3. Kyle of Sutherland Layout
Kyle of Sutherland is my interpretation of the Scottish station of Culrain, an ex-Highland Railway passing loop on the Far North line from Inverness to Wick and Thurso. Culrain Station is modelled as it was in 1960 during the time of British Railways. The layout is close to scale with a 30’ radius curve through the station, equivalent to just under half a mile on the prototype.
Culrain Station looking south
Culrain Station looking north
I published the south view as a postcard captioned “Culrain Station in 1960” to coincide with the first public showing of the scenically complete Kyle of Sutherland, over the weekend of September 19th and 20th 2015 in Culrain Village Hall.
The two main published sources of the correct period for the model are a P.L.Sibley photo taken 26 July 1955 looking north from the road over-bridge (p. 152, Scottish Railways Then & Now, Gavin Morrison, Ian Allan 1999) and a 1960-ish photo by H.A.Vallance looking south from the steps of the signal cabin (p. 683 of Railway Magazine December 1966). I also have two very fine, detailed photos dated 20 August 1955, which I obtained direct from the well-known railway photographer J.L. Stephenson. Thoughtfully, he took one from the bridge looking north and one looking south from just past the signal cabin. All these photographs are in black and white.
Over the years I have added a few more photographs to my collection: some black and white photographs outside the period of the layout, but no period photos in colour. I also have a few photographs from people who still live in the area including old black and white snapshots taken in the station yard and on the platforms, which provide much useful detail for modelling.