North-east locomotive station steaming ahead with new platform

The new West Lodge platform
The new West Lodge platform

A long-term plan to renovate part of an historic north-east railway line is proceeding full steam ahead with the installation of a new platform.

The Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society has completed the scenic West Lodge platform, around a mile from the base at the Milton of Crathes station.

Running a passenger train on the line from the Milton of Crathes to the West Lodge is the eventual goal of the project.

The new platform has been built entirely by volunteers from the society using a number of 20ft half-height containers laid end to end, with timber decking and fencing, and access ramps, steps and lighting.

They will now work on bringing the track up to a higher standard.

Initially engineering trains will have to be ran but it is hoped all the relevant permission can be secured to allow for passenger trains.

Already popular with tourists, it is hoped the station’s appeal can be extended further with passengers one day able to ride along on a steam train in the style of their Victorian forebears who used the Deeside railway in its heyday.

Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillor Anne Ross warmly welcomed the progress and highlighted a boost in visitors from the project.

She said: “This is a fantastic achievement from a committed and dedicated group of volunteers who by their efforts are drawing more tourists into the area.”