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AVR History

Alford was once linked by rail to the Aberdeenshire/Inverness main line. This branch line, was opened in 1859 and played a significant role in the growth and prosperity of the present village until the development of road transport in the 1940´s. In 1965 the railway closed, due to government changes.

The Alford Valley Railway, as we now know it, began life at the time the photograph, across, was taken, at the railway re-opening ceremony, in 1979.

This event followed years of planning, creation and development of this 2´ gauge railway, by a group of determined and persistent enthusiasts, led by AVR Company Chairman, James Gordon.

This dogged group of volunteers were resolute in their belief that the population of Alford would be provided with a `total experience´ and a `taste of the past´ as part of the heritage of Alford.

A basic `starter-kit track´ was procured and added to a locomotive and miscellaneous wagons, salvaged from New Pitsligo, where a 2´ gauge railway, used for peat cutting, was, at the time, being scrapped!

During the development phase, the Alford Valley Railway Company was formed to manage the railway business, buy rolling stock, track etc., and also to ensure, through its independence, that the railway would never again, be closed down.

The first phase of the line was a 3km stretch of track from Haughton Park Station through the Murray Park woodlands. This popular and picturesque route was laid by our small band of volunteers. the rolling stock contained a solitary 1930´s Lister diesel 0-4-0, hauling one 24-seater coach.

The second phase of the railway, the current line, ran from the restored station and yard of the original Alford Station, through the golf course, into Haughton Park and was inaugurated in 1984. Regrettably, the Murray Park line is no longer in use.

But for the continual resolve and dedication of the Company and the excellent volunteers from the early days to today, the railway would not have evolved into one of Alford´s famous attractions.

We hope you enjoy your time with us!

 


The opening of the new Alford Valley Railway in 1979



`Down by the station´