Saturday, 7 February 2009


This line linked Craigellachie with Orton, on what was to become the Highland Railway route from Elgin to Keith. But the opening of the GNoSR's own route to Elgin via the Glen of Rothes (2F) meant that the Orton section soon closed to regular traffic.

The section from Orton to Dandaleith was authorised in 1856 and opened in two stages in 1858. The extension to Strathspey Junction was authorised in 1861 and opened in 1863, on the same day as the Strathspey Railway's line from Dufftown to Abernethy (see 2D).

The section from Orton to Rothes closed to regular traffic in 1866, a few years after the opening of the Glen of Rothes route to Elgin (see 2F).

Passenger services were withdrawn from the whole line from Elgin to Keith via Craigellachie in May 1968 and the line closed completely a few months later when goods services were withdrawn.


Orton - Craigellachie (Dandaleith): 14/7/1856
Dandaleith - Strathspey Junction: 17/5/1861
Merged with the GNoSR: 1/10/1880

Orton - Rothes: 23/8/1858
Rothes - Craigellachie (Dandaleith): 23/12/1858
Craigellachie (Dandaleith) - Strathspey Junction: 1/7/1863

Orton - Rothes
31/7/1866 (closed to regular traffic. For some years goods wagons were worked between Rothes and Sourden siding)
Rothes - Craigellachie
6/5/68 (passengers)
4/11/68 (goods/completely)

153 ROTHES (P 6/5/68 G/CC 4/11/68)*
154 CRAIGELLACHIE (P 5/3/62 G/CC 19/6/67)**
(RN DANDALEITH 1864/5. Reduced to halt status from 19/10/31)

*: The Orton - Rothes line closed to regular traffic from 31/7/1866 following the opening of the Glen of Rothes line from Elgin to Rothes. The junction at Orton was quickly removed but for some years goods wagons were worked as required between Rothes and Sourden siding. A station was opened at SOURDEN, between Orton and Rothes, on 23/8/1858, with trains stopping conditionally, but this closed with the line on 1/8/1866. The permanent way was not removed until 1907. Clinker gives the spelling as Sourdon.
**: The original terminus at Craigellachie was renamed Dandaleith after Strathspey Junction station was renamed Craigellachie in 1864.

Station openings
Rothes and Sourden opened on 23/8/1858 and Craigellachie on 23/12/1858.

Sourden station closed with the Orton line in 1866. Dandaleith closed to passengers in 1962 and completely in 1967 when goods services were withdrawn. Rothes closed to passengers in May 1968 with the withdrawal of passenger services between Elgin and Keith via Craigellachie. The station and the line closed to goods in November 1968.

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