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Visit to the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society: 12 September 2017

CILT Scottish Region members at Milton of Crathes station.d

CILT Scottish Region members at Milton of Crathes station.

© John Yellowlees, 2017

The Royal Deeside Railway is a standard gauge steam and diesel hauled heritage railway, in a beautiful setting running alongside the River Dee. The line is currently about one mile long and the return journey lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.

Opened in 2003, the Royal Deeside Railway recreates a mile of the route that until 1966 linked Aberdeen with Ballater, the station for Balmoral. Trains are worked by two BR diesel shunters and by Barclay-built steam locomotive Salmon, which entered service in 1942 at Rosyth.

The award-winning station building was relocated from Oldmeldrum, and now houses the ticket office, shop and waiting room. From 1958 to 1962 the Ballater service was operated with a unique railcar powered by batteries which were recharged at both ends of the route.

Now the railcar, representing an idea whose time surely has come again, has returned to Milton of Crathes where it is awaiting restoration. In April 2017 Prince Charles visited the Railway to see for himself progress in repairing a carriage named after the royal estate of Birkhall.

Once it can get agreement to reinstate a level crossing, the Society aims to extend westward to the outskirts of Banchory.

CILT thanks Chris Milburn, Frank Grant and Ian Ross of the Society for their warm welcome and hospitality.

For more inforation visit the Royal Deeside Railway website.

Report and photograph by John Yellowlees.


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