The 150th anniversary of the completion of the Far North Line is approaching fast. The final section was authorised on 13 July 1871 and the line opened for public traffic on 28 July 1874.
The history of the Caithness section of the FNL is interesting. The line between Thurso and Wick was authorised some years before, in 1866. It was to be built by the Caithness Railway which had plans to extend southwards at a future date. It proved impossible to raise the funds and in 1871 the Sutherland & Caithness Railway was formed to extend northwards from Helmsdale, replacing the unbuilt Caithness Railway in the process.
The Duke of Sutherland came to the rescue again and contributed £60,000 - £10,000 more than the other main contributor, the Highland Railway Company. Nearly 67 track miles were completed from scratch in three years!
We don't know yet what form any celebration will take, but please 'save the date'!