The Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, by Keith Fenwick and Neil Sinclair
Booklet published by the Highland Railway Society in 2008. A5 size booklet, 74 pages (N5648)
From the introduction: The Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway (I&AJ) was promoted to run from Nairn to Keith to complete the line of communication between Inverness and Aberdeen. Although a direct route to the south over the hills to Perth was preferred, reality dictated the cheaper and shorter alternative of connecting with the existing line at Keith, operated by the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR), to link Inverness to the rest of the railway system. On its route, it served the towns of Forres and Elgin. Several other stations catered for the scattered rural population. The line's backers were the same people who had promoted the Inverness to Nairn Railway (I&N).
The I&AJ and GNSR were not happy bedfellows. The distrust and rivalry which appeared in the mid-1840s continued after the line opened. It did not help that there still remained a gap at Aberdeen and connections from the south were not reliably maintained. Proposals for the direct route to Perth resurfaced in 1860 and that line was opened three years later, after which the I&AJ east of Forres was managed as a branch from the main line. Keith remained the connecting point with the GNSR, but after 1896 traffic was also exchanged at Elgin. These arrangements lasted largely unchanged through the nationalisation of the railways In 1948; it was only in the 1960s that the timetable was transformed into today's through Aberdeen to Inverness service, one which remains a popular transport facility for workers, shoppers and tourists.
The aim of this booklet is to provide a detailed description of the I&AJ in its independent days and outline its subsequent history. The route from Nairn to Keith is easy to describe and, for completeness, the Burghead branch has been included. However, the story of the company itself is much more complex as it managed the lines north to Invergordon and south to Perth from their opening; in effect it grew into the main component of the Highland Railway when that was formed in 1865. As well as the difficult relationship with the GNSR, the Company had its differences with the Morayshire Railway, mainly due to the impecunious state of the latter. We have therefore included these developments to give a complete picture of the company's story. Sections include:
Building the Line
Along the Line
Independent Years of the I&AJ
The Morayshire Relationship
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Under Highland Railway Management
Between the Wars
British Railways and Privatisation
The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover have one or two very minor scuffs but are clean and bright, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is an old price printed and a small price sticker on the rear side cover.