A Scottish Government minister has vowed to ask the operators of a new steam train called “The Aberdonian” why Aberdonians can not get on board.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop promised the intervention amid frustration that the service, due to launch in March, will start and terminate in Edinburgh.
It means that north-east passengers would have to travel to and from the capital if they want to enjoy the nostalgic experience operated by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.
Ms Hyslop was quizzed on the issue by north-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald at Holyrood yesterday.
He asked: “Does she agree with me that it would be even better if passengers were able to board the Aberdonian in Aberdeen as well as in Edinburgh, so that people from both ends of the country can take full advantage of this fantastic initiative?”
The SNP minister responded: “My remit is wide but, unfortunately, it does not extend to the operation of railway timetables.
“However, the member makes a reasonable point and I will draw it to the attention of those who are operating the service.”
Graeme Bunker-James, operations director and trustee of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, previously told the Press and Journal: “It is an Edinburgh to Aberdeen service, I’m afraid.
“It is always the challenge that there just isn’t the market at present to run it the other way.”
However, he insisted that passengers would be delighted by the new service, which will be linked to Tornado, the vehicle which appeared in the Paddington film.
“I am sure The Aberdonian will be a great success.”