Highland Mainline

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The Highland Mainline runs for 118 miles and links a series of small Highland towns between Perth in the South and Inverness in the North. The line features both double and single track sections.


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LocationMileageNo. TracksCommentsPhoto
Perth 151mi 25ch Double Southern end of the Highland Mainline
Stanley Junc 158m 38c End of double track section
7m 08c Start of single track section and change of mileage
Dunkeld & Birnam 15mi 31ch Loop
Inver 16mi 50ch - 16mi 72ch Single Viaduct and tunnel
Tay Viaduct 20mi 48ch Single
Pitlochry 28mi 21ch Loop
Killiecrankie 31mi 60ch - 31mi 77ch Single Narrow gorge with viaduct and tunnel
Tilt Viaduct 34mi 76ch Single End of single track
Blair Atholl 35mi 09ch Double
Dalnaspidal 50mi 73ch Double
Druimachdair Summit 53mi 00ch Double At 1484ft, the highest point on Network Rail
Dalwhinnie 58mi 47ch Double End of double track line. Up platform is bi-directional.
Newtonmore 68mi 62ch Single
Kingussie71mi 21ch - 71mi 59ch Loop Down platform is bi-directional
Kincraig Loop 77mi 23ch - 77mi 55ch Loop
Aviemore 83mi 09ch - 83mi 49ch Loop Down platform is bi-directional. Provides access to the Strathspey Railway.
Carrbridge 89mi 65ch - 90mi 15ch Loop
Slochd Viaduct 93mi 69ch Single
Slochd Summit 95mi 31ch Loop Both lines bi-directional
Findhorn Viaduct 98mi 04ch - 98mi 24ch Single Viaduct over the River Findhorn
Tomatin Loop 98mi 60ch - 99mi 12ch Loop Now closed station
Moy Loop 102mi 70ch - 103mi 23ch Loop Both lines bi-directional
Aultnaslanch Viaduct 103mi 36ch Single Timber viaduct
Culloden (or River Nairn) Viaduct 110mi 58ch - 111mi 05ch Single Multiple arch stone viaduct over the River Nairn
Culloden 110mi 30ch Double End of single track section.
Cradlehall 116mi 45ch Double
Raigmore 116mi 68ch Double Where the Highland Mainline crosses over the top of the Aberdeen line
Millburn Junc 117mi 39ch Double Where the Aberdeen line joins the Highland Mainline
Welsh's Bridge Junc 117mi 56ch Double Connects with the Rose Street Curve, for accessing the Far North and Kyle Lines
Inverness 118mi 01ch Double Northern terminus of the Highland Mainline

All stations are operated by First Scotrail.



Regular passenger services are operated by ScotRail and NXEC.

ScotRail services run roughly every two hours between Perth and Inverness though not all services stop at all stations en route. A buffet trolley or counter service is available on most trains

A nightly sleeper service runs along the line which connects with portions from Aberdeen and Fort William at Edinburgh to form one service for London Euston. The southbound portion runs with the headcode 1M16 and the northbound as 1S25. Booked traction is a Class 67.

LNER provide a daily HST service to and from London, which is marketed with the name "The Highland Chieftain". The up service (1E13) departs Inverness at 07:55 and arrives in King's Cross at 15:49 while the Northbound working (1S16) departs King's Cross at midday and arrives in the Highland capital at 20:04. The HST set which forms 1S16 each day stables in Inverness overnight and forms the next day's 1E13.

The Royal Scotsman is a frequent visitor to the line in the Summer months.


Colas Rail operate a weekly cement train from Oxwellmains (Dunbar) to Inverness:

6H51 0248 Oxwellmains - Inverness
6B31 1854 Inverness - Oxwellmains

DRS operate a 6 day per week intermodal service from Mossend to Inverness for Tesco

05:04 Mossend - Inverness
13:07 Inverness - Mossend


The line passes through some very rugged and spectaculary scenery. Notable structures include Findhorn Viaduct near Tomatin and the impressive 600 yard long Culloden Viaduct between Inverness and Carrbridge.

Another feature of the line are the taxing gradients which lead to the summits of Slochd (between Carrbridge and Inverness) and Drummochtar (between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinne) - the latter being the highest point on Network Rail at 1485 feet above sea level.