MHG48405 - Wick to Lybster Light Railway


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • RAILWAY (20th Century to Second World War - 1903 AD to 1944 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Wick and Lybster Light Railway opened in 1903, with the intention of opening up the fishing port of Lybster to the railway network at Wick. Its construction was heavily supported financially by local government and the Treasury. It was worked by the Highland Railway. The line was never heavily used and the anticipated expansion of the fishing trade did not take place. When a modern road to the south was built in the 1930s, transits from Lybster were considerably shorter and quicker by that means, and the railway closed completely in 1944.

The path of the Wick-Lybster branch-line of the former Highland Railway is visible as a series of low embankments and shallow cuttings, which have either been incorporated into fields of pasture or else left as waste ground between fields. At Lineside farmsteading (ND34SW 439) a building has been constructed across the trackbed, and at several other locations the line of the old railway is now used as a dump for field-cleared stones. A feature of the line is the number of crossings at which there are still preserved cast iron gate-posts made at the Rose Street Foundry in Inverness (NH64NE 211). At some of the crossings the original gates are also still in place, but mostly they have been removed. The crossing immediately N of the now disused Borrowston Quarry (ND34SW 314) at ND 32502 43420 was recorded photographically. At Thrumster, the track-bed lies immediately NW of the public road (A9), but much of it on the SE side of the policies of Thrumster House (ND34NW 20.00) is masked by a windbreak of conifers. A surviving station building at Thrumster (ND34NW 17) is in a good state of repair (see MHG52378).
Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 24 May 2004 <1>

A section of the route from Mid-Clyth northwards to the Burn of East Clythe was subject to photographic survey by AOC Archaeology in 2013. This was undertaken as part of evaluation and mitigation works associated with the site of a proposed borrow pit for the Burn of Whik windfarm development. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 30251 43361 (10949m by 15242m)
Map sheet ND34SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.