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Gordon Highlander steam locomotive

The Great North of Scotland Railway was one of the smaller Scottish railways operating in the far north-east of the country. Formed in 1845, it carried its first passengers from Kittybrewster, in Aberdeen, to Huntly on 20 September 1854. An early expansion was followed by a period of forced economy, but in the 1880s the railway was refurbished, express services began to run, and a suburban service in Aberdeen started. The railway operated its main line between Aberdeen and Keith and two routes west to Elgin; connections could be made at Keith and Elgin for services to Inverness. Its eventual area encompassed the counties of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Moray, with short lengths of line in Inverness-shire and Kincardineshire. Fish from the North Sea ports and whisky from Speyside became important goods traffic. The Royal Family used the Deeside Line for travel to and from Balmoral Castle. The railway became the Northern Scottish area of the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923, passing on 333 12 miles (536.7 km) of line and 122 steam locomotives (including No. 49 Gordon Highlander, pictured). Only its main line remains, as part of the Aberdeen to Inverness Line. (Full article...)

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