The arrival of the railway in Inverness in 1855 heralded the end of tedious travel from Inverness by stagecoach or ship. The new era in communication in the Scottish Highlands brought great prosperity to what was then a deprived area and an expansion of industries such as fishing, whisky distilling and forestry. This is the story, never published before, of the lives of two engineers involved in the design and building of railway tracks over some of the most difficult terrain in Britain.
Murdoch Paterson was responsible for the planning of the direct line from Aviemore to Inverness which involved the very difficult passage through Slochd Summit and two large scale viaducts. He also designed the Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh line, now considered one of the 'Great Train Journeys of the World.' His older brother William, less well known, carried out important work in the earlier days of the railways. This book weaves the continuing connection between the two, first as assistants to and then as partners of Joseph Mitchell, the moving spirit of Highland railways. After that the book describes their own careers.
The book opens with a glimpse into their forebears, an Episcopalian and Jacobite family caught up in the Battle of Culloden and its aftermath.