The Deeside Railway (from Ferryhill to Banchory) was authorised in 1852 and opened in 1853. The Aboyne Extension Railway to Aboyne was authorised in 1857 and opened in 1859. The final stage of the line, the Aboyne and Braemar Railway, was authorised from Aboyne to Ballater in 1865 and opened in 1866. The lines were amalgamated with the GNoSR in 1875-6.
The line was closed to passengers in February 1966 and to goods five months later, when it closed completely.
Authorised (Ferryhill - Banchory) 28/5/1852
Leased to the GNoSR 1/9/1866
Merged with the GNoSR 1/8/1875
ABOYNE EXTENSION RAILWAY
Authorised (Banchory - Aboyne) 27/7/1857
Merged with the GNoSR 1/8/1875
ABOYNE & BRAEMAR RAILWAY
Authorised (Aboyne - Ballater) 5/7/1865
Merged with the GNoSR 31/1/1876
Ferryhill - Banchory (ceremonial) 7/9/1853
Ferryhill - Banchory (public) 8/9/1853*
Banchory - Aboyne 2/12/1859**
Aboyne - Ballater 17/10/1866
*: A section of the line was later doubled: Ferryhill - Cults 14/6/1864, Cults - Murtle 13/7/1892, Murtle - Culter 24/9/1892 and Culter- Park 28/8/1899. The entire length was singled again in March 1960.
**: MBH gives opening date as 2/9/1859.
Aberdeen (Ferryhill Junction - Ballater) P 28/2/66
Aberdeen (Ferryhill Junction - Ballater) G/CC 18/7/66
1 FERRYHILL (P/G/CC 2/8/1854)*
2 HOLBURN STREET (P/CC 5/4/37) no goods
3 RUTHRIESTON (P/CC 5/4/37) no goods*
4 PITFODELS (P/CC 5/4/37) no goods
(RN PITFODELS HALT and unstaffed 16/7/26)
5 CULTS (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66)*
6 WEST CULTS (P/CC 5/4/37) no goods
7 BIELDSIDE (P/CC 5/4/37) no goods
8 MURTLE (P/G/CC 5/4/37) unstaffed 16/3/31
9 MILLTIMBER (P/G/CC 5/4/37)
10 CULTER (P 28/2/66 G/CC 2/1/67)
11 DRUM (P/G/CC 10/9/51)
12 PARK (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66)
13 MILLS OF DRUM (P/CC 1863) no goods*
14 CRATHES (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66)*
15 BANCHORY (P 28/2/66 G/CC 18/7/66)*
16 DEE STREET HALT (P/CC 28/2/66) no goods
17 GLASSEL (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66) unstaffed 1/7/60
18 TORPHINS (G 29/3/65 P/CC 28/2/66)
19 LUMPHANAN (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66)
20 DESS (G 1/7/60 P/CC 28/2/66) unstaffed 1/7/60
21 ABOYNE (P 28/2/66 G/CC 18/7/66)
22 DINNET (G 15/6/64 P/CC 28/2/66)
23 CAMBUS O'MAY (P 28/2/66 G/CC 18/7/66) unstaffed 1952*
24 BALLATER (P 28/2/66 G/CC 18/7/66)*
*1: Closed completely on 2/8/1854 when all traffic was transferred to the Aberdeen Railway's new terminus at Guild Street
*3: Temporarily closed 4/1876, reopened 1/6/1885.
*5: New station 1855. Unstaffed 1/7/60.
*13: Closed in 1863 and replaced by new Crathes station on site of private platform built to serve the castle.
*14: Originally a private platform serving Crathes Castle. Replaced in 1863 by new Crathes station. Unstaffed 1/7/60.
*15: Original terminus P/CC 2/12/1859 (no goods) and replaced by new station on the extension.
*23: Also known as Cambus o' May Halt.
*24: About 1.25m of track was laid beyond Ballater as part of an original plan to take the railway as far as Bridge of Gairn, where a tramway was planned to exploit the timber in Ballochbuie Forest. But construction was suspended and the tramway plans shelved In August 2000 the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society submitted plans for a reinstated railway between Banchory and Milton of Crathes. The scheme was authorised on 10/6/03 and work started at the Milton end shortly afterwards.
Cults, Murtle, Culter, Park, Mills of Drum, Crathes and Banchory opened with the line in 1853. Glassel, Torphins, Lumphanan, Dess and Aboyne opened with the extension in 1859. Dinnet and Ballater opened when the line was completed in 1866.
Between Aberdeen and Banchory, Ferryhill opened in 4/1850, Milltimber and Drum in 1854, Ruthrieston in 1856, Holborn Street, Pitfodels and West Cults in 1894, and Bieldside in 1897. Elsewhere on the line, Cambus o' May opened in 1876 and Dee Street Halt in 2/1961.
Ferryhill closed completely on 2/8/1854 when all traffic was transferred to the Aberdeen Railway's new terminus at Guild Street. Mills of Drum closed completely in 1863 and was replaced by Crathes station.
Holburn Street, Ruthrieston, Pitfodels, West Cults, Bieldside, Murtle and Milltimber all closed completely in 1937 when passenger services were withdrawn. Only Murtle and Milltimber had goods services.
PICTURE: Class 03 diesel shunter D2134 on the preserved Royal Deeside Railway in 2007 (John G Williamson)