Caledonian Railway

1986

From the CR web page:

The original Caledonian Railway, founded in 1848, was one of the major rail operators in Scotland, cooperating with the London and North Western Railway in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to create new, high-speed links between the English capital and the key centres of population on the western side of Britain and over a large part of Scotland.

Trains operated by the Caledonian Railway (or the Caley as it was fondly called) took part in the fiercely competitive `Race to the North' in the 1870s. At the height of the railways' role in the British economy, the companies running trains on the two principal routes between England and Scotland, the East Coast and West Coast main lines, strove to outdo each other in the time taken by their services to reach the cities of Scotland.

The West Coast trains passed through Bridge of Dun, which was then an important junction. Another couple of miles further east was the famous Kinnaber Junction where the two routes met. The competitors' trains were obliged from there on to use the same tracks to reach Aberdeen and beyond. There were often tense moments as the local signalman was obliged to decide which of the two expresses rapidly approaching the junction he should allow through first, the West Coast or the East Coast.

The present Caledonian Railway (Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd), uses four miles of a branch line formerly operated by the original Caledonian Railway. Originally established as the Brechin Railway Preservation Society, it was very much in its infancy when we visited in 1986, but they already had some trains running in a delightful Scottish setting, with a wonderful Victorian era station. Judging from their current web page, they have moved on a bit since I was there. Nevertheless, these photos will show something of the early days of restoration.

  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 62405 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 20 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14719
  • Description : I think this is a Barclay 0-4-0ST, built in 1926. Standing on the buffer beam is the author's youngest son.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 101557 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 20 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14720
  • Description : I think this is Diana, an 0-6-0ST Austerity loco, built in 1943. If any reader can send me details on these locos, I'll gladly update these captions!


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 83691 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 20 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14723
  • Description : The Barclay stands ready to depart Brechin, propelling its train (at this stage) only as far as the station limits, until restoration work on the track toBridge of Duncan be completed..


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 78352 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 20 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14724
  • Description : Another Austerity 0-6-0ST, this one was built by Bagnall in 1944, and is number 6 on the roster.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 81644 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 20 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14725
  • Description : The Barclay propels its train (all one carriage of it!) down the line towards Bridge of Dun ... but it doesn't go far, as the line is not yet fully restored.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 122728 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 22 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14726
  • Description : At Bridge of Dun, the former junction with theStrathmore Railwayhas clearly seen better days!


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 60708 bytes, pixels
  • Date : Jul 1986, catalogued 22 Nov 1999
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : Kodachrome, slide number 14729
  • Description : A Barclay saddle tank is framed by the interesting station architecture at Bridge of Dun.


2004

Simon Hickman of the Caledonian Railway wrote to me, having seen the above photos, pointing out that the railway has moved on a little since 1986, and perhaps it was time to update my site.

As it happened, I was planning to visit Scotland in the (northern) summer of 2004, and wrote back to him to see when the CR might be running, so that I could catch up with things. Simon replied, and generously suggested that when I came, I make myself known to him (he was firing that day), and he'd organize a cab ride for me. This bunch of photos details the fun I had on that day, catching up with progress at CR. Thanks, Simon!

  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 1516871 bytes, 2272x1704 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 12 Dec 2004
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon S40), image location IMG_17148
  • Description : Barclay 0-6-0T number 2107, aka "Harlaxton", shunts around her train at Brechin on the Caledonian Railway


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 1215444 bytes, 2272x1704 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 12 Dec 2004
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon S40), image location IMG_17149
  • Description : Barclay 0-6-0T number 2107, aka "Harlaxton", shunts around her train at Brechin on the Caledonian Railway


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 641271 bytes, 2272x1704 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 12 Dec 2004
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon S40), image location IMG_17159
  • Description : Barclay 0-6-0T number 2107, aka "Harlaxton", shows that the fireman has just put on a fresh round of coal.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 1827448 bytes, 2272x1704 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 12 Dec 2004
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon S40), image location IMG_17161
  • Description : Barclay 0-6-0T number 2107 running bunker first on the Caledonian Railway climbs the short grade out of Brechin.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 906589 bytes, 2272x1704 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 12 Dec 2004
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon S40), image location IMG_17162
  • Description : Barclay 0-6-0T number 2107 running bunker first on the Caledonian Railway climbs the short grade out of Brechin.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 204518 bytes, 800x600 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 06 Oct 2008
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon EOS350D), image location IMG_17189
  • Description : Coming into Bridge of Dun. Compare this view with that taken 18 years earlier at Brechin-6


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 122510 bytes, 800x600 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 06 Oct 2008
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon EOS350D), image location IMG_17196
  • Description : The author, looking somewhat pleased with himself after enjoying a cab ride from Brechin to Bridge of Dun.


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 112187 bytes, 800x600 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 06 Oct 2008
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon EOS350D), image location IMG_17203
  • Description : The staff for the section Kinnaber Jcn to Brechin


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 142842 bytes, 800x600 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 06 Oct 2008
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon EOS350D), image location IMG_17204
  • Description : About to leave Bridge of Dun


  • Image : dir=br/brechin/ page=index 123696 bytes, 800x600 pixels
  • Date : 18 Jul 2004, catalogued 06 Oct 2008
  • Photographer : John Hurst
  • Medium : digital camera (Canon EOS350D), image location IMG_17210
  • Description : Leaving Bridge of Dun


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