithness and Highland Railways
On the more exposed portions of these lines tree planting along the sides has been commenced. The object is to protect by them the line from snow-drift, the accumulation of which in the railway cuttings has occasioned so much inconvenience and expense.
The Sutherland and Caithness Railway Company has planted the sides of its line, from Scotscalder to the county march; and the Duke of Sutherland has continued the work from the county march southwards.
Trees do not flourish in Caithness; but there is reason to believe that the sand and gravel subsoil along the line will favour growth of these. The Highland Company is about to plant the sides of the line in the exposed parts between Forres and Dava; and the Earl of Seafield, those parts between Dava and Huntly's Cave. The companies have entrusted the execution of the work to Messrs Munro Brothers and Messrs Howden & Co., Inverness.