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ELLON STATION SITE
Ellon Station. N.B. this is a 1922 map and the main road has changed somewhat from that time,although the country roads have
changed little or not at all.
Concluding the branchline walk, from Balmacassie to Ellon Station site. As the trackbed was lost from here to the station it meant a longish walk around the Balmacassie Reserve
and new estate to get back onto the main road, then through the town centre and along Station Road.
Station Road, Ellon. The station was up on the right, with the Fraserburgh-Peterhead branch coming in from Dyce to the left.
The gap where the railway crossed station Road. Only the Hotel exists today. Right: As the line is a cycle & walkway from Dyce to Fraserburgh and Peterhead the embankment has been graded
to allow entrance from Station Road .
Remains of the southern end of the down platform hidden in the undergrowth. Ditto
I was surprised to find that they had allowed a housing block to creep right up to the down platform edge, making it impossible to reopen . Right: Looking south with the down platform on the right and the large island
platform that also served the Boddam branch on the far left.
I remember stopping the locomotive at the end of this platform and waving to the kitchen staff. The extension building didn't exist then and you looked right into the kitchen, to the far right.
Right: A three story blobk of falts stand on the down platform.
The strongly built water cystern building without it's water tank on the roof. Right: The large island platform from the south end. It could take 10-12 coach trains on each platform and had
a large canopyed station building. The Boddam trains arrived and departed from the righthand side.
It was interesting to find that the island platform was not only grassed over but that it was nicely mown. With plenty of space to both sides of the platform it is possible that this would be the main platforms should the
branch ever reopen. Right: The nicely mown island platform surface. The goods yard was on the right and still fairly undeveloped.
The southern end of ther Goods yard seen through the platform fence. Right: Ditto. There appears to still be a lot of ballast on the ground and heaped up.
Looking north from the same spot. This shows how much ground the goods yard took up. The Boddam branch came in from just beyond the buildings in the background and curving away to thje right probably through
that line of trees up ahead, which today goes through the Balmacassie Reserve. Right: Cut out for signal cables and angle joints.
View northwards from about halfway along the island platform. The Boddam branch went off at an angle through the trees, from left to right.
The treeline represents the western end of the Balmacassie reserve.
Just beyond the platforms at the north end of the station as the line heads for Achnagatte, just 7 miles ahead. North end of Ellon station site. The line heads off towards Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
Ellon Old Photos
This brings me to the end, or the start of the branch, whichever end you start off from. It's been a very interesting exercise and has very much concluded a dream and a plan that has been with me for many years.
I have been fascinated with the old branchline since learing about it's existance, sadly, that being in the latter 40's when the line was being steadily dismantled.
I had passed the obvious places where the bus passed or stopped at, such as Ellon, Hatton and Boddam. I knew of Boddam station but was too young to have the thought or courage to try getting into the site
back then, which would surely have had much more to see than when I first revisited the area back in the 60's then again in the 70's. I will always be sorry that I never knew of Cruden Bay station site, when I
could have visted it on the ocassions when I used to motorbike up to Boddam, taking in Slain's Castle and the Bullar's O' Buchan.
As this web site proves, by the time I knew of the station site there was virtually nothing railway left to see. However, having said that I seem to have managed to build up a good image of what was there using
the visits and old photos to set it all in place. Likewise, I missed out on the Longhaven station site back then as I didn't even realise that the railway came so close to the Boddam road at that spot, thinking that it
kept close to the clifftops.
It is easy to think of the branch as being a simple county line with little of interest, yet it was exceptionally well built and designed. It passed through some difficult undulating country, with long steep gradients,
which must have made the drivers and firemen's work quite difficult at times. It wasn't an easy branch.
With, as mentioned, Slain's Castle, the Bullars and Cruden Bay Hotel, the viaduct and the quite extensive brickworks the branch had a fair number of excellent attractions to watch out for, not to forget the
attractive sea views between Longhaven and Boddam.
I hope that you have found this exercise as interesting as myself. Buchan isn't one of the first places many people would think of as a tourist attraction, yet along with it's railway and attractions as mentioned
here, the whole area has a character of it's own with lovely rolling hills and well groomed farms and really does have a lot to offer for those looking for somewhere not quite so well-known as the usual tourist
spots in Scotland, or indeed the U.K.
Perhaps if built, Donald Trump's Hotel and Golf Course may bring fresh publicity to the area and see more tourists find and learn about the charms of Buchan. Whether you are for or against Trump's scheme,
it is indeed on the grand scale of the GNSR's Cruden Bay Hotel scheme and that was very successful for many years. We can but hope that the Hotel and Golf project doesn't suffer the same fate, long term.
However, unless the weather changes globally once again, I don't think Trump's scheme will suffer the bad winter conditions of the GNSR years, apart from the regular sea 'Har' that washes out the countryside
every now and again. I remember leaving Aberdeen by train in clear sunny conditions and once beyond Ellon it would be a complete white-out all the way to Fraserburgh and/or Peterhead.
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