A lorry has crashed into a historic railway bridge – leaving the group of volunteers who maintain it counting the cost.
Keith and Dufftown Railway Association (KDRA), who run Britain’s most northerly heritage railway, are now considering introducing traffic calming measures after Parkmore Bridge was badly damaged.
It is believed the lorry struck the crossing on the B9014 between Dufftown and Keith on Monday, dislodging a substantial number of bricks which were left perched perilously over the road.
Moray Council officials were sent to the scene and closed the road overnight until it was surveyed properly.
The roads team removed loose bricks from the bridge and the route reopened at 11am.
KDRA chairman Rob Furr admitted it would be difficult to repair the bridge due to a funding shortfall caused by Covid-19.
He said the group only found out about the incident as a witness saw the lorry collide with the top of the bridge and drive off.
He said: “It’s a concern to us because this does happen regularly but usually it’s just small bumps but this caused a significant amount of damage.
“It’s a long-term problem and we’ve been discussing possible traffic calming measures for the road with the council for a while.
“We are talking to our insurance company who will be assessing the damage done and then we will take it from there.
“It puts us in quite a difficult situation because it will be tough to get the funds to repair the bridge as due to Covid-19 none of our fundraising events have run this year.
“Hopefully the insurance company will cover most of it but we can only wait and see.”
It is believed the lorry driver stopped at Parkmore Distillery to dust off any remnants from the top of the vehicle before continuing.
KDRA is a heritage railway run entirely by volunteers.
They organise events for the public, including themed train rides between the towns, like their 1940s weekend and Easter Bunny hunt.
The group is responsible for inspecting the bridge and establishing whether it remains adequate to carry rail traffic and to arrange any repairs which may be required.
Police were called to the scene at 3.10pm yesterday following reports the lorry had crashed into the bridge.
A spokeswoman added: “A member of public called as he thought the bridge had been struck by a lorry.
“We attended due to the safety aspect of the incident and left the scene in the hands of Moray Council.”
Leaving the scene of a road traffic collision without providing details is an offence, but police said there is no investigation ongoing at the moment.