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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

Wish You Were Here - Railway Postcards of The Far North

A well illustrated article by John Alsop entitled Railway Postcards of the Dingwall and Skye Railway and the Far North has been published in the March 2012 issue (no 34) of Railway Archive, which allows us a peek at our line in and around the Edwardian era.

My favourite must be a photograph of Dingwall Station entitled "Waiting for the Mails." This shows an assortment of early motor vehicles including registration numbers JS 2 and ST 17 and also two horse-drawn conveyances and a boy on a luggage-carrying tricycle. Muir of Ord Junction, Invergordon, Tain and Edderton stations are featured before another delightful shot of Bonar Bridge Station [now Ardgay] with a northbound train and many passengers (or onlookers) on the platform, as well as three handcarts and two large cartwheels.

Lairg is shown with the former low platform in front of the station buildings (now the Hitrans offices) and a small newspaper kiosk. Dunrobin also boasts its former carriage shed and at Brora there is a busy scene of a packed platform and two steam engines on a southbound train. Forsinard looking south shows the former water tower and south signal box and at Altnabreac we see the wooden station buildings, signal box, water tower and footbridge, all long since demolished. Watten boasts some nice enamel advertising signs and engine no 7 of the Highland Railway, and a packed scene at Wick is dated 6 August 1914, showing the send-off for men going off to war.

Another seven pictures cover the Kyle Line and several pictures feature the former Fortrose, Dornoch and Lybster branches, with coloured cards of Fortrose and Strathpeffer stations with their towns behind on the back cover. Railway Archive is published by Lightmoor Publications, 120 Farmers Close, Witney OX28 1NR, priced £8.25 plus £2 postage.

Richard Ardern