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Kyle line

Originating in the historic market town of Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands, the single track Kyle of Lochalsh Railway Line was begun in 1870 and took twenty-seven years to complete. A magnificent feat of engineering, the Kyle Line required the manual construction of twenty-nine separate bridges and the creation of cuttings through thirty-one sections of solid rock in order to traverse its mountainous setting.

Although neither privately owned nor a preserved heritage railway, the  Kyle Line is an important and highly popular attraction for Highland visitors as its route passes among some of Scotland's most dramatic and spectacular natural landscapes.

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 the line.

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 unmissable.

 

 

Eilean Donan Castle

Places of Interest

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 that was built for Parliamentarian 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 tree. 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 base from which to explore the awe-inspiring scenery that surrounds it.

Interesting Facts

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 Kyle Line.

 

 

 

Plockton

 

 

8 results matching: The Kyle Line

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Edinburgh, Highlands & Islands
4.3 stars(375 reviews)
2023MarAprMayJunJul...
9 days from
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  • DestinationScotland
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Highland Adventure
4.3 stars(156 reviews)
2023MarAprMayJunJul...
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  • DestinationScotland
  • Starts / EndsInverness
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Skye, Orkney and the Wild North
2023MayJunJulAugSep
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Giants Causeway
3.3 stars(7 reviews)
2023MayJulSepOct
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  • DestinationIreland, Scotland
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Alladale Wilderness Reserve
4.2 stars(37 reviews)
2023AprMayOct
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Our customers love our Kyle Line tours
Highland Adventure
31/Oct
S Clarke
5 stars
“First time on my own was made very welcome by tour guide asked if could sit at front as not good on buses and we did more travel on bus then I expected but enjoyed the tour
Collected by Trustpilot
The Best of Scotland and Ireland
25/Oct
C Gordon
5 stars
“Great trip.
Collected by Trustpilot
A Scottish Christmas
10/Jan
Anne
5 stars
“I was really pleased that I made the decision to take this trip. The group, smaller than it would have been, gelled really well. I think we were let down by ScotRail. The tour manager was very efficient and helpful. The hotel in Edinburgh was much more geared up to deal with my having Coeliac disease and therefore follow a gluten free diet but I was rather disappointed by the attitude of the hotel in Inverness who did not seem to be prepared although I had advised of my special diet on booking and I cannot believe that I was the only guest in the hotel who had this need. I enjoyed the excursions on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
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Scottish Highlands Cruise
12 Oct 2021
Judy
5 stars
“An excellent and rel;axinng holiday. It was a pity that poor weather did npot allow for the full itinerary to be followed. The scenery around the inner isles was obstructed by low cloud which was disapointing.
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Edinburgh, the Highlands and Islands
9/Nov
A Jones
4 stars
“Probably a 4.5/5 or 9/10. Very well organised. Accommodation was good. Meal choices and quality were excellent. Bus driver for the 3 days around Fort William was excellent - history, stories, jokes, singing and driving. Good group size. What we saw was great. Earlier starts some days would be better, but appreciate locked into train timetables. Wish Scot Rail would clean their train windows to allow better photography - beyond tour manager to manage this Expect some fog and rain - it is Scotland.
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Castles and Wildlife of Scotland
15/Oct
Brian Bent
4 stars
“It was a great holiday we had a good tour guide and met some lovely people. The staff were very helpful and the accommodation we had was good especially in the Alladale Nature Reserve. Although travelling on the overnight sleeper was 'fun' it's an experience we probably would not repeat. The scenery was outstanding and being lucky with the weather helped.
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