In 1897 the Higland Railway proposed railway lines on the Isle of Skye and Lewis. At Skye the line should go from Kyle Akin via Broadford to Torrin. The Highland Railway should raise some of the needed money, build the line and operate it.After some discussions amongst the managers, they decided against.
In 1898 the Hebridean Light Railway Company (HLR) was founded in London,they hoped to get support from the North British Railway, because the North British was building the line from Fort William to Mallaig. The HLR proposed lines from Isleornsey via Broadford, Sligachan, Portree, Borve. There the line seperates in two branches. One to Uig and one to Dunvegan..
At the Hebrideas, the opinions where mixed, some supported the proposal because they believed it as a salvation for the Hebrideas, others feared that they couldn't afford the railway. There was also a disagreement that Kyle Akin won't get a rail connection, and so no connection with the Higland Railway would be realised.It was also feared that with the construction of the railway, the coastal puffers routes would be abandoned, and parts of Skye wouldn't be provided by them.In the end, the HLR couln't raise the money, and they feared the Higland Railway, because they seeked support by North British Railway.
One year after both projects have failed, the 12th Earl of Loch Carron combined both proposals. After these he provided the funds for the Isle of Skye Railway, and the construction works began soon. So that in 1902 trains could run from Isleornsay/Kyle Akin via Broadford to Portree. A trainferry was established in Isleornsay and Kyle Akin, so that goods wagons, passenger carriages and sometimes locomotives could brought to the island. These two stations also got some engine facilities. A greater motive power depot was located at Borve, where engines and wagons could be maintained. In 1904 Uig and Dunvegan where connected to the network. At Uig there wasn't an engine facility. Because of the railway some smaller industries settled down at Portree, which shipped their goods by train. With the railway fish was now send from Uig and Dunvegan to the south by train. At Uig the Uig brewery was founded and connected with the railway. Every station got some goods facilities.
There was also some passanger traffic on the Isle of Skye Railway. In the morning there where connections from Dunvegan/Uig to Portree via Borve, there the passengers form Dunvegan must change the train for Portree, these train continued further to the south of the island. In the south there was a train from Isleornsay via Portree to Uig. At Borve passengers for Dunvegan could change the train. Around midday there was a train form Uig to Isleornsay with a throughcarriage to Glasgow and there was a train in the opposit direction. In the evening the same procedure took place as in the morning.
Between Kyle Akin - Broadford - Torrin Mixed Trains where used because of lesser passengers and goods provided by the stations. There where no throughcarriages on these line. The ferry from Kyle Akin to Kyle of Lochalsh was only used by goods wagons. Passenger for the mainland had to leave the train.
Because the Isle of Skye Railway was only a small company, they bought well established locomotives build by other railway companies, these where mostly used locomotives mainly with two or three coupled axles. Goodstrains usually where not longer than 20 goodswagons with 10 feet wheelsbase.
The IoS Ry was never very profitable, and was like the line from Lochdubh to Strathbane supported by a foundation which was established by the 12th Earl of Loch Carron. In 1923 the railway kept their independence, but in 1948 it was incooperated into the Scottish Region of British Railways. But because of the supporting foundation. British Railways couldn't close the railway.
These allowes the use of DMU's and Diesel locomotives from the 1960s on.
In the late 1920s the LMS contacted the IoS, they wanted to participate from the fishtraffic which by then was usually send via Isleornsay - Maillig to the south by LNER.
Because of that a railway bridge was built between Kyle Akin and Kyle of Lochalsh in the 1930s. After the opening of the bridge, most of the goods where send over the bridge, exept the throughcarriagias and fishwagons bound for Glasgow. Because the LNER feared a decrease of their traffic they could establish some operation rules for the use of the bridge by the LMS by a London court. The LMS was forbidden to cross the bridge with their trains. And that trains that crossed the bridge have to change locomotives at the stations nearest to the bridge. Then a shunting locomotive was coupled to the train and took the train over the bridge.
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