3. The Real Kyle of Sutherland
The Kyle of Sutherland is the river estuary that separates Sutherland from Ross-shire. It flows into the Dornoch Firth and is fed by the rivers Oykel, Shin and Carron. The Highland Railway built the Oykel viaduct in 1868 to cross the Kyle from Culrain (the station was opened in 1870) on the Ross-shire side to Invershin Station on the Sutherland side. The area here on both sides of the Kyle became part of the District of Sutherland in the new Highland Region of 1975.
In the time period of the layout (1955-1962), the road north leaving Culrain passed Carbisdale castle to peter out in the hills above the river Oykel, with the mountains of Sutherland in the distance. Following the boundary change, 1 Troop, 66 Plant Squadron, of the Royal Engineers was drafted in to improve communications by crossing the Oykel with a Bailey bridge and provide a link to the main road to Lochinver on the north west coast. Local government completed what the Highland Railway failed to achieve when in 1897 it put forward a scheme to make Culrain the junction for a forty-one mile branch to Lochinver.