Image: Highland Railway Society

The Lochgorm Locomotive Works were based at Inverness and built in 1864. The workshops consisted of several different buildings and included machine shops, an erecting shop and a roundhouse, which had a massive turntable to allow engines to be quickly mobilised.

There is a description of the works in 1902: –

The forge contained a two-ton double action steam hammer. The smiths’ shop had 18 fires and beside it was a spring shop. In the yard in front of the smithy were a punching and shearing machine, a hot saw and a tyre-heating furnace to expand the steel tyres before they were fitted to the wheels.

At the other side of the yard was the boiler shop with a ten-ton travelling crane and the machine shop where four rows of assorted machinery were driven by a double vertical engine with 11×20 inch cylinders.

A tramway ran from the boiler shop into the erecting shop, which was equipped with two 30-ton travelling cranes, three wheel turning lathes and a hydraulic machine for pressing wheels onto axles.

Image: Highland Railway Society

The paint shop which dealt with rolling stock and locomotives had four rail tracks. Attached to it was a trimming shop for leather-working, which also had a ‘hair-tearing machine’

Also coppersmiths and tinsmiths shops, iron store, pattern shop and brass foundry.
Power for all machines was supplied by three coke-fired locomotive-type boilers.

On the other side of the Rose St Curve was Needlefield Carriage Works with its timber yard, drying shed, sawmill and the carriage and wagon building shops.

The Lochgorm Locomotive Works produced many steam engines with local names such as ‘Clachnacuddin’ and ‘Strathpeffer’.

Image: Highland Photo Archive

From time to time, the coke ovens of the railway were used to burn the old, tattered banknotes of the Caledonian bank, which had been taken out of circulation. Some of the Bank’s directors were always present at the burning ceremonies to make sure no notes were stolen, but other railway employees would always keep an eye on the chimney stack just in case the odd note made it out.