Caledonian Railway

This standard gauge line runs from Brechin to Bridge of Dun, a distance of four miles on the last remaining Caledonian Railway branch line in Angus. Brechin Station is the last Caledonian Railway branch line terminus station in use.

Facilities

  • Parking
  • Gift Shop
  • Refreshments
  • Disabled Access

Photos

Full Description

ABOUT THE BRANCH LINE

During the 19th century the small town of Brechin began to grow and become known for its produce, namely textiles and whisky. To allow the town to continue growing, a method of moving large quantities of materials in and out of the town was required so a railway line was constructed.

The Brechin to Bridge of Dun branch line was built by the Aberdeen Railway Company in 1848. During the 1880s, a proposal to upgrade the branch line to a mainline route between Forfar and Brechin was proposed. However, due to the orientation and location of Brechin station, this plan was soon abandoned.

Traffic along the line was expected to increase towards the end of the 19th century. Subsequently, Brechin station was expanded in 1885 to accommodate more passengers and freight trains.

Due to financial issues in the late 1880s and early 1890s, the Aberdeen Railway Company sold the Brechin branch line to the Caledonian Railway Company on the 31st July 1894. After alterations were made, the line was reopened to goods trains on 7th January 1895, with passenger services commencing on the 1st June the same year.

After the First World War, the Railways Act of 1921 was passed. The act condensed the vast number of individual railway companies operating in the country into four large ones in an attempt to curve spiralling operating costs. Subsequently, the Caledonian Railway was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Railway in 1923.

The LMS operated the branch line from 1923 to 31st December 1947. On the 1st January 1948, the LMS was nationalised by the Transport Act of 1947 and became part of British Railways (BR).

British Railways (British Rail from 1965) continued to operate trains along the four mile branch line for many years. Unfortunately due to increased competition from motor vehicles, the line closed to passenger services in 1952 due to declining passenger numbers but remained open to freight traffic until 1981.

In 1979, a group of railway entusiasts set up the Brechin Railway Preservation Society (BRPS) and later Caledonian Railway Brechin Limited in a bid to save the branch line. They were sucessful and the line along with its two stations were preserved, with the first heritage passenger services being operated within the station limits not long after the departure of BR.

After sucessfully gaining a Light Railway Order (LRO) in 1993, the railway was granted permission to run passenger services along the entire length of the line to Bridge of Dun. After being active for over 30 years, the Caledonian Railway in association with the BRPS has gone from strength to strength, restoring and maintaining the line's infrastucture along with the rolling stock and locomotives required to successfully operate services.

Contact & Location

Operator:Caledonian Railway Brechin Ltd
Address:Brechin Station
Park Road
Brechin
Angus DD9 7AF
Contacts: 01356 622 992
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
View website
Open days:Easter Sun. Then Sun Jun-10 Sep (steam). Sat 24 Jun-Aug (diesel). Santas in Dec.
By Bus:30 (Montrose to Brechin)
By Rail: Montrose / 9.00 miles

This entry was last updated on 5th February 2017

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