Alford Valley Railway
|Alford Valley Railway|
|Alford Railway Station|
|Locale||Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Terminus||Alford Railway Station|
|Built by||Duncan MacKenzie Haggis Railway Services|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Preserved gauge||2 ft (610 mm)|
|Closed to passengers||1950|
|1980||Haughton Park to Murray Park opened|
|1984||Alford to Haughton Park opened|
|Alford Valley Railway|
The Alford Valley Railway is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway in the Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located at what used to be the terminus of the passenger and goods Alford Valley Railway which connected with the Great North of Scotland Railway main line at Kintore.
The construction of the Alford Valley Railway started in 1856 and the line opened in 1859 as a Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR) branch line from Kintore railway station, northwest of Aberdeen, with stations at Kemnay, Monymusk, Tillyfourie, Whitehouse and Alford. The line also served Kemnay Quarry and three other granite quarries in the area. The summit of the line is just west of Tillyfourie at 618 feet (188 m) where a mile-long cutting 30 feet (9.1 m) deep required cutting through particularly hard granite. The train took just over an hour for the 16 mile journey and until 1883 by law the third class fare on one train a day could not be more than a penny per mile.
In 1923 GNSR was incorporated into the London and North Eastern Railway and, in 1948, became part of the Scottish Region of British Railways. The line closed to passengers in 1950 and to goods in 1966.
Narrow gauge railway
The narrow gauge railway, built from salvaged equipment from the New Pitsligo peat moss railway, was proposed in 1979 and opened in 1980. Originally it ran for 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Haughton Park station through Murray Park Woods. Then in 1984 another line was run from Alford station, alongside Alford Golf Course, to Haughton Park about 1.35 kilometres (0.84 mi) away where there is a platform. However, the original Murray Woods line was then closed.
The current station building is on the site of the original granite structure which was demolished after British Rail closed the line. The passenger platform is the original. A small railway museum is housed in the railway station building. The original locomotive shed was situated to the east of the station but this has also now been demolished. To the west of the station the granite carriage shed of the previous railway is now used by the Alford Valley Railway. The Grampian Transport Museum and Alford Heritage Centre are nearby.