The Railway Through th Central Highlands

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The railway route through the Central Highlands from Perth to Inverness offers a spectacular journey through a variety of landscapes. Initially traversing the pastoral Strathtay as far as Ballanluig, the scenery becomes more dramatic and bleak as the line runs alongside the river Garry and on to Druimuachdar, the highest standard gauge railway summit in the United Kingdom. From Newtonmore, the valley of the Spey is followed to Aviemore, giving excellent views of the Cairngorm Mountains. Here is the junction with the preserved Strathspey Railway, which uses part of the original route northwards that was built in 1863. A new route from Aviemore to Inverness was opened in 1898 involving another major climb to a summit at Slochd and a series of superb viaducts across the river valleys. The author has visited the line regularly over the last four decades and presents a selection of his steam and diesel photographs showing the different traction in use during this period.

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