Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Volunteer run steam & diesel trains along Brechin's historic branch line.
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Brief History - The original Caledonian Railway company was formed in the early 19th Century and was major Scottish railway company for nearly a century (1830's to 1923). Before the Caledonian Railway company was formed, Scotland and England's early railways were not connected. Before 1849, when the Caledonian Railway open its mainline, the quickest way to travel from Glasgow to London was to catch a train from Glasgow to Greenock, then travel between Greenock and Liverpool by ship and then from Liverpool to London by train. When the Caledonian mainline was opened in 1849 the journey time from Glasgow to London was slashed to only 12.5 hours. In 1923, the Caledonian Railway company was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Railway by the Railways Act of 1921. This Act was passed to reduce the losses being made by the 120 seperate railway companies operating in the country. After 1921, there were four large companies; LMS, GWR, LNER and SR. After the second world war, the battle scarred LMS along with the other 3 large railway companies were nationalised by the Transport Act of 1947 and became part of British Railways. British Railways (British Rail from 1965) operated the vast majority of rail transport in Great Britain from 1948 to 1997. During this period, the type of locomotive hauling trains gradually changed from steam to diesel. Steam hauled trains were eliminated in 1968 in favour of diesel and electric. During the 1960's, the "Beeching Cuts" or "Beeching Axe" was inforced to close 30% of all route miles and 55% of all stations with the objective of reducing the large amounts of debt built up by BR due to competition to move freight by road. This meant that the vast majority of small branch lines were to close. The Brechin to Montrose branch line was closed to passengers in the early 1950's but remained open to freight traffic until 1981 when it was preserved by Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd. In the early days of preservation, shuttle trains operated from Brechin only to just outside the station limits. In 1993, the railway received a Light Railway Order (LRO) which allowed trains to operated the full four mile line to Bridge of Dun.

Can you help out the Brechin Railway Preservation Society?
16/06/2020

Can you help out the Brechin Railway Preservation Society?

Calling all members past and present!

Since forming in 1979, the BRPS has issued nearly 200 newsletters documenting the work we have put in to preserving the railway.

We want to preserve these records. With these being printed, over the years copies have been lost, particularly from the early days. We want to save our history before it is too late by digitising our newsletters and photographic records, allowing future generations to enjoy our history.

We are therefore asking for your help. We are currently missing a number of our early editions, particularly editions prior to 100, with a small selection of later editions. Would you be willing to donate these to the society to allow us to scan and preserve our work? Get in touch with us through our page on comment below.

The Whistle Stop
11/06/2020

The Whistle Stop

ORDERS TO BE IN FOR FRIDAY 12 JUNE

FATHERS DAY TAKEAWAY AFTERNOON TEA
Sunday 21st June

Treat someone you love 💕 to a delicious afternoon tea from The Whistle Stop!
We are doing a takeaway afternoon tea for Father’s Day, which will include -
A selection of sandwiches
Mini steak and gravy pie
Scone
Traybake
Custard cream
Strawberry tart

Price will be £10 per person and can be collected from The Whistle Stop between 10am - 1pm, Sunday 21 June. Social distancing will be in place at all times!
To order please phone - 07743741159 / 07718921166 or via Facebook messenger The Whistle Stop.
Payment can be made on the day by contactless card payment or the correct cash.
All orders to be in by FRIDAY 12 JUNE.

09/06/2020
Visit Angus

We're still here and looking forward to the day when we can reopen once again. Hang in there, we will all get through this together #staysafestayhome #Anguswillwait #VisitAngus

A big hello from everyone in Angus tourism. We are missing you all. #Anguswillwait

07/06/2020

Today would have been our first steam day of the summer. Sadly, we are still closed so to make up for it, here are a couple of videos from 2018 on our Instagram page

It's national #VolunteersWeek - did you know that your local, award winning railway is run entirely by volunteers?The 4-...
05/06/2020

It's national #VolunteersWeek - did you know that your local, award winning railway is run entirely by volunteers?

The 4-miles of branch line between Brechin and Bridge of Dun in Angus was saved in 1979 by the Brechin Railway Preservation Society. Since then, the volunteers have been working tirelessly to rebuild the railway into what you see today. Last year, our efforts were recognised nationally with the volunteers receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the volunteer equivalent to an MBE!

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who have given their spare time to the railway over the last 41 years. We know times are challenging at the moment, but we will get through this together.

Are you interesting in volunteering with us once lockdown has finished? Please do get in touch with us.

Covid-19 UpdateFurther to our last update, the Caledonian Railway regret to advise all volunteers, supporters and visito...
03/06/2020

Covid-19 Update

Further to our last update, the Caledonian Railway regret to advise all volunteers, supporters and visitors that the closure of the railway has been extended to Sunday 2nd August. All train services up to and including this date have been cancelled.

We are saddened that we have had to make this decision, however, the health and well being of our visitors and volunteers is our top priority. Customers that have purchased tickets for the affected services will be contacted in due course and refunds issued.

During this time of extended closure, we again ask that all members of the public please continue stay away from the railway. Walking along the railway line is not safe and is trespassing - any offenders found will be reported to the relevant authorities. Our sites are monitored 24/7 with CCTV systems.

We thank you all for your patience during this time. We are continually reviewing the situation and taking steps to ensure we are prepared to reopen when the time comes.

Please continue to keep up-to-date with the railway during this time through our social media outlets and website.

Covid-19 UpdateThe Caledonian Railway regret to advise all volunteers, supporters and customers that due to ongoing gove...
06/05/2020

Covid-19 Update

The Caledonian Railway regret to advise all volunteers, supporters and customers that due to ongoing government enforced social restrictions, all upcoming events up until the end of June 2020 have been cancelled.

At present, we do not know when the railway or The Whistle Stop will reopen.

During this time of extended closure, we again ask that all members of the public please continue stay away from the railway. Walking along the railway line is not safe and is trespassing - any offenders found will be reported to the relevant authorities. Our sites are monitored 24/7 with CCTV systems.

Please continue to keep up-to-date with the railway during this time through our social media outlets and website.

Brechin Railway Preservation Society
26/04/2020

Brechin Railway Preservation Society

The relaunch of the railway. After many years hard work by the volunteers, the railway was officially reopened on 6th June, 1992.

11/04/2020
Caledonian Railway

Today would have been our first operating day of the year with the Easter Eggspress. Unfortunately, like many other business's, we are closed for the foreseeable future. To make up for this, here's a throwback to 2017.

Our big steam loco, Harlaxton, powering through Magdalen Cutting with the Easter Eggspress. This is the steepest part of our branchline, with the gradient reaching 1 in 75.

Brechin station looking a little unloved a few years before the Brechin Railway Preservation Society took over in 1979.
10/04/2020

Brechin station looking a little unloved a few years before the Brechin Railway Preservation Society took over in 1979.

Brechin station near the end of its life with British Rail, sometime in the 1970's.

Caledonian Railway's cover photo
06/04/2020

Caledonian Railway's cover photo

One of our volunteers is spending their downtime digitising our archive of photographs of the railway during the early d...
29/03/2020

One of our volunteers is spending their downtime digitising our archive of photographs of the railway during the early days of preservation.

Interested in finding out more? Follow the Brechin Railway Preservation Society to be kept up to date

We had hoped to be posting an update from our Sunday P-Way team today, however with the current travel restrictions, work on our current relay has been put on hold.

To make up for this, here are a few P-Way photos from the past. We believe all photos are from March 1987.

Covid-19 UpdateFollowing on from the post last week on the cancellation of our Easter Eggspress on 11th & 12th April, Th...
23/03/2020

Covid-19 Update

Following on from the post last week on the cancellation of our Easter Eggspress on 11th & 12th April, The Caledonian Railway would like to advise all volunteers, supporters and potential visitors that their health and well-being is at the forefront of our operations.

Based on Government advice, we are currently closed to minimise the risk to personnel as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

At present, we anticipate that this closure of the railway and The Whistle Stop will last for several more weeks. We are continually monitoring the situation, taking on board advice from the Government and other regulatory/advisory bodies. We will review this position again in the weeks to come and publish further updates then.

During this time, we ask that all visitors please stay away from the railway and practice social distancing in a bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Please continue to keep up-to-date with the railway during this time through our social media outlets. As part of the downtime, one of our volunteers has made a start digitising our archive of videos and photographs from days gone by. Interested in finding out more? Follow the Brechin Railway Preservation Society for updates over the coming weeks.

The railway may be closed but The Whistle Stop is still open for business #supportlocal
20/03/2020

The railway may be closed but The Whistle Stop is still open for business #supportlocal

Steam and Diesel services running throughout the summer. See our website for more details and to book www.caledonianrail...
19/03/2020

Steam and Diesel services running throughout the summer. See our website for more details and to book www.caledonianrailway.com

Caledonian Railway
19/03/2020

Caledonian Railway

In the interests of public health and the well-being of our volunteers, Caledonian Railway regret to inform our visitors...
16/03/2020

In the interests of public health and the well-being of our volunteers, Caledonian Railway regret to inform our visitors that all Easter trains planned for 11th & 12th April have been cancelled due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Refunds for those who have already purchased tickets will be processed over the coming days.

We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and following guidelines from the Government. At present, all other planned future services will go ahead as scheduled. Updates will be issued on our website and social media outlets if this situation changes.

Well done to Wendy & Lorraine at the Whistle Stop!
09/03/2020

Well done to Wendy & Lorraine at the Whistle Stop!

Delighted to be a finalist at the food and drink awards 2020

Have you ever wanted to drive a steam train? Or know someone who does? Then why not book a Steam Driver Experience this ...
06/03/2020

Have you ever wanted to drive a steam train? Or know someone who does? Then why not book a Steam Driver Experience this summer at the Caledonian Railway!

Experience the sights and smells of a steam train by spending the day with us learning the ropes and see behind the scenes with this rare glimpse into the life of a train driver.

We still have spaces for our courses this summer. Send us a PM or visit https://caledonianrailway.com/private-hire-experiences to find out more information and to book today!

06/03/2020
The Gin Bothy

We are super excited to announce that The Gin Bothy's gin tasting train will be back again for two dates this summer!

Tickets are on sale through our website. Book now as these events sell out fast! https://caledonianrailway.com/events/12

All aboard the sloe train! This Saturday we take to the rails for another gin tasting event in conjunction with Caledonian Railways.

This sell-out event is a very special experience. Guests travel through the Angus Countryside on board a heritage diesel hauled train whilst sampling a selection of our premium spirits.

Although these times are booked up, sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about future dates! https://mailchi.mp/ginbothy.co.uk/subscribe

Well behaved pooches are always welcome
05/03/2020

Well behaved pooches are always welcome

Feeling hungry? You're spoilt for choice with dog-friendly places to go in Angus and Dundee! The Whistle Stop in Brechin at the Caledonian Railway offers a warm welcome and a choice of delicious home-baking, soups, sandwiches, quiche and hot rolls as well as breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning - a perfect start to a day of adventure!

#DogFriendlyAngusAndDundee #DogFriendly #VisitAngus #VisitScotland #CaledonianRailway #DogFriendlyCafe #Brechin #Cake

Great work by our volunteers!
02/03/2020

Great work by our volunteers!

Permanent Way

Our Volunteers have been continuing with our latest track relay over the past few weeks, and today saw the first train running over it during a ballast drop. Work will continue levelling off the ballast and fettling the track ready for its first passenger services over Easter.

You only have until midnight tomorrow to claim this offer!SAVE 10% at the checkout when you use the discount code 'EASTE...
28/02/2020

You only have until midnight tomorrow to claim this offer!

SAVE 10% at the checkout when you use the discount code 'EASTER20'. Get your tickets now at https://caledonianrailway.com/events/2

Great work by our volunteers!
19/02/2020

Great work by our volunteers!

Permanent Way

Our volunteer track gang have been working hard the last few Sundays on this year's track refurbishment.

Both ends of the 1000ft stretch of track have now been rejoined onto the rest of the branch line. The next job to do is level the track and drop over 350 tonnes of ballast to hold it all in place!

📷 K. Bisset

Caledonian Railway
16/02/2020

Caledonian Railway

Early bird discount!

Tickets for our Easter Eggspress on 11th & 12th April are now on sale. Book your family's place today and SAVE 10% when you use the discount code 'EASTER20' at the checkout.

To book your tickets and for more information, please see our website at https://caledonianrailway.com/events/2

Early bird discount!Tickets for our Easter Eggspress on 11th & 12th April are now on sale. Book your family's place toda...
09/02/2020

Early bird discount!

Tickets for our Easter Eggspress on 11th & 12th April are now on sale. Book your family's place today and SAVE 10% when you use the discount code 'EASTER20' at the checkout.

To book your tickets and for more information, please see our website at https://caledonianrailway.com/events/2

#throwbackthursday to summer 2002 when we had a visitor from the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway. Here we see Caledonian Railw...
23/01/2020

#throwbackthursday to summer 2002 when we had a visitor from the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway. Here we see Caledonian Railway No. 419 powering through Magdalen cutting.

📷 Ian Lothian

Caledonian Railway's cover photo
18/01/2020

Caledonian Railway's cover photo

Caledonian Railway
18/01/2020

Caledonian Railway

Caledonian Railway Diesel Group
11/01/2020

Caledonian Railway Diesel Group

We're very grateful to Mr Duncan McIntosh of Duncan McIntosh Trailers, Brechin, for the generous donation of a 15' Lang 8B2 lathe which will be a big boost to the scope of machining we can do in house. Thanks also to Geddes Group of Swirlburn for the transport. It's a lot bigger than our current Colchester!

Duncan's website can be found at - http://www.duncanmcintosh.co.uk/

Brechin Railway Preservation Society
09/01/2020

Brechin Railway Preservation Society

Trackwork progress

A few members of the volunteer P-Way team have been out this week working on this season's track renovation work.

All of the replacement sleepers have now been laid down ready for the team to make a start on reinstating the rails this coming weekend.

📷 K. Bisset

08/01/2020
The Whistle Stop

The Whistle Stop

PART TIME STAFF REQUIRED for our busy coffee shop.
A cheerful, friendly, highly motivated, hardworking, reliable, individual with experience.
You will be required to work weekends and week days on a rota basis.
Hours will vary between 8.30am -4.00pm.
Please hand C.V. into The Whistle Stop, Coffee Shop.

Some of our volunteers were out today making a start on this season's track work
29/12/2019

Some of our volunteers were out today making a start on this season's track work

Our P-Way team were out today working off those extra Christmas calories, lifting over 1000ft of our running line. Over the coming weeks, our team of volunteers will level off the track bed and begin relaying the track with new materials.

📷 K. Bisset

From all of the volunteers at the Caledonian Railway, we would like to wish our visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Ha...
25/12/2019

From all of the volunteers at the Caledonian Railway, we would like to wish our visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🎅🎄☃️

Address

The Station, 2 Park Road
Brechin
DD9 7AF

General information

For information on train times and events, please visit www.caledonianrailway.com

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