Aberdeen: 158719 waits at platform 7S at Aberdeen on 4 September with the well patronised 11.59 to Inverness.

Bill Roberton 04/09/2010


Location type

Major station

Names and dates

Aberdeen Joint (1867-1952)
Aberdeen (1952-)

Station code: ABD National Rail ScotRail
Where: Aberdeen City, Scotland
Opened on the Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway).
Opened on the Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway).
Open on the Aberdeen to Inverness.
Open on the Dundee to Aberdeen.


This is a station with five public platforms. It opened as Aberdeen Joint - jointly owned by the Scottish North Eastern Railway to the south and the Great North of Scotland Railway to the north. The two lines met at Denburn Junction within the station. It replaced terminal stations at Aberdeen Guild Street and Aberdeen Waterloo respectively. A poor horse-drawn street tramway link had existed between these, no substitute for a connecting line and joint station.

The station had a substantial reconstruction largely completed by 1914 and fully after the Great War. The plans were prepared by the chief engineer of the Great North of Scotland Railway, James Alexander Parker.

The main entrance and building is built in Kemnay Quarries stone. It formerly faced Union Square and is on the eastern side of the station. To the west, the southern and northern terminating platforms are separated by a large concourse covered by a glazed roof (very similar to that over the west side original station circulating area at Perth dating from 1911). Platforms are heavily canopied. Through platforms and lines are on the western side of the station.

There was a secondary entrance via a granite built building ('B' listed) on Guild Street built in 1909. The building still stands and is the only remaining part of the older station.

3 to 5 are bay platforms and 6 and 7 are through platforms, both divided into north and south portions. 1 and 2 exist, but are not used for passengers.

Platforms 8 and 9 were also through platforms, but are no longer in use. The northern bay platforms, 10 to 13 have been demolished (early 1970s) and the site redeveloped. '14' was not in passenger use. There was a horse dock and carriage sidings to the east.

Within the station were two signal boxes.
'Aberdeen Station' (1867-1914) was in the east of the station
'Aberdeen West' box (1908-1914) was to its west, added during expansion when a goods only route opened to the west of the station

Both boxes were replaced with 'Aberdeen Centre' (1914-1981).

In addition 'Aberdeen North' box (1867-1891, 1891-1914, 1914-1981) controlled the northern approach. In latter form this was at the north end of the platforms, located between the through lines on the west side of the station and bay platforms to the east.

Denburn Junction box was to the south, where the joint station lines met the Aberdeen Railway line.

The line north from Aberdeen to Kittybrewster Junction was opened as a double track in 1867.

North from Aberdeen to Dyce was singled in 1971. A siding was retained north of the station.

'Aberdeen North', 'Aberdeen Centre' and Denburn Junction were replaced by Aberdeen Power Box in 1981.

The original joint station had a single through platform and two bays at either end, a layout similar to Perth General. This large station featured a glazed barrel trainshed. There were two large side walls supporting the glazed curved roof.

The Union Square shopping centre development directly adjoins the station on its east side. The former east side of the station is now in the atrium.


The Station Hotel was sold by British Transport Hotels in 1983.

Station Hotel Aberdeen

The former entrance on the north side of Guild Street is now Tiffany Hair and Beauty .




Denburn Junction

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Gaelic name: Obar Dheathain
Listing: A

Chronology Dates

  /  /1845Aberdeen Railway
Act receives Royal assent. The line with run from Guthrie and Friockheim north largely by the coast to Aberdeen with branches to Brechin and Montrose.
  /  /1864Aberdeen Joint
A committee is formed for the management of the new joint Aberdeen Joint station between the companies (owners Scottish North Eastern Railway/Caledonian Railway and Great North of Scotland Railway and access for the Deeside Railway).
  /  /1864Aberdeen Railway
Authorisation to close Aberdeen Guild Street to passengers when replaced by Aberdeen Joint, except for Deeside Railway traffic.
23/06/1864Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway)Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Denburn Valley line to connect the Great North of Scotland Railway at Kittybrewster [2nd] to the Scottish North Eastern Railway (from 1866 Caledonian Railway) at Aberdeen Guild Street authorised. South of the new Aberdeen Joint will be SNER owned and north will be GNSR owned. The Deeside Railway is authorised to use the station, details to be agreed.
  /  /1867Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway)
Access to Aberdeen Joint formally negotiated for the Deeside Railway, replacing its access for passenger trains to Aberdeen (Guild Street).
04/11/1867Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Kittybrewster [2nd] to Aberdeen Joint to Denburn Junction opened. Aberdeen Joint and Kittybrewster [2nd] were both new stations on the new Denburn line. Aberdeen Waterloo, Aberdeen Guild Street and Kittybrewster [1st] station were to close.
04/11/1867Aberdeen Railway
Aberdeen Guild Street closed replaced by Aberdeen Joint.
04/08/1868Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Agreement made between Caledonian Railway and Great North of Scotland Railway for use of Aberdeen Joint station.
05/09/1870Deeside Railway
Access to Aberdeen Joint set at £500 per annum.
  /  /1894Great North of Scotland RailwayDeeside Railway
Aberdeen suburban service extended to Culter on the Deeside Railway. Holburn Street, Pitfodels and West Cults stations opened.
31/07/1894Aberdeen Joint
Agreement confirmed which allows North British Railway access to Aberdeen Joint station. (The NBR had been banned from 14/11/1893.)
  /08/1895'Railway Races'
Trains race from London to Aberdeen Joint. The West Coast group of companies win with a timing of 512 minutes (the East Coast was 518 minutes). The effective finishing post was at Kinnaber Junction, 38 miles south of Aberdeen Joint, with whichever train reached Kinnaber first being given the route to Aberdeen.
  /  /1899Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Aberdeen Railway
Authorisation to rebuild and enlarge Aberdeen Joint station and considerably widen the lines, (from two tracks to five to six), south from Denburn Junction to Ferryhill Junction.
28/12/1906Dundee and Arbroath Railway
A North British Railway express which had been travelling from Edinburgh Waverley to Aberdeen Joint is blocked by snow at Arbroath and returns south. It strikes a local Caledonian Railway Arbroath to Dundee East train at Elliot Junction in a blizzard killing 22 passengers.
  /  /1913Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Re-construction of Aberdeen Joint begins.
14/04/1914Edinburgh and Northern Railway
Collision at Burntisland East Junction between London to Aberdeen Joint express and Carlisle to Dundee goods.
  /  /1916Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Aberdeen Joint complete.
  /  /1929Deeside Railway
Sentinel-Cammell steam railcars introduced on the Aberdeen to Culter run, bringing the service to half hourly.
15/07/1946London to Peterborough (Great Northern Railway)
London Kings Cross to Aberdeen service derails south of Hatfield due to the condition of the track. 11 are injured.
17/07/1948Newtyle and Coupar Angus Railway
Scottish Midland Junction Railway
Crash at Ardler Junction. The 4.20pm Dundee West to Blairgowrie service via Newtyle [2nd] passes the home signal at the junction and is struck by the southbound 3.30pm ex-Aberdeen postal express train resulting in the death of 2 people.
  /  /1952Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
Aberdeen Joint renamed Aberdeen.
21/04/1958Aberdeen Railway
Deeside Railway
Deeside Extension Railway
Aboyne and Braemar Railway
BMU Battery Railcar introduced between Aberdeen and Ballater.
  /  /1962Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
A4 Pacifics introduced on the Aberdeen to Glasgow Buchanan Street 3 hour Grampian run.
28/02/1966Aboyne and Braemar Railway
Ballater to Aberdeen (Ferryhill Junction) closed to passengers.
03/09/1966Aberdeen Joint (Caledonian Railway) Aberdeen Railway Arbroath and Forfar Railway Scottish Midland Junction Railway Scottish Central Railway Caledonian Railway Garnkirk and Glasgow Railway Buchanan Street Extension (Caledonian Railway)
A4 Pacifics from Aberdeen to Glasgow Buchanan Street withdrawn.
20/06/1971Great North of Scotland Railway
Dyce to Kittybrewster [2nd] to Aberdeen singled.
  /  /1978Denburn Valley Line (Great North of Scotland Railway)
New travel centre opened at Aberdeen station.
02/10/1978British Railways
London to Aberdeen HSTs introduced.
22/10/1979Perth and Dundee Railway
5 are killed (sources vary, some say 4) when two trains collide near Invergowrie when one over-runs a signal. A Glasgow to Aberdeen service runs into the rear of a Glasgow to Dundee local train resulting in carriages falling into the sea. The cause was a deficient semaphore which did not return to danger.
  /  /1984Great North of Scotland Railway Keith and Dufftown Railway
Introduction of the twice weekly 'Northern Belle' which ran from Aberdeen to Dufftown
  /04/1996Great North Eastern Railway
Begins running the East Coast Main Line franchise using Class 91s and Mk4 trails to Glasgow and Leeds, and HSTs to Hull, Aberdeen and Inverness. (And also the Class 89 for Leeds and Bradford.)
Derailment at Aberdeen.
19/01/2000Aberdeen Railway
Transport Minister Sarah Boyach opposes electrification of the Aberdeen line.
  /03/2004Edinburgh Airport Rail Link
Proposed scheme would have a station under Edinburgh Airport served by a link off the Forth Bridge Connecting Lines (North British Railway) and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and the Forth Bridge lines. The layout would be southern approaches (both approached from the east) from South Gyle and Gogar combining and passing under Edinburgh Airport before dividing with a western link to Humbie Signal Box and northern link to Dalmeny South Junction. This layout would allow trains from Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street High Level to serve the station and the line to the north from Edinburgh to Fife, Aberdeen and Inverness over the Forth Bridge. The estimated cost was £500M.
12/08/2020Aberdeen Railway
HST derails after hitting landslide at Carron Water Bridge [West Carmont], three are killed. The train was halted en route south from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street High Level due to flooding to the south of Carmont. After reversing and returning through Carmont to Stonehaven a landslip is hit derailing the train some of which is destroyed by fire. The line is closed for investigation, clearance and repairs.

News items

17/12/2023ScotRail warning ahead of Rangers v Aberdeen cup final [Glasgow Times]
26/11/2023Previously unseen photos of Aberdeen's lost trams revealed [Press and Journal]
21/11/2023Trains disrupted on Aberdeen to Dundee line due to broken rail [Press and Journal]
15/11/2023Questions after key Scottish rail closure sparks 'major disruption' [The National]
14/11/2023Aberdeen to Dundee railway line reopens after two hours of major disruption [Press and Journal]
08/11/2023Line reopens after Travel chaos leads to dozens of train cancellations between Aberdeen and central belt [Press and Journal]
03/11/202315 per cent reduction in train services to Inverurie - but still no signs of a new timetable [Grampian Online]
02/11/2023Storm delays hit rail services between Inverness and Aberdeen [Inverness Courier]
01/11/2023Magdalen Green land take on the cards as Network Rail look to boost central belt links [The Courier]
31/10/2023Disused platform at Aberdeen railway station could be brought back [Press and Journal]