Alford Valley Railway

A narrow gauge tourist railway which offers a regular summer service connecting a reconstructed station in the centre of Alford (Aberdeenshire) with Haughton Country Park, a half-mile (0.8 km) to the north. Laid out by a group of railway enthusiasts next to the Grampian Transport Museum from 1979, the first track, wagons and a locomotive dating from the 1930s came from New Pitsligo, to the northeast, where they were used as part of an industrial peat-cutting operation. Officially opened in May 1980, the Alford Valley Railway was the first 0.61-m (2-foot) gauge railway in Scotland. Over the years, trains are pulled by one of several locomotives, including Saccharine, a steam engine which was built in England in 1914 but acquired from a South African sugar plantation in 1979 and restored at Alford, and two diesel engines which were bought from the Severn Water Board in 1981. A new engine, named James Gordon after the Group's chairman, was purchased in 2001 and one of the two passenger carriages was once an Aberdeen tram-car. The railway was temporarily closed in 2018 due to concerns over the safety of ageing track.

The associated Alford Valley Railway Museum occupies the reconstructed station buildings of the original Alford Valley Railway. Opened in 1859, this was a rural branch of the Aberdeen-Inverness Line which connected Alford with Kintore Junction, via Whitehouse, Tillyfourie, Monymusk and Kemnay. In addition to a passenger service, which ceased it 1949, the line exported granite from the Kemnay Quarries and others nearby. The line finally closed in 1965.

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