Railways

 

The Black Isle Railway ran from Muir of Ord to Fortrose and was opened on 1 February 1894. There were stations at Redcastle, Munlochy, Avoch and Fortrose, and the Rosehaugh estate had its own stop.

The railway soon became very busy with freight and passengers, especially after the steamers from Avoch and Fortrose to Inverness stopped running. Cattle and sheep were transported to the markets at Dingwall and Inverness. During the Second World War, vast amounts of timber were taken by train from the sawmill beside Avoch Station.

Increasing development of road transport reduced the freight and passengers, and the line was closed to passengers in October 1951, though freight traffic continued to run until June 1960.

The track was lifted in the late 1960s, and the Avoch station building was converted to a dwelling house (in Station Road).

The old railway line from Avoch to Fortrose is now an interesting walk and can be entered from the car park at the Church of Scotland - this provides a lovely walk directly into Fortrose.

 

Avoch-Fortrose walk - railway trackAvoch boasted a station on the Black Isle Railway.  A section of the line is still visible, and walkable, between Avoch and Fortrose today.

In addition to the station at Avoch (shown below, and from which Station Road and the Station Hotel are named), the Rosehaugh estate had its own stop.

 
  Railwaybridge
 

Bridge, still in existence, carrying the track of the old railway on its way between Avoch and Fortrose

 
  Avoch station
 
  Black Ile Railway
 

James Douglas Fletcher, being extremely interested and keen to improve the transport in the area, and also being very influential, was partly responsible for bringing the railway to the Black Isle. For his guests and himself, there was a special request stop opposite one of the entrances to Rosehaugh.

 

The long platform at Avoch station

 
  longplatform
 
traincrew
 

The railways gave work to local communities. The group taken at Fortrose includes J Leitch (fireman, sitting), M MacLeod (driver), C Macbean, J Gordon, F Hay, Molly Cherry, E Sinclair (porter), J Fraser and J Sutherland (station master)

 

Last goods train at Fortrose Station, with a crew from Inverness

 
  lastgoodtrain
 
bridgedemolition
 

Demolition of the railway bridge at Mackenzie Place