Volunteers are moving full-steam ahead with plans to bring a popular railway tourist attraction in Aberdeenshire back into use.
Generations of children visited the narrow-gauge Alford Valley Railway for rides on the steam locomotive.
However, the familiar “toot toots” from the train rides have been absent from the station since 2017.
It was officially closed down in April last year due to concerns about the condition of the track.
Ever since, volunteers have been working hard to engineer the tourist attraction’s reopening and now a steering group is preparing to carry out a feasibility study to see how best to run the facility as a successful endeavour.
The group will host a community drop-in session at Alford’s heritage museum on October 27, from 1-3pm, to let local residents know their preliminary plans and find out more about what they want from the railway.
Alison Kennedy, from the Alford Valley Railway Community Project, said the village would be delighted to see the railway return.
She said: “A lot of people in the village have really been missing the train and saying that they’d like to see the railway back up and running.
“So a small group of volunteers, with the assistance of Aberdeenshire Council, the Marr Area Partnership and Donside Community Council, got together at the beginning of this year to look at whether or not it’s possible to take on the railway as a community project.
“A feasibility study is being undertaken to find out the best way forward and assess the options to get it up and running and keep it up and running.”
When it was in operation, the small railway transported passengers from Alford’s train station, through woodlands, and up to Haughton Park.
And every year, special Christmas train rides with Santa Claus always proved popular with local children.
Ms Kennedy added: “It all depends on the results of the study, but hopefully we could have it up and running over the summer, weekends and special occasions.
“We’re all confident that this could be a success and are excited to bring the railway back to life.”
As well as the drop-in session later this month, the group is also running a community survey.
To participate or find out more, search for Alford Valley Railway on Facebook.