This railway station isn’t actually on the Isle of the Skye, but it’s the gateway to it for those arriving by rail or road. We drove there to pick Scott up, who had decided to arrive in style by train.
Operated today by Abellio, this railway station was first opened in November 1897 and it kick-started the tourism industry which is now an important part of the Isle of Skye’s economy. Before this most visitors to Skye needed to get the ferry leaving from Stromeferry, which was a more complex option than necessary. The road sign at Stromeferry now has underneath it “no ferry”, just to prevent any modern day confusion.
This was an expensive line to build, they needed to build 29 bridges and it cost £20,000 per mile which would have been a huge cost at the time.
The station building itself has two platforms and is used by around 60,000 passengers each year.
There used to be a ferry which left from this railway station to take locals and visitors to the Isle of Skye, with the railway company installing the ferry landing area. A new road in the 1990s meant the end of this ferry, and it was hugely controversial as the road tolls became expensive and locals couldn’t get the exemptions that they previously unofficially had. The Scottish Government purchased the bridge in 2004 and the tolls were immediately scrapped. For those without a car, there are buses which go from the railway station into Portree and some other locations on the Isle of Skye.
And here comes the train with Scott on. With his arrival, it meant that the rest of us could explore the Isle of Skye.
Ross claimed Scott looked gormless when he got off the train. We didn’t repeat that many times to him as politeness is the key.
And Andrew liked the little train because it had a garden in it.