Prince Charles delighted onlookers with a visit to the Royal Deeside railway today before speeding away on a steam engine train.
The Duke of Rothesay met with members and volunteers of the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Trust and the restoration team before seeing the restored carriage and unveiling a plaque to mark the visit.
The Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society was formed more than twenty years ago by railway enthusiasts to explore the possibility of re-opening part of the historic Royal Deeside line between Crathes and Banchory with hopes that the line between Ballater and Crathes can be restored.
The Society registered as a charity in 1998 and today its membership stands at around 250, of which 35 are active volunteers.
In August 2015, the volunteers arrived at the railway’s storage facility to discover that the various pieces of rolling stock held there had been significantly vandalised, the primary focus of which was the Mark 2 coach.
The vandals smashed the carriage’s double glazed windows and ruined a nearby locomotive engine, causing damage worth an estimated £10,000.
Through The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, The Duke of Rothesay made a donation towards the appeal fund to repair the carriage and engine.
The reaction to the appeal meant an immediate start could be made to clear-up, repair and restore the damage done by vandals.
The project works have been accomplished by a core team of volunteers with the support of others along the way and to date the refurbishment has cost £15,000.