The Railway

by Hamish Napier

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Way thumbnail
Way Amazing music from a real character - bought this album after an incredible night at Glassel where we were treated to a very special performance by Hamish, Ross and others (sorry can't remember all the names) of The Railway and Sanctuary.... Thanks guys it's a night that will fill my ears for a long time...
strucker thumbnail
strucker "All Aboard" this atmospheric and thrilling historical ride along the Speyside line. Perfectly captures the essence of the era, region and lives dedicated to the railway.
Clutha thumbnail
Clutha I holiday in the area it's based on, I love steam engines, and this genre of music.
Kevin Spears
Kevin Spears thumbnail
Kevin Spears A truly brilliant piece of music. First class composition and arrangements from Hamish with the full range of dynamics, from subtle and retrospective through to bold and thrilling. The album sweeps you away to the stations, countryside and characters populating the local history that Hamish captures. Aided by a group of family and friends adding perfect accompaniment, the finished article is a credit to Hamish and Andrea and the Grantown East Heritage and Cultural Centre. Do yourself a favour, buy it, listen to it and go see Hamish in concert.
Eddie MacKinnon
Eddie MacKinnon thumbnail
Eddie MacKinnon Enjoy History of railways and Hamish's music what else is there to like I enjoy listening to this album in my space enjoy yours.
en57 thumbnail
en57 This album is an amazing musical embodiment of the Scottish railway heritage. Congratulations to Hamish and his band! Background steam engines, whistles, sheeps, birds, etc. - everything is mixed perfectly with the melodic line. I welcomed the release with great joy. The CD joined my railway music collection. Greetings from Poland!
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Q: What do I get if I order the CD?

    A: The album comes in a gorgeous-looking black and white digipack, including a 16 page booklet, artwork and design by the fabulous Somhairle MacDonald Also includes vintage photos of the Speyside line and Highland Railway taken by photographers from the 1920s up until the '60s.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Railway via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      £13 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £8 GBP  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 9 Hamish Napier releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Fire | Water | Earth, Badenoch The Storylands Vol.3 - History, Badenoch The Storylands Vol.2 - People, Badenoch The Storylands Vol.1 - Folk Tales, The Schawaldouris [Wanderers in the Woods], The Woods, The Tree of Eternity (feat. Duncan Chisholm), The Railway, and 1 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £33.06 GBP or more (20% OFF)


Jocky the Mole hit the Broomhill Bend at 60 miles an hour He’s been racing with the Highland Line from Boat through Tullochgorum Two black fives with wagons in tow he nearly jumped the rails His hand on the open throttle his eyes wide with the power Fire and water, smoke and steam A train is like a living thing Driver, engine, fireman It takes us three to make her sing It takes us three to make her sing Jocky the Mole left the station at Blair to cross Drumouchter Pass Shovelled forward and the boiler full pushing up the slope But the Caley Greyhound wouldn’t run we had to sand the rails When we got her to Dalwhinnie there was nothing in the glass Jocky the Mole ran Jellicoe’s racing against time 14 hours and double shifts, pulling sailors, shells and mines Seven days a week supplying the fleet, near sleeping on the plate As we roared through every signal up the Highland line.
The Firebox 02:26
The Old Ways 02:52
Up the Hill 04:05
Helen's Song 03:55
The Station 04:57
Diesel 03:31
by Hamish Napier


★★★★★ "Napier has the composer’s gift of painting a picture with sound, more evocative that an artist. Superb." FATEA

★★★★ “Warmly evokes the glory days of the long-closed Speyside Line…a lament for a lost world.” THE SCOTSMAN

Q: Why 'The Railway'? What's it about?

A: Well...having lived and worked in Glasgow for 17 years I finally took the bold step of moving back North to the Highlands where I grew up. As much of my work remains in Glasgow, I find myself a regular passenger on the railways for the first time in my life.

When I performed The River (2015) live in Grantown in summer '16, Karen approached me enthusiastically after the show, inviting me to compose a soundtrack to her exciting new venture, the Grantown East: Highland Heritage & Cultural Centre.

'The Old Railway Station', as I called it when I was wee, was just over the river from the house. It was haunted, and as a dare, my brothers, pals and I - including the drummer on this album, 'Stone' - would sometimes sneak in to the forbidden derelict buildings. Over two decades later, with the ruin carefully restored into an important local monument and cultural centre, the ghosts of the railway people are given a platform to tell the world their story.

The Railway, my second solo album, is dedicated to three railwaymen: Jimmy Gray (93, driver from Aviemore), Jocky Hay (94, driver from Inverness) and James telfer (94, the last signalman at Grantown-on-Spey East Station). Many of these tunes and songs were inspired by the great stories these men have to tell about their working lives.

Railways have served Scotland for nearly 200 years, connecting people and trade while leaving a distinctive impact on the landscape. The line that ran through Grantown-on-Spey East station was part of the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR). It is hard to imagine these days the impact the arrival of the railway had on the people. Journeys which had once taken days by foot, horse or wagon could be achieved in hours. The railway was their connection to the outside world. Trains did not just transport people, they carried vital goods and trade, in particular, whisky which was transported from the many local distilleries to the rest of the world. Grantown-on-Spey East Station served the local people for over 100 years until improvements to roads and a review by Dr Beeching the chairman of the British Transport Commission led to the closure of many of the rural railway lines. The last train passed through Grantown-on-Spey East on 2nd Nov 1968. Only the direct routes between Inverness, Perth and Aberdeen remain.

I am proud to be given the opportunity to bring new life to the heritage of my local area with The Railway. I hope that the listener feels that the music, lyrics, titles and stories capture the atmosphere and sounds of the lost railways of the North and the people closely connected to them.
It was a joy to play music again with the most influential peers of my teenage years: Fin, Robbo and Stone. Thank you Karen.

Hamish Grant Napier, Autumn 2017


released August 2, 2018

This solo album / soundtrack was ommissioned by Karen Blessington at 'Grantown East: Highland Heritage & Cultural Centre'.

Q: Who's on the CD?

A: Well I was lucky to have...

Hamish Napier - whistles, flutes, piano, Rhodes, Wurly, Mellotron & backing vocals
Fraser Stone - drums & percussion
Ewan Robertson - guitar
Findlay Napier - lead vocal & guitar (tracks 3 & 10)
James Lindsay - double bass
Ross Ainslie - Highland pipes in 'A' & border pipes
Patsy Reid - fiddles, viola, cello & string arrangements
The Napiers - vocals (Gillian Frame and Lucy Napier on track 11)
Strathspey Railway - whistle, wheels, brakes, rails, steam and chattering folk on the platform
Broomhill Sheep - vocals (track 10)
Jimmy's Fireplace - as itself (track 7)

The project was engineered and coproduced beautifully by Glasgow-based Italian electronica musician Andrea Gobbi (Laki Mera, Ross AiInslie & Jarlath Henderson and Treacherous Orchestra), who created most of the soundscapes on the album.

All tunes composed by Hamish Napier PRS/MCPS, except songs (tracks 3 & 10) by Findlay Napier PRS/MCPS.

All tracks arranged by Hamish Napier with invaluable contributions from Andrea Gobbi and the other musicians.

Produced by Andrea Gobbi and Hamish Napier.

Recorded & mixed by Andrea Gobbi at Carrier Waves Studios & Glo Worm Recording

Mastered by Iain Hutchison at Glo Worm Recording:

Artwork & design by Somhairle MacDonald:

Photos with kind permission from the Highland Railways Society, Great North of Scotland Railway Association, Grantown Museum & Heritage Trust and private contributors.

Sound samples taken by Gobbi & Napier with kind permission of 'The Strathspey Railway':

Hamish Napier plays George Ormiston wooden flutes and Colin Goldie whistles.

For more info on The Railway, including sheet music, visit

For more info on Grantown East Highland Heritage & Culture Centre, visit


★★★★★ "Napier has the composer’s gift of painting a picture with sound, more evocative that an artist. Superb." FATEA

★★★★ “Warmly evokes the glory days of the long-closed Speyside Line…a lament for a lost world.” THE SCOTSMAN

"A truly delightful journey...this is music that makes the heart sing.’ FOLK RADIO UK

"This is certainly one of the best Scottish CDs of 2018.” IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE

“It’s brilliant…cracking tunes, great arrangements and an infectious joy throughout!” Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland

“Absolutely outstanding…made me fall in love with the train all over again!…I love it!” Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio Wales.

“Gorgeous stuff there from the hugely talented multi-instrumentalist Hamish Napier. I promise you one thing…every track on [The Railway] album sounds just as amazing as the two I played on tonights show!”
Emma Sweeney, BBC Radio Lancashire

“Catches the mood perfectly with the ‘Speyside Line.'”
Iain Anderson, BBC Radio Scotland


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Hamish Napier Glasgow, UK

Hamish is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from the Scottish Highlands.

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