Aberdeen Railway

Introduction

This line ran from Aberdeen to near Forfar [2nd] with branches to Brechin and Montrose. The line is intact from near Montrose to Aberdeen (forming a major part of both the West Coast Main Line and East Coast Main Line routes). It carries both passengers and freight. A branch from Bridge of Dun to Brechin remains as a preserved railway. A station at Laurencekirk has been re-opened.

The company merged with the Scottish Midland Junction Railway to form the Scottish North Eastern Railway.

Why built

This completed the West Coast Main Line route north to Aberdeen, an important port, serving a number of towns.

Service

From Montrose to Aberdeen the line carries both local trains and long distance services of the East Coast and West Coast mainlines.



Dates

  /  /1840Aberdeen Railway
Friockheim Viaduct built, 189m in length. Date to be re-confirmed, seems unlikely!
  /  /1845Aberdeen Railway
Act receives Royal assent
  /  /1847Aberdeen RailwayGreat North of Scotland Railway
Fusion Act made available to merge the Aberdeen Railway with the Great North of Scotland Railway (not used).
  /  /1848Arbroath and Forfar RailwayAberdeen Railway
Merged with Aberdeen Railway.
  /02/1848Aberdeen Railway
Brechin to Bridge of Dun opened.
01/04/1850Aberdeen Railway
Aberdeen Ferryhill opened, this terminus was at the end of a portion of line opened in April 1850.
01/04/1850Aberdeen Railway
Limpet Mill, a short lived terminus, closed.
  /  /1854Aberdeen Railway
Aberdeen Guild Street terminus opened.
02/08/1854Aberdeen Railway
Aberdeen Ferryhill closed.
  /  /1856Aberdeen RailwayScottish Midland Junction RailwayScottish North Eastern Railway
The Aberdeen Railway merged with Scottish Midland Junction Railway to become Scottish North Eastern Railway.
  /10/1866[Aberdeen Railway]
New Mill Offset renamed New Mill Siding
04/11/1867[Aberdeen Railway]
Aberdeen Guild Street closed
23/03/1872[Aberdeen Railway]
Boiler explosion at Dubton.
01/02/1908[Aberdeen Railway]
Friockheim to Glasterlaw closed to passengers
01/10/1912[Aberdeen Railway]
Cove renamed Cove Bay
  /  /1914[Aberdeen Railway]
Friockheim viaduct out of use
30/04/1943[Aberdeen Railway]
Montrose to Broomfield Junction closed to passengers.
04/12/1950[Aberdeen Railway]
Muchalls closed
04/08/1952[Aberdeen Railway]
Brechin to Bridge of Dun (excluded) closed to passengers.
04/08/1952[Aberdeen Railway]
Montrose to Broomfield Junction to Dubton Junction closed to passengers.
02/08/1954[Aberdeen Railway]
Aberdeen Guild Street opened
11/06/1956[Aberdeen Railway]
Cove Bay closed
11/06/1956[Aberdeen Railway]
Portlethan closed
11/06/1956[Aberdeen Railway]
Newtonhill closed
11/06/1956[Aberdeen Railway]
Carmont closed
  /  /1962Denburn Valley Line Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway)
A4 Pacifics introduced on the Aberdeen Joint to Glasgow Buchanan Street 3 hour Grampian run.
20/06/1963[Aberdeen Railway]
Broomfield Junction to Dubton Junction closed to freight
03/09/1966Denburn Valley Line Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Glasgow, Garnkirk and Coatbridge Railway)
A4 Pacifics from Aberdeen Joint to Glasgow Buchanan Street withdrawn.
19/06/1967[Aberdeen Railway]
Montrose East to Broomfield Junction closed to freight.
04/09/1967Scottish Midland Junction Railway
Arbroath and Forfar Railway
Newtyle and Coupar Angus Railway
Newtyle, Eassie and Glammiss Railway
Aberdeen Railway
Stanley Junction to Kinnaber Junction closed to passengers. Coupar Angus, Alyth Junction, Forfar and Bridge of Dun stations closed.
04/09/1967Aberdeen RailwayArbroath and Forfar Railway
Forfar North Junction (excluded) to Bridge of Dun (excluded) closed to all traffic.
  /  /1979[Aberdeen Railway]
Brechin Preservation Society formed.
04/05/1981[Aberdeen Railway]
Brechin to Kinnaber Junction (excluded) closed.
21/06/1981[Aberdeen Railway]
New Aberdeen Signaling centre opened
17/05/1985[Aberdeen Railway]
Portlethan re-opened
17/05/2009[Aberdeen Railway]
Laurencekirk station scheduled to re-open. This will be the 65th "Modern Era" re-opening in Scotland.

Route described

The line ran from a triangular junction midway between Forfar [2nd] and Arbroath north to Aberdeen by a largely coastal route with branches to Brechin and Montrose. From near Montrose to Aberdeen the line remains open as part of the East Coast Main Line and a portion from Bridge of Dun to Brechin is in preservation as the Caledonian Railway (Preserved).

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.

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.

Guthrie to Aberdeen

This was the double track mainline of the Aberdeen Railway. The southern portion, now closed, was part of the Strathmore Route. North of the former Kinnaber Junction it remains open. A short portion at Bridge of Dun is in preservation.

Guthrie Junction

Although the site of Guthrie station, just to the west of the junction, has been largely landscaped (except for the main station building), the junction remains recognisable.
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Glasterlaw Junction

This was where the routes from Forfar [2nd] and Arbroath merged to run north to Aberdeen. The line from Forfar was the principal route, the Strathmore line.
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Glasterlaw

This station was immediately east of Glasterlaw Junction on the main line north from Perth via Forfar [2nd] to Aberdeen, the Strathmore line.
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Farnell Road

This station is closed and the main building is now a private house. The road under-bridge to the north of the site has been removed. The line is closed here.
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Bridge of Dun

This is a station on the Caledonian Railway (Preserved line) which runs from Bridge of Dun to Brechin. The station was formerly on the Strathmore main line between Perth and Aberdeen via Forfar.
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Dubton

This station was the junction between the main line of the Aberdeen Railway and the branch to Montrose [CR].
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Kinnaber Junction

This is the famous location where the East Coast Main Line and West Coast Main Line routes met until the late 1960s.
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Craigo

This was a two platform station. Nothing remains of the station except the signal box, a disused loading bank and a siding (at the north end east side of the line accessed from the south). The siding formerly served a goods shed.
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Marykirk Viaduct

This is a 13 span double track over the River North Esk.
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Marykirk

This was a two platform station. It was not convenient for the village of Marykirk, being some distance to the north.
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Laurencekirk

This is a two platform station. The original station building remains on the down (northbound) platform. There was a larger building on the southbound platform, also with canopy, but this has not survived.
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Fordoun

This was a two platform station.
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Drumlithie

This was a two platform station with the main building on the southbound platform. There was a goods shed and siding on the west side of the line, approached from the north....

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Carmont

This was a two platform station with minimal passenger facilities. It was largely a small goods station.
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Fetteresso Viaduct

This is a ten section double track girder viaduct. It crossed the Carron Water and now crosses the A92. It is west of Stonehaven station....

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Stonehaven

This is a two platform station.
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Glenury Viaduct

This was a 14 span double track viaduct and is now a 10 span viaduct.
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Den of Cowie Viaduct

This four span double track viaduct is north of Glenury Viaduct and Stonehaven and south of Limpet Mill and Muchalls....

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Limpet Mill

This was a short lived station, a terminus from November 1849 to February 1850. It was a short lived station while the culvert at Limpet Cornmill and the rest of the line north to Portlethan was built....

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Muchalls Mill Viaduct

This is a four span double track viaduct south of the former Muchalls station....

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Muchalls

This was a two platform station. There was a goods siding at the south end, east side of the line, approached from the south....

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Muchalls Viaduct

This is a four span double track viaduct north of the former Muchalls station....

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Newtonhill

This was a two platform station. A signal box remains open here.
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Elsick Viaduct

This is a five span double track viaduct. It is not far north of the former Newtonhill station....

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Portlethen

This is a two platform station. The station is a modern re-opening on the site of the original station, slightly to the south of the original.
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Aberdeen Fish Meal Factory

This works was south of Cove Bay station and was rail served....

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Cove Bay

This was a two platform station.
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Craiginches Yard

This is an important freight yard south of Aberdeen.
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Dee Viaduct

Also known as the Ferryhill Viaduct.
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Ferryhill Junction

This was the junction between the Deeside Railway and the Aberdeen Railway. The junction was just north of Ferryhill Shed [1st] and the Dee Viaduct and south of Ferryhill (Aberdeen) (which survived until 1854 to be replaced by Aberdeen Guild Street), later replaced by...

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Ferryhill Shed [1st]

The original Ferryhill Shed was in the 'V' of the junction between the Aberdeen Railway and the Deeside Railway with approach from the north.
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Aberdeen Ferryhill

This was a short lived terminus in Aberdeen, south of the later Aberdeen Guild Street, which replaced it in 1854, and north of Ferryhill Junction. Nothing remains of this former terminus.
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Denburn South Junction

This junction was south of Aberdeen Guild Street. From this junction the Denburn Valley Line ran through Aberdeen Joint (today's Aberdeen station) leaving the original Guild Street terminus on a short branch....

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Aberdeen Guild Street

This was the terminus of the Aberdeen Railway. A short lived terminus Ferryhill [Aberdeen] existed at Ferryhill to the south before the last portion of the line opened.
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Friockheim Fork

This double track curve allowed running from Dundee East to Aberdeen. The fork had a chequered history, opening and re-opening a number of times. Opened 1848 and closed 1857. Re-opened 1863 and closed 1867. Re-opened for a final time between 1878 and 1908.

Friockheim Junction

This junction had a very chequered history - opening and re-closing several times.
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Friockheim Viaduct

This fine eight arch double track viaduct crossed the Lunan Water. It was on the Friockheim Junction to Glasterlaw Junction curve which opened and closed on a number of occasions.
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Glasterlaw Junction

This was where the routes from Forfar [2nd] and Arbroath merged to run north to Aberdeen. The line from Forfar was the principal route, the Strathmore line.
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Brechin Branch

This single track branch ran from Bridge of Dun to Brechin. It is now preserved as the 'Caledonian Railway'.

Bridge of Dun

This is a station on the Caledonian Railway (Preserved line) which runs from Bridge of Dun to Brechin. The station was formerly on the Strathmore main line between Perth and Aberdeen via Forfar.
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Brechin East Junction

This junction was controlled by a ground frame. The east fork of the Forfar and Brechin Railway met the former Aberdeen Railway branch to Brechin at a junction which allowed running from the Forfar line to Bridge of Dun bypassing Brechin.
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Brechin Shed [2nd]

The shed at Brechin was replaced at the same time as the Forfar and Brechin Railway opened (1895) and in readiness for the opening of Brechin and Edzell District Railway (1896).
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Brechin Goods

A small goods yard was opened with the passenger station, just to its south. A new goods yard opened further east during the station expansion.
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[Brechin West Junction]

This is an artificial name for this location.
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Brechin Shed [1st]

The original engine shed was located at the east end of the station, north of the line close to a road overbridge.
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Brechin

Terminus


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Montrose Branch

This single track branch ran from Dubton to Montrose [CR], passing under the North British Railway and meeting the Montrose and Bervie Railway.

Dubton

This station was the junction between the main line of the Aberdeen Railway and the branch to Montrose [CR].
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Broomfield Junction

This was the junction between the branch from Dubton to Montrose [CR] of the Aberdeen Railway and the later Montrose and Bervie Railway.
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Montrose [CR] Timber Yard

This set of sidings was to the north of Montrose [CR] station. It was approached from the north east, Dubton direction....

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Montrose Shed [CR]

This shed was immediately south of Montrose [CR] passenger station....

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Montrose [CR]

This station was a terminus.
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Montrose West Quay

This quay was the end of the sidings into Montrose Harbour from Montrose [CR] station. It was later to also be served by lines from the North British Railway Montrose station, the present station.
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Books


A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: The North of Scotland v. 15 (Regional railway history series)

Aberdeen 1900: Aberdeenshire Sheet 75.11 (Old O.S. Maps of Aberdeenshire)

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire: 40 Coast and Country Walks

Aberdeen City Centre History Tour

Aberdeen City Centre Through Time

Aberdeen in Old Picture Postcards

Aberdeen in the Fifties and Sixties

Aberdeen Remembered: By Aberdeen City Libraries and Museums

Aberdeen, Inverurie and Pitmedden (OS Landranger Map)

Aberdeen: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (RIAS illustrated architectural guides to Scotland)

Aberdeenshire: South and Aberdeen (Pevsner Architectural Guides) (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of Scotland)

Aberdeenshire's Lost Railways

Angus and Kincardineshire's Lost Railways

BR Steam in Colour: London to Aberdeen from the Bill Reed Collection

Bradshaw's Guide Scotland's Railways East Coast Berwick to Aberdeen & Beyond: Volume 6

Brechin 1901: Forfarshire Sheet 28.13 (Old O.S. Maps of Forfarshire)

British Railways Steam - King's Cross to Aberdeen: From the Bill Reed Collection

Bygone Montrose: With Inverkeilor, Lunan Bay, Rossie, Usan, Ferryden, Bridge of Dun, Hillside, Dubton and Craigo

Caledonian Routes 1: Aberdeen, Strathmore Line & Branches

Cock o' the North: Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh - Study in Diesel Power Through Its Various Stages

Great North Memories: Aberdeen No. 2: Scenes of the North East's Own Railway

Hidden Aberdeen: History on Your Doorstep and Under Your Feet

Joint Station: Aberdeen Station, 1867-1992

Landranger (54) Dundee & Montrose, Forfar & Arbroath (OS Landranger Map)

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

Memories of Steam from Glasgow to Aberdeen

Montrose The Postcard Collection

Montrose Through Time
National Series of Waterway, Tramway and Railway Atlases: Aberdeen v. 1m
On Either Side, 1939: The Train between London King's Cross & Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Inverness & Aberdeen (Old House)

OS Explorer Map (389) Forfar, Brechin and Edzell (OS Explorer Paper Map) (OS Explorer Active Map)

Railways Of Scotland 4: Aberdeen And The Grampians DVD - Cinerail

Railways Of Scotland 7: Perth To Kinnaber Junction DVD - Cinerail

The Montrose & Bervie Railway: A Study of Transport in South-East Kincardineshire 1770-1966

The Railways of Aberdeen: 150 Years of History: One Hundred and Fifty Years of History
The Railways of Strathmore (Perth, Forfar and Brechin)The 'Subbies': The story of Aberdeen's suburban trains 1887-1987