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Aberdeen Railway

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Introduction
Local area
Chronology

Locations
Guthrie Junction
Friockheim Junction
Glasterlaw Junction
Glasterlaw
Farnell Road
Brechin
Brechin West Junction
Brechin East Junction
Bridge of Dun
Dubton
Broomfield Junction Halt
Broomfield Junction
Montrose
Kinnaber Junction
Craigo
Marykirk
Laurencekirk
Fordoun
Drumlithie
Stonehaven
Muchalls
Newtonhill
Portlethen
Cove Bay
Craiginches Yard
Ferryhill Junction
Clayhills Yard
Aberdeen Guild Street

This site
Caledonian Railway
Great North of Scotland Railway
Arbroath and Forfar Railway

Other sites
Caledonian Railway
ScotRail


Aberdeen Railway

This line ran from Aberdeen to near Forfar with branches to Brechin and Montrose. The line is intact from Aberdeen to near Montrose (forming a major part of both the West Coast and East Coast routes). It carries both passengers and freight. A branch from Bridge of Dun to Brechin remains as a preserved railway. The station at Laurencekirk has re-opened.

 

Deeside RailwayDenburn Valley LineBrechin and Edzell District Railway Montrose and Bervie Railway North British, Arbroath and Montrose RailwayNorth British, Arbroath and Montrose RailwayArbroath and Forfar Railway Glasterlaw Farnel Road Clickable map of the Aberdeen Railway
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area

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This line runs through agricultural hinterland. The line had branches to the market town of Brechin, port of Montrose and terminated at the port and former garrison of Aberdeen.

Chronology

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The line operated as part of the chain of west coast railway companies. It first merged with the Scottish Midland Junction Railway to form the Scottish North Eastern Railway which itself merged with the Caledonian Railway.

Description of route

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From Aberdeen to Glasterlaw with branches to Brechin and Montrose. The route is signalled using semaphore from traditional signalboxes (Laurencekirk, Carmont, Stonehaven and Newtonhill) except from the north of Newtonhill to Aberdeen which is controlled by a powerbox at Aberdeen. The line between Kinnaber Junction and Guthrie is closed.

Guthrie Junction  
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Although the site of Guthrie station has been largely landscaped (except for the main station building), the junction remains recognisable. Both the line from Forfar to Arbroath (the Arbroath and Forfar Railway) and the Aberdeen Railway were double track and a loop existed on the up side of the junction. The junction box was on the down side of the junction near the (now removed) road underbridge. This junction allowed trains to run from Aberdeen to Forfar.

Friockheim Junction  
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This junction was between the Aberdeen Railway and the Forfar to Arbroath line  (theArbroath and Forfar Railway). The junction allowed trains to run from Aberdeen to Arbroath. The route was replaced on the opening of the North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway which was built in connection with the opening of the Tay Bridge. The formation of the junction and the location of the box can still be discerned in the undergrowth.

Glasterlaw Junction  
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This was where the routes to Forfar and Arbroath divided. Both railways were double track. The location is best visited by walking down a dirt road which must once have had two level crossings over it.

Glasterlaw Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:December 1857 Re-opened:April 1881 Closed:2 April 1951
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This station is now a private house. The level crossing to the north end of the site has still a number of semaphore signals although the posts are currently lying on the ground.

Farnell Road Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is now a private house. The road under-bridge to the north of the site has been removed. The line is closed here.

Brechin Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:4 August 1952
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Brechin was on a short branch from the main Aberdeen Railway. The branch was single track. The station still stands, in its rebuilt form dating from the opening of the Edzell and Forfar branches, thanks to the efforts of The Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd. along with the line through to Bridge of Dun. Car parking is available nearby. The photograph to the left looks out from the station towards Bridge of Dun. The right view shows the terminus. The glass in the canopies was removed in the 1990s.

Brechin West Junction  
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At this point two tracks left the Brechin to Bridge of Dun branch. The West track led to Forfar and the East track to Edzell. The junction faced the Brechin terminus and joined the line next to Brechin locomotive shed. The trackbed is still walkable and overgrown. Access may be gained near the council rubbish disposal site.

Brechin East Junction  
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The lines from Edzell and Forfar joined the Brechin to Bridge of Dun branch at this point. The junction faced towards Bridge of Dun.

Bridge of Dun Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:4 September 1967
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This station still stands and has been stored by The Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd. To the south of the station was the junction between the main line to Aberdeen and the Brechin branch. The station consists of and island platform and through platform. The down platform building has been removed but the up building remains with a canopy. Car parking is available at the site.

Dubton Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:4 August 1952
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The track here was lifted when the Brechin branch was closed to freight by British Rail. To the north of the station was a junction between the Montrose Branch and the main line to Aberdeen. The station buildings remain but the platforms have been filled in. The station is now in use as a house.

Broomfield Junction Halt Opened:1 February 1848 Closed 31 December 1878
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Or Broomfield Road Junction. Nearby was Broomfield which was open between 1866 and 1867.

This station consisted of a platform between the lines running to Inverbervie (Montrose and Bervie Railway) and Dubton. To the south of the station was the junction between these two lines next to a level crossing. On the other side of the level crossing was the signal box (on the west side of the tracks) and another junction where the lines to Montrose (North British) and Montrose (Caledonian) diverged.

Broomfield Junction  
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This was located by a level crossing. This was the junction between the lines from Inverbervie and Dubton, and the lines from Montrose (North British) and Montrose (Caledonian). The site has been landscaped and I have not found any remains here. The trackbed towards Inverbervie (Montrose and Bervie Railway) is now a walkway. The photograph looks North from the site of the junction. The station would have been located somewhere in the foreground. There was a brick signal-box here which was damaged during a bombing raid in the Second World War. The damaged part of the box was re-built in timber.

Montrose Opened:1 February 1848 Closed:17 September 1849 Rebuilt by Caledonian Railway and Re-opened:17 September 1849 Closed:30 April 1934
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This was a terminus. The area of the extensive sidings at this station has now been built on with houses. The station building remains as a retirement home but its extensive trainshed has been removed and replaced with a tasteful canopy. The building has been stone-cleaned. The station was closed in preference to the other station in Montrose which was on the Dundee to Aberdeen main line rather than the terminus of a short branch.

Kinnaber Junction  
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This is the famous location where the East Coast and West Coast routes met in former times. There was only one route forward to Aberdeen and this gave rise to the railway races - the first train to reach this point also being the first to Aberdeen. The companies which constituted the two routes would contributed to the running of the train over their section as it raced from London to Aberdeen.

This was the junction between the Caledonian main line to Aberdeen (via Forfar) and the North British main line (North British, Arbroath and Montrose Railway) to Aberdeen (via Dundee and the Tay Bridge). The Caledonian route was the original Aberdeen Railway. The former Caledonian route has been closed and lifted. It remained as a single track as far as Bridge of Dun until the Brechin branch closed. The signal box was located between the two main lines. In Caledonian days there was a slight reverse "S" bend on the North British route, the track alignment favouring the Caledonian route in terms of speed, the North British exercising running powers over the Caledonian route to Aberdeen, not having their own route. This was instituted by the Government to prevent the Caledonian from having a monopoly of the Aberdeen traffic. The track has been re-aligned now and there is no kink in the existing route today. The former Caledonian route is in a deep cutting and is slowly reverting to nature.

Craigo Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed.

Marykirk Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed.

Laurencekirk Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:4 September 1967
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This station was closed but recently re-opened using the original station buildings. The goods yard here sees much traffic and is likely to see more following the closure (to facilitate the building of a road by-pass) of the freight depot at Montrose (North British) and transfer of trains to this depot.

The platforms have been demolished but the goods shed, signal box and down platform station building remain intact.

Fordoun Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed.

Drumlithie Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed.

Carmont Closed:11 June 1956
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The signalbox here is still in operation and presides over a level crossing. The siding here was lifted in the 1980s but the level crossing still operates. The location is also known as New Mill.

Stonehaven Opened:1 November 1849
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This station is open. Most passenger trains halt here. There is a signal-box and fine station building here. Some sidings remain here, although out of use for freight. There is a car-park at this station.

Muchalls Opened:1 November 1849 Closed: 4 December 1950
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This station is closed.

Newtonhill Opened:1 November 1849 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed, although there is a signal-box here.

Portlethen Opened:1 April 1850 Closed:11 June 1956 Re-opened:17 May 1985
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This station is open, being a re-opening..

Cove Bay Opened:1 April 1850 as Cove Re-named:Cove Bay 1 October 1912 Closed:11 June 1956
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This station is closed. Nothing remains of the station although the station Hotel still stands. It is derelict.

Craiginches Yard  
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These are freight sidings to the south of Aberdeen. Oil and concrete traffic is handled here.

Ferryhill Junction Opened:1 April 1850 Closed:2 August 1854
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The first terminus for trains from the south was here before the line was extended to Guild Street.

This was the junction for the Deeside Railway which joined at a north, Aberdeen,  facing junction. In the "V" of the junction was located Ferryhill Motive Power Depot, now closed.

Clayhills Yard  
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The Denburn Valley Line starts here which connected the Scottish North Eastern Railway to the Great North of Scotland Railway. Clayhills yard contains a train washer and a number of holding sidings.

Aberdeen Guild Street Opened:2 August 1854 Closed:4 November 1867
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This station bore some resemblance to Glasgow Queen Street (High Level). It was a terminus. Later the lines were carried through to the west of this station along the Denburn Valley Line which had a replacement station, the present station Aberdeen Joint (now simply called Aberdeen). These lines were, utlimately, to lead to Inverness. Before the new lines were opened if one wished to continue by rail to Huntly and beyond, one had to change to Aberdeen Waterloo station. A tramway ran between Aberdeen Guild Street and Aberdeen Waterloo along the quaysides of Aberdeen Harbour. The connection was poor.

Guild Street station became a goods yard and goods shed following closure to passengers when the new line was opened. The site is now more or less closed (the goods shed is a car-park) and thought is being given to a new interchange station here between rail and bus. Goods services will be moved to a site, Raithes Farm, near Dyce station. Although with the long section of single track between Aberdeen and Dyce this may lead to capacity problems.


Page created in 1996
Page last edited on: 06/08/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford