For the Highland Railway Company, 1885-1891. Highland Railway station group.
MAIN STATION OFFICES: dated 1885, long single storey H-plan building on down platform with low wing to east. Coursed rubble with broached ashlar dressings. Projecting cross wings with crowstepped gables and carved stone finials, rose, thistle and star; west gable end to platform with canted bay window. Platform canopy borne on clustered cast-iron columns on hexagonal bases. Tall square and round chimney stacks; slate roof.
FORMER WAITING ROOM AND SHELTER: located on up platform: later 19th century, single storey, timber weatherboarded waiting room and separate shelter with swept, piended roofs. Former waiting room has advanced centre section with central door; mullioned and transomed windows; porch to each gable; panelled doors. (presently used as retail premises, 2013). Smaller ancillary shelter to NE, also with slate roof.
WEST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 87978, 55905) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). 2-storey, rectangular-plan signal box. Timber weatherboarding with contrasting painted margins set on brick base; doorway in small projecting porch under valanced lintel fronted by narrow balcony and approached by short wooden forestair. Continuous 4-pane glazing to track elevation, returning along E and W gables. Corrugated metal roof. Lever frame to interior.
EAST SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 88284, 56083) 1891, McKenzie and Holland Type 3 (Highland variant). Broadly same as W signal box but single-storey appearance due to raised platform location and without balcony or forestair. Lever frame to interior.
FOOTBRIDGE. late 19th century cast-iron footbridge with lattice girders, linking up and down platforms; gas lamp brackets.
Statement of Special Interest
The station buildings at Nairn provide a particularly rich and complete representation of a late 19th century Highland Railway station. The station design is stylistically significant within the Highland Railway tradition. Nairn railway station was re-built by the Highland Railway Company in 1885, in part due to the increasing prosperity of the town as a holiday resort. The datestone is on the north gable of the station offices. The principal station buildings are similar in design to those at Pitlochry (see separate listing). The Inverness and Nairn Railway opened in 1855 and was the first railway line in the Highlands. The company was subsumed in 1865 by founding members of the Highland Railway Company.
Signal boxes are a distinctive and increasingly rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. The McKenzie & Holland signal boxes at Nairn date from 1891. They are slightly different in design, illustrating how boxes could be modified to suit their intended position, on or off the platform. This is the last Highland Railway station with signal boxes at either end of the loop. Set a considerable distance apart, the boxes were manned by a duty signaller who cycled between them on a bicycle provided by the rail company. This continued until the Nairn boxes became surplus to operational requirements in 2000.
The footbridge is the classic lattice-girder type for Highland stations of the period.
List description and statutory address revised as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13). East and West Signal Boxes previously listed separately as "Nairn Railway Station, West and East Signal Boxes North (Down) Platform".
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