Places of Interest on the Kyle Line
Heading west from Dingwall the Kyle Line serves a
number of picturesque villages and hamlets along its route.
Notable stops along the line include Achanalt, where the
marshlands surrounding Loch Achanalt have been declared a Site of
Special Scientific Interest and provide a habitat for several rare
and interesting plant and bird species.
The beautiful Achnashellach Forest is reputedly the site of an
historic battle between three Scottish clans, the Camerons, the
Mackays and the Munros, which took place in 1505.
Stromeferry was the original terminus of the railway line from
Dingwall. Passengers alighting here would travel onward by steam
ferry to cross Loch Carron or journey to the Isle of Skye.
Following the completion of the Kyle Line in 1897 the
ferry service from Stromeferry was discontinued.
The railway station at Duncraig serves Duncraig Castle, a
stunning nineteenth-century mansion house of Scottish Baronial
architecture that was built for Parliamentarian and businessman Sir
Alexander Matheson. Today the castle is open to the public and
operate as a Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
The scenic village of Plockton has regularly been used as a
filming location for film and television including The Wicker Man
and Hamish McBeth. An unusual feature of Plockton is its mild
climate which encourages the growth of the Cordyline Australis palm
The pretty Kyle of Lochalsh on Scotland's north-western coast is
now the gateway to the Isle of Skye. A village of whitewashed
buildings, Lochalsh has an attractive and busy harbour, a
collection of shops and a hotel. For many visitors, the village
serves as a convenient base from which to explore the awe-inspiring
and mountainous scenery that surrounds it.
A Commuter Train Quite Unlike any Other
The train that makes the eighty-mile journey from Dingwall to
the Kyle of Lochalsh is usually nothing grander than a standard
'Sprinter' of the sort that commuters take to work every day
throughout Britain. The Kyle Line was intended to provide
transport for the local people who live in the villages that line
its route. On rare occasions, however, a steam train may take to
Although the train itself is perfectly spacious, comfortable,
and very rarely crowded, it is the ever-changing and unforgettable
views from the window that make this particular rail journey so
special. It has been described, with justification, as one of the
world's most scenic routes.
Whether travelled in summer or winter, the continually unfolding
tapestry of heather-clad hillsides, brooding snow-capped mountains,
placid lochs and open meadows that pass by, occasionally punctuated
by a remote castle or village, ensures that this trip is truly
More about the Kyle Line
The founders of the Kyle of Lochalsh Line raised the
investment needed for its construction by proposing it as a faster
means for the transportation of livestock and fish to market.
The signal box beside the line just outside the village of
Plockton has been entirely rebuilt in the style of the original and
is now available to rent as a holiday cottage.
Threatened with closure in 1963 under the rail reforms
introduced by Dr Richard Beeching the Kyle Line gained a
reprieve only to face the axe again in 1970. In 1974 it was saved
once again and is currently safeguarded thanks to the efforts of a
group of ardent rail enthusiasts known as the Friends of the