The Royal Deeside Railway was formed in 1996 with the intention of reclaiming part of the former branch line from Aberdeen to Ballater, constructed between 1853 and 1856 by the Deeside Railway company and closed by British Railways in 1966. Work is underway to reinstate the railway between Banchory and Milton of Crathes, with a new station under construction at Milton of Crathes and one mile of track laid towards Banchory. The railway offers a passenger train service over 1 mile of track from Milton of Crathes to Birkenbaud Crossing. The first steam-hauled passenger services were operated during 2010.
The Royal Deeside Railway is one of the members of the Ferryhill Railway Trust who are aiming to restore the former Caledonian Railway engine shed at Aberdeen Ferryhill, next to Duthie Park in Aberdeen. Aberdeen City Council, owners of the shed, have now leased the site to the trust allowing them to proceed with making plans for the restoration of the building. It is hoped to establish a railway heritage centre and workshop facility using the building and surrounding land once major restoration work on the building is carried out.
Some of the vintage carriage collection owned by the Royal Deeside Railway are stored at Ferryhill, but the site is not presently open to public access for safety reasons.
It is hoped that in the future the locomotive turntable and sidings next to the shed may be made available to the trust for use (these are still owned by Network Rail).