scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

The Line In Photographs: Book Review

The Highland Railway. Britain's Railways in Old Photographs by Keith Fenwick and Howard Geddes. The History Press, 2009. 128pp £12.95. ISBN 978 0 7509 5094 7.

This book is a delightful combination of black and white photographs of the lines north of Perth from Victorian times to the present day with informative text and captions by two well respected authors on Highland Railway matters.

There are some dramatic shots such as that of steam locomotive 48151 at Forsinard in recent times and Ben Alisky piloting a Black Five near Kinbrace in 1949 with the train at least eleven vehicles long. The tank engine Lybster is shown shunting at Wick and there are four contrasting shots of Georgemas around 1910, in 1968 and in the Safeway era.

The Duke of Sutherland's engine, Dunrobin, appears several times, as does the Dornoch branch engine. In 1952 the latter is seen shunting the Pullman restaurant car at The Mound in 1953. The station staff at Conon in 1920 are shown in the frontispiece and the latest Stobart Rail grocery train to Inverness is shown to bring coverage right up to date.

Rather than give away all the treasures that can be found in the book, it is best if I leave the reader to discover them for him(her)self. Photographs of buildings, bridges and signals help to make a rounded picture of the lines, but the sheep pictured on Kyle station platform seem to be able to go where they have to go without any signalling or control!

Richard Ardern