Great North of Scotland Railway

Introduction

Portions of this railway provide a passenger and goods service operated by ScotRail between Aberdeen and Keith. The service extends from Keith to Inverness by the former Highland Railway. A branch to Dufftown exists, used by the Keith and Dufftown Railway Association. The goods yard at Elgin East was originally a Great North of Scotland Railway terminus.

From the original core line from Aberdeen to Keith the company expanded greatly. The company owned and purchased a number of other local lines. Reaching locations such as Aboyne, Ballater, Old Meldrum, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Portsoy, Buckie [GNSR], Banff, Elgin [East] and Boat of Garten. All these lines are now closed. Some remain as long distance footpaths. The company is often referred to as the GNoSR or GNSR.

The Great North of Scotland Railway Association was created to bring together everyone interested in the former company and its lines.



Dates

  /  /1845[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Company formed.
26/06/1846[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Act receives Royal assent.
The route was to be Aberdeen to Inverness with Grange to Banff and Portsoy, Orton to Garmouth, Alves to Burghhead branches.
  /  /1847Aberdeen RailwayGreat North of Scotland Railway
Fusion Act made available to merge the Aberdeen Railway with the Great North of Scotland Railway (not used).
  /  /1849[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Shortened route from Keith to Kittybrewster proposed.
  /  /1850[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Authorisation to extend the line from Kittybrewster to Guild Street given. This was allowed to lapse.
25/11/1852[Great North of Scotland Railway]
First Sod cut at Westhall near Oyne.
  /  /1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Authorisation to build line from Kittybrewster to Aberdeen Waterloo given.
  /09/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Huntly to Kittybrewster inspected.
12/09/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Huntly to Kittybrewster opened to freight. Passing places at: Kittybrewster, Kintore, Inverurie, Insch and Huntly.
19/09/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Huntly to Kittybrewster official opening.
20/09/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen Kittybrewster opened.
20/09/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Huntly to Kittybrewster opened to passengers. Stations at: Kittybrewster, Buxsburn, Dyce, Kintore, Inverurie, Pitcaple, Oyne, Insch, Kennethmont, Gartly, Huntly
01/12/1854[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Kinaldie, Buchanstone and Wardhouse opened.
25/05/1855[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Keith to Huntly authorised.
24/09/1855[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Kittybrewster to Aberdeen Waterloo opened to goods. Kittybrewster rebuilt on Waterloo line.
01/04/1856Great North of Scotland Railway
Kittybrewster [1st] to Aberdeen Waterloo opened completely (with horse tramway to the Aberdeen Railway's terminus at Aberdeen Guild street).
01/04/1856[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen Kittybrewster closed.
01/04/1856[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen Waterloo opened.
10/10/1856[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Huntly to Keith opened. Stations at: Huntly, Rothiemay, Grange and Keith.
  /  /1857[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inveramsay opened.
  /  /1858[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Woodside opened.
  /  /1860Great North of Scotland Railway
Great North of Scotland Railway sells its Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway shares.
  /  /1860[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Kittybrewster to Dyce doubled (but not used).
18/07/1861[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Double track from Kittybrewster to Dyce brought into use on opened of [Formartine and Buchan Railway].
01/07/1863[Montrose and Bervie Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Aberdeen Junction Railway]
Circumbendibus project proposed between the Great North of Scotland Railway and the Montrose and Bervie Railway to provide a new route to the south. This receives Royal assent and would have been called the [Aberdeen Junction Railway].
01/07/1863[Montrose and Bervie Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Aberdeen Junction Railway]
Circumbendibus project ([Aberdeen Junction Railway]) project abandoned. Montrose and Bervie Railway shares sold by the Great North of Scotland Railway.
  /  /1865[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Financial difficulties arise - no share dividends paid until 1874.
  /  /1866[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Buchanstone closed.
30/07/1866[Banff Macduff and Turriff Junction Railway]
[Banff Macduff and Turriff Extension Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen and Turriff Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
30/07/1866[Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway. (Alternative date 14/6/1858).
30/07/1866[Alford Valley Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Alford Valley Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
30/07/1866[Keith and Dufftown Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Keith and Dufftown Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
30/07/1866[Formartine and Buchan Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Formartine and Buchan Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
30/07/1866[Strathspey Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Strathspey Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
30/07/1866[Deeside Railway]
[Deeside Extension Railway]
[Aboyne and Braemar Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Deeside lines leased for 999 years by Great North of Scotland Railway.
12/08/1867[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Banffshire Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
04/11/1867[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen Waterloo closed on the opening of the [Denburn Valley Line] from Kittybrewster to Aberdeen Joint.
  /  /1874[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Pitmeddan opened.
  /  /1874[Great North of Scotland Railway]
First share dividends since 1865 paid.
01/08/1875[Deeside Extension Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Deeside Extension Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway.
01/10/1875[Deeside Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Deeside Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway. (Alternative date 1/8/1875).
31/01/1876[Aboyne and Braemar Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aboyne and Braemar Railway absorbed by the Great North of Scotland Railway.
01/07/1880[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Dyce to Kintore opened.
11/08/1881[Morayshire Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Morayshire Railway absorbed by Great North of Scotland Railway. (Alternative date: 1880).
  /  /1882[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Don Street, Bankhead and Stoneywood opened.
01/05/1882[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Kintore to Inveramsay opened.
01/04/1884[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Portsoy to Tochieneal opened. Stations opened: Portsoy (New), Glassaugh and Tochieneal.
12/08/1885[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Lossie Junction (Morayshire Railway]) to Garmouth opened. Stations opened: Calcots, Urquhart and Garmouth.
01/05/1886[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Grange curve opened.
01/05/1886[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Tochieneal to Garmouth opened. Stations opened: Cullen, Portknockie, Findochty, Portessie, Buckie, Nether Buckie, Port Gordon and Fochabers.
  /  /1887[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Nether Buckie renamed Buckpool.
  /07/1887[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Aberdeen Suburban service begins; Bankend and Stoneywood opened. (Alternative date for station openings 1882).
19/07/1887[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Grange curve authorised retrospectively.
01/01/1888[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Hutcheon Street and Don Street opened.
27/10/1888[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Inveramsay to Insch opened.
  /  /1890[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Forms Hotel Committee.
  /  /1891[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Palace Hotel
The railway buys the hotel.
22/08/1891[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Palace Hotel, Aberdeen, opened.
  /  /1893[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Schoolhill opened.
  /  /1894[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Deeside Railway]
Aberdeen suburban service extended to Culter on the [Deeside Railway]. Holburn Street, Pitfodels and West Cults stations opened.
01/08/1896[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Insch to Kennethmont opened.
20/09/1896[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Kennethmont to Gartly opened.
30/11/1896[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Gartly to Huntly opened.
  /  /1897[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Buxsburn renamed Bucksburn.
02/08/1897[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Boddam Branch] opened to passengers.
  /  /1898[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Cairnie Junction station opened to save dividing trains for portions for the [Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway] at Huntly.
17/01/1898[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Rothiemay to Keith opened.
17/01/1898[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Doubled Grange Curve, North Grange to South Grange, opened.
17/01/1898[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Huntly to Avochie signal box (near Rothiemay) opened.
  /06/1899[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Cruden Bay Hotel and tramway opened.
08/09/1899[St Combs Light Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Line authorised.
  /  /1900[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Doubled Rothiemay to Avochie opened.
  /  /1901[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inverurie works - Carriages - opened.
  /  /1902[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Elgin station re-built.
  /  /1902[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inverurie works - Locomotives - opened.
10/02/1902[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway]
Inverurie (New) station opened further north. The new station had a bay platform for the Old Meldrum trains.
10/02/1902[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inverurie (New) opened.
  /  /1903[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Persley opened.
  /  /1903[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Alford Valley Railway]
[Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway]
[St Combs Light Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Railcars used on the Alford, Lossiemouth, Old Meldrum and St Combs lines.
  /07/1903[St Combs Light Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Kirkton Bridge opened.
  /  /1904[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Railcars scrapped.
  /  /1905[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Inverurie works - Permanent Way - opened.
  /  /1906[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Highland Railway]
Amalgamation of the Great North of Scotland Railway with the Highland Railway falls through.
  /  /1918[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Fochabers renamed Spey Bay.
01/01/1923[North British Railway]
[Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway]
[Great North of Scotland Railway]
[Forth and Clyde Junction Railway]
[Kilsyth and Bonnybridge Railway]
[Gifford and Garvald Railway]
[Newburgh and North Fife Railway]
[Lauder Light Railway]
Great Central Railway
Grouped into [London and North Eastern Railway].
31/10/1932[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Boddam to Ellon and Cruden Bay Hotel Tramway closed to passengers.
  /  /1941[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Cruden Bay Hotel Tramway closed to all traffic.
  /  /1945[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Line closed completely. Stations used as railway offices.
  /  /1945[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Entire line occupied by wagons awaiting repair.
  /  /1947[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Cruden Bay Hotel demolished from 1947 to 1952. Remains used to build Charles Alexanders house at Bush near Montrose.
31/12/1948[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Boddam to Ellon officially closed.
  /  /1950[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Track lifted.
07/11/1960[St Combs Light Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
St Combs to Fraserburgh closed to freight.
20/04/1964[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Lossie Junction to Buckie closed to freight.
04/05/1965[St Combs Light Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
St Combs to Fraserburgh closed to passengers. (Alternative date 3/5/1964).
06/05/1968[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
[Morayshire Railway]
Elgin to Buckie to Cairnie Junction closed to passengers.
06/05/1968[Banff Portsoy and Strathisla Railway]
[Moray Coast Railway] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Buckie to Cairnie Junction closed to all traffic.
  /  /1980[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Narrow-gauge Port Errol Railway (Cruden Bay to Slains Castle) opened.
  /  /1984[Boddam Branch] ([Great North of Scotland Railway])
Port Errol Railway track moved to Banff to become the West Buchan Railway.
  /  /1999[Great North of Scotland Railway]
Listed, but decrepit, station buildings at Huntly replaced with new building.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

Aberdeen Kittybrewster

This was the short lived Aberdeen terminus of the Great North of Scotland Railway.
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Kittybrewster [2nd]

This two platform through station was opened with the Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway). It replaced Kittybrewster [1st], which was to its immediate east and located on the Aberdeen Waterloo branch.
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Kittybrewster Shed

This depot was both a roundhouse and shed. Approach was from the north and the shed was located on the west side of the line.
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Kittybrewster Yard

This yard was located to the east of Kittybrewster [2nd] station. It was served from the north. A loop came off the main line to the south of the station and rejoined at Kittybrewster Junction north of the station. This crossed the Aberdeen Waterloo line to the south of the station.
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Kittybrewster Junction

This junction was located north of Kittybrewster [2nd] station.
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Don Street

This was a two platform suburban station in Aberdeen. The station was between Kittybrewster [2nd] and Woodside [GNSR]. The eastbound/southbound platform had a small building, later joined by a small building on the facing platform. There were no goods facilities.
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Woodside [GNSR]

This was a suburban station in Aberdeen. It was a two platform station. There were no goods facilities.
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Persley

This was a two platform suburban station in Aberdeen. The main station building was on the eastbound platform. There were no goods facilities.
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Bucksburn Viaduct

This five arch two track viaduct crosses the Bucks Burn, and a road, immediately west of Bucksburn station....

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Bucksburn

This was a two platform station.
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Bankhead [Aberdeenshire]

This was a two platform suburban station in Aberdeen. There were buildings on each platform. There were no goods facilities.
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Stoneywood

This was a two platform station with no goods facilities. The platforms were north of Market Street with the waiting rooms close to the road bridge crossing the line. A stone built recess into the embankment on the west side, for the northbound waiting room, remains.
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Dyce

This is a two platform station.
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Dyce [1st]

This station was 400 yds north of the later Dyce station, opened with the opening of the Formartine and Buchan Railway.
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Raith's Farm Sidings

These sidings were opened in 2007 around the time of the closure of the goods yard at Aberdeen Guild Street. In addition to the provision of the sidings the loop at Dyce was extended and coloured lights replaced semaphore.
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Pitmedden

This small station had a level crossing to the east. The platforms were in timber with small timber shelters.
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Kinaldie

This was a two platform station.
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Boat of Kintore Level Crossing

This level crossing was controlled by a signal box, south of Kintore station. This location was doubled but is now single track, the lifted track being the Aberdeen bound line....

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Kintore

This was a three platform station. There were two platforms on the main line and a bay platform at the north end, on the west side, for the Alford branch. There was a goods yard also at the north end on the west side, approached from the north. There was a turntable for the branch locomotive.
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Inverurie [1st]

The original station at Inverurie was south of the current station. It had an island platform for the Aberdeen bound trains and Inverury and Old Meldrum Junction Railway branch....

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Inverurie

This is a two platform station with a large station building on the westbound platform. The station has a large car park.
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Inveramsay

This was the junction station for the Banff, MacDuff and Turriff Junction Railway. It opened with the branch.
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Pitcaple

This was a two platform station.
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Oyne

This was a two platform station.
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Buchanstone

This station was at Mill of Buchanstone, just north west of the Rettie cottages. There was a siding to the south of the line, served from the east, and a small building on the north side of the line.
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Insch

This is a two platform station with a fine stone building on the eastbound platform, dating from 1880. There is a good example of a Great North of Scotland Railway waiting shelter on the westbound platform. The station is at Rothney, to the south of Insch. There is a fine footbridge between the...

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Wardhouse

This was a two platform station.
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Kennethmont

This was a two platform station.
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Gartly

This was a two platform station.
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Huntly

This is a two platform station.
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Avochie Signal Box

This temporary signal box controlled the east end of Deveron Viaduct. When the line was doubled, the single track viaduct required replacement. In the interim this box controlled the east end of the short single track section over the old bridge.
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Deveron Viaduct

This is a formerly double track viaduct over the River Deveron east of the former Rothiemay station. The viaduct carries one track today.
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Rothiemay

This was a two platform station on a double track line. There was a goods yard on the north side, approached by reversal from the east.
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Cairnie Junction

This was an exchange station.
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Grange

This was a two platform station for much of its existence.
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Keith Junction

This refers to the actual junction. For the station see Keith.
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Keith Shed [GNSR] [2nd]

Keith Shed opened with the extension of the Great North of Scotland Railway to Keith.
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Keith

This is a one platform station, with a second out of use platform on the former route to Dufftown. There is a passing loop to the east of the station, inconvenient when trains are running late.
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