Heritage Locations

Inverness Station Complex

The former headquarters of the Highland Railway, notable for its unusual track layout and the architectural interest of the buidlings.


Period of construction:
1850 - 1899

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Station Square, Academy Street, Inverness IV2 3PY


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

The Inverness & Nairn Railway opened in 1855. After amalgamation with the inverness & Aberdeen Junction railway in 1861 these two were joined to the Inverness & Perth Junction Railway in 1865 to form the Highland Railway. These all required platforms pointed towards the east.

When the Inverness & Ross-shire Railway opened in 1861 it was necessary to provide platforms facing north. As a result the station is unusual in having two sets of lines diverging sharply within it. In 1876 a pitched iron and glass roof was built over the concourse, but the platforms were left fairly exposed to the weather.

A triangle of lines was formed by a link line outside the station. In the days of steam locomotives it was normal practice to use this triangle to enable trains to be reversed into the station, thus releasing the locomotive.

The station hotel by Joseph Mitchell was opened in 1855 and later extended. Of modest architectural interest externally, its interior still recaptures something of the atmosphere of late Victorian and Edwardian travel when it was customary to break the long journey north by an overnight stay.

More distinguished is the former head office building of the Highland Railway across the square from the hotel. It was built by Matthews and Laurie in 1875 and is listed Grade A.

The station is now the terminus of the Highland Main Line, the Aberdeen-Inverness Line (of which the Inverness and Nairn Railway is now a part), the Kyle of Lochalsh Line and the Far North Line.


Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)
Biddle, Gordon, Victorian Stations, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 5949 5 (1973)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S.,
The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J.,
The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, Oxford, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Biddle, Gordon,and Spence, Jeffry,
The British Railway Station, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 7467 2(1977)

Butt, R.V.J., The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present, 1st Edition, Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199 (1995)

Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Jowett, Alan, Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland,  Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. (March 1989)

Lambert, A. Highland Railway Album. 2vols. Ian Allan, ISBN-10 071100532X (1974, 1978)

Lloyd, David and Insall, Donald, Railway Station Architecture, David & Charles, ISBN 0 7153 7575 X (1978)

Nock, O.S., The Highland Railway, Ian allan, ASIN B0000CMLHH (1965)

Ross, David. The Highland Railway. ISBN 0 7524 3479 9 (2005)

Simmons, J., The Railways of Britain, Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 40766 0 (1961-86)

Simmons, J., The Victorian Railway, Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0 500 25110X (1991)

Thomas, J. and Turnock, D., A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, North of Scotland. ISBN 0 946537 03 8 (1993)

Vallance, H.A., The Highland Railway, Pan, ISBN 0 330 02720 4 (1938, rev. 1969, 1971)

Opening Times:
Daily, see timetables or telephone 0845 6015929.

How To Find:
By road: Off A82 - in the centre of Inverness off Academy Street. There are two car parks.


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