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Royal Deeside Railway facts for kids

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The Royal Deeside Railway was formed in 1996 with the intention of reclaiming part of the former branch line from Aberdeen to Ballater, constructed between 1853 and 1856 by the Deeside Railway company and closed by British Railways in 1966.

The railway offers a passenger train service over 1 mile of track from Milton of Crathes to Birkenbaud Crossing. The first steam-hauled passenger services was operated during 2010.

Rail services are operated using an operational rolling stock including Steam Engine former Aberdeen Gas Works Bon Accord, British Rail Class 03 diesel shunters, three British Rail Mark 2 coaches in BR Crimson and Cream livery. The Royal Deeside Railway also has the original British Rail BEMU "Gemini" Battery Railcar, converted and specifically tested on the old Deeside Railway Line.


Work is currently underway to extend and reinstate part of the railway line between Banchory and Milton of Crathes. A new station has been constructed at Milton of Crathes while one mile of track has so far been laid towards Banchory.

The Royal Deeside Railway have begun installing a new bridge parallel to the Bridge of Bennie to carry the Deeside Way. This will allow track to be re-laid across the original late 1800's bridge. The bridge was successfully lifted into place on the 15th December 2020, however the bridge currently remains closed to the public until all of the ground work has been completed and deemed safe to open.

While work has been carried out to install the new bridge, the Royal Deeside Railway has constructed a new station known as "River side Halt" as well as relaying new track, including a future loop line once funding has been found to acquire a new set of left hand turn points. Until such time the loop is connected, the line will end with a buffer stop and a new siding will be created. The construction of a new station will allow passengers to disembark the train and walk the mile back to the Milton of Crathes station or continue further along towards Banchory.


  • Steam locomotives
    • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No. 807 "Bon-Accord". Operational (Ex Aberdeen Gas Works).
    • Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST No. 2139 "Salmon". Boiler ticket expired 1 January 2019, a contract overhaul is being arranged.
  • Diesel locomotives
    • BR 0-6-0 Class 03 no. D2037 / 03037. Stored Unserviceable.
    • BR 0-6-0 Class 03 no. D2094 / 03094. Operational.
    • BR 0-6-0 Class 03 no. D2134 / 03134. Operational.
  • Multiple units
    • BR BEMU unit 79998+79999. Operational (as hauled coaching stock)

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