A miniature railway attraction could be built at a new heritage centre near Grantown-on-Spey.
Plans have been lodged with Highland Council for the installation of the rail track loop on land by the existing Grantown East railway station.
It would be next to a new heritage centre, cafe and car park under construction in the area and help attract visitors to the area.
The track would run in a loop, initially adjacent to the A95 trunk road heading east, before cutting back and returning through rough grassland, in and around mature pine trees further to the north.
It has been designed to skirt around existing trees on site in order to minimise disturbance and create interest.
A design statement lodged with the planning application said: “It is envisaged a miniature railway will provide further interest to attract people to the area and the new Highland Heritage Centre at Grantown East Station.
“It will also complement the other attractions already approved on site, which are currently under construction.
“The railway track is a low impact development, requiring to be laid on a reasonably level surface on a 100mm deep compacted gravel. The main attraction will be a 7.2ins gauge engine and carriages, but the 5ins track will be available on open days for enthusiasts to try out the trach with their own engines.”
The applicant, Revack Lodge Estate, also proposes to erect a small pedestrian bridge over the track, and there will be a path laid to a small ticket office.
A larger shed will also be necessary to maintain the engine and to store the engine and rolling stock.
Nethy Bridge Community Council chairman Sandy McCook backed the plans last night.
“I’d welcome it as another visitor attraction in the area. It will add to the offering of the new heritage centre, which is currently being built,” he said.