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Boat Of Garten Station

Railway Station (19th Century)

Site Name Boat Of Garten Station

Classification Railway Station (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Strathspey Railway; Strathspey Railway Co; Strathspey Steam Railway

Canmore ID 15393

Site Number NH91NW 19

NGR NH 94342 18852

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Duthil And Rothiemurchus
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Badenoch And Strathspey
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH91NW 19.00 94342 18852

For corresponding 'Speyside' station at Aviemore (NH 8965 1275), see NH81SE 27.

NH91NW 19.01 NH 94344 18671 Stationmaster's House

NH91NW 19.02 NH 94320 18691 Railway Signal Box

NH91NW 19.03 NH 94346 18825 Footbridge

(Location cited as NH 943 189). Boat of Garten Station, opened 1863 by the Inverness and Perth Junction Rly. A three-platform junction station, with the station building on the down platform. This was a junction between the Highland and Great North of Scotland railways, and signal boxes (which survive) were provided by both companies. The down-platform building is single-storey and wooden, with a 1-storey and attic stone station house adjoining. Now the headquarters of the Strathspey Railway Co, which intends to operate a train service between the Boat and Aviemore.

J R Hume 1977.

Highland Railway; preserved by Strathspey Railway.

J Close-Brooks 1986.

On the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1874, sheet lix) there is an unroofed building with an attached short length of wall at this location. To the S of this building are four roofed buildings, one of which lies between two railway lines, and another is labelled as a Signal Post.

Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 11 July 1996.

This intermediate station on the original Aviemore - Inverness line (via Forres and over Dava summit) of the former Highland Rly was also the junction station for the 'Speyside' branch (to Craigellachie) of the former Great North of Scotland Rly. It was opened (by the Inverness and Perth Junction Rly) on 3 August 1863 and was closed to regular passenger traffic by the British Railways Board on 18 October 1965, final closure taking place on 16 June 1969. It reopened on 22 July 1978 as a preserved station of the Strathspey Railway Co [not the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, as stated by Butt], after being biught in 1972; although it is currently the northern terminus of the Strathspey Rly (from Aviemore, NH81SE 27), extension of the preserved line to Grantown-on-Spey is proposed.

Facilities currently available include a shop and refreshment rooms; the Boat Hotel is adjacent.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 14 June 2001.

B Williams 1988; R V J Butt 1995.

Architecture Notes

Opened 5.11.1855; became Junction for GNOSR Craigellachie Branch 1866.

Closed 18.10.1965 and now a station on the preserved Strathspey Railway.


Publication Account (1995)

The name 'Boat of Garten' comes from an old ferry across the Spey. Boat of Garten railway station was opened in 1863 by the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway, later part of the Highland Railway. It has a wooden single-storey station building with slated roof and a stone station-master's house adjoining, both built in 1904 to replace others in a similar style which had burnt down. The typical iron footbridge was cast in the Rose Street Foundry, Inverness, in 1900; it comes from Dalnaspidal and replaces an identical bridge removed in 1960. Boat of Garten was a junction between the Highland Railway and a branch of the Great North of Scotland Railway joining the line to Elgin at Craigell achie, and as such had th ree platforms and two signal boxes. From 1863 the main line north from Perth ran through Boat of Garten and on to Grantown-on-Spey, Nairn and Inverness, until a new direct line from Aviemore to Inverness via Carrbridge was opened in 1898.

The line from Aviemore to Boat of Garten, closed by British Rail in 1965, has been reopened as an 'operating museum of steam traction' by the Strathspey Railway Company, who run a steam train service in the summer months. The line still uses semaphore signals. Their oldest locomotive was built in 1899 for the Caledonian Railway, and among the rolling stock is a Highland Railway brakevan of the 1870s. A railway museum is housed in some of the restored buildings at Boat of Garten (part of this is across the footbri dge). At Aviemore, where restoration work by volunteers continues, a new station has been constructed in the old locomotive yard (NH 897129). The station building has been moved from Dalnaspidal and the original engine shed reopened. Locomotives a reagain housed and maintained there. The journey from Aviemore to Boat of Garten takes just over 15 minutes, and runs through some attractive wooded countryside with the Cairngorms In the background. The ultimate aim of the Strathspey Railway Company is to reopen the next section of line to Grantown-on-Spey.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).

Publication Account (2007)

Boat of Garten Station is now the headquarters of the Strathspey Railway Company, which runs trains on the line from Aviemore to Broomhill, and is dedicated to rebuilding the section to Grantown-on-Spey West Station on the former Highland Railway main line from Aviemore to Forres. The station was originally the junction between the Highland Railway and the Great North of Scotland Railway, and the buildings that are visible today reflect its past history as a junction. The station opened in 1863 as part of the Inverness and Perth Railway providing a link to Forres and Inverness. Until the opening of the new cut-off route via Slochd, this line was the main route from the south to the capital of the Highlands.

The buildings are typical of the Highland Railway Company house style, a mixture of stone and prefabricated elements. The GNSR and later the LNER Strathspey line mostly used the eastern side of the station. Other structures included two signal boxes with signals controlling the north and south approaches, a small engine shed, a footbridge and several platform buildings including the station-master’s house. The railway company did not own the immediately adjacent ‘Boat Hotel’. The survival of the station and all the other surrounding structures is entirely due to the dedicated work of the preservation society. Its line connects with the national system at Aviemore where a working steam engine shed can be found, one of the few to survive in Scotland.

Information from ‘Commissioners’ Field Meeting 2007'.


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