Black Isle Railway. Jack Kernahan. 112 pages, 95 illustrations and 10 maps. Highland Railway Society, Ringmarsh Cottage, Horsington, Templecombe, BA8 0EL. ISBN 978 0 95454 857 5. £10.00, including post and packing.
The Black Isle Railway from Muir of Ord to Fortrose on the southern shore of the Black Isle served a rural community made prosperous by its good quality land. The line was opened by the Highland Railway in 1894 and served the area for more than half a century. I thought that I knew about this railway until I read this book. Then I had to go through it again to get to grips with all the twists and turns of the rival companies who wanted to build it. The Great North of Scotland Railway had plans that included a steam ferry across the Moray Firth from Chanonry Point to link up with its planned line from Elgin to Inverness but it was for all the wrong reasons as far as the Black Islers were concerned. Who was going to reach Cromarty and by what route? The book is well illustrated with a good selection of photographs, plans and maps. The local memories of the line in use include many irregularities that could only happen on a country line.