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Cruden Bay (Viaduct & Station Sites)  

(Updated September 2014)

 

Cruden Bay station was built mainly to serve the GNSR Hotel and Golf Course, hence the electric tramway between the station and hotel. For general use the station was a little far from the center
of the village down a steep road. However, there are a number of small hamlets around that would have benefited from the railway. The tramway was the furthest north electric passenger service in
the U.K. The station was situated in a valley and along with the tramway the three-arch viaduct added to the pictorial interest. The station area has been returned to nature with little but the cutting
at the west end, the three arches of the viaduct remains plus the station house to indicate that a railway station and tram terminal ever stood at this spot. Between the cutting and the main road
stood a large brick works that was linked to the railway.

Following in from my walk from Hatton in 2002 and climbing up the embankment from the demolished bridge on the western side of the Nethermill Road, the embankment enters the cutting that
opens up into the station site.


The station site is down station road with the valley on the right leading to the viaduct and the cutting.
The Brickworks is marked, close to the demolished bridge on the Peterhead/Fraserburgh road. the tramway
from the station to the Hotel is also indicated. The tram ran over mostly fields but today the whole area is
a housing estate as far back as the north end of Station Road. The AD 1004 battle site is where the area gets
it's name from. Cruden is a corruption of the Gaidhlig for " Slaughter of the Danes". King Canute lost the
battle and went home to think again then decided to leave Scotland alone for a bit and attacked England
instead. The proper name of the original village is Port Errol. Cruden Bay was what the GNSR called their
station and the new dwellings built around the railway and Hotel took that name. 

 
Left: Cruden Bay Station Site from Google Earth.                                                                                                                                                               Right: Station Layout.

The following photos are reversed from the shooting order to follow through from the Hatton to Cruden Bay pages

 
Entering the cutting on the approach to Cruden Bay station. The view is blocked by the garden fence on the left. The chimney and roof of the station house is seen in the background. Railway fencing
remains top right. Right:
A little further into the cutting towards the station, looking back towards Hatton and the gap where the railway crossed the road

 
Still looking towards Hatton at the mouth of the station approach. The fence on the right beaks the clear view through the cutting, where the railway crossed another road and onto Hatton.
 At this point the tracks fanned out behind me into the station and goods yard. Right:
Reverse view from the above. Again the fence and dumped equipment spoil the clear view. As described above,
the tracks  fanned out from the single line. The station lines to the left while the goods lines curved to the right. Railway fencing can be seen top right. The station house gives layout scale

 
This must have been the northern entrance to the station, from the Nethermill road. The house that partially blocks the cutting is to the left. Note those iron gates! I would think that they are originals.
The two concrete posts each side of the smaller gate is interesting in that they have been deliberately designed to look ornamental. Right:
Standing virtually center of the station platform trackbed.
The Up platform to the left and the Down platform to the right of me, with the two tracks running towards the cutting where the goods lines went off to the left hand side of the field.  With so much
demolished it is very difficult to imagine the scene.

 
From the leading points on coming out of the cutting, two goods lines ran straight ahead, with the shorter track going off to the right up to the short loading platform. The longer line ran straight ahead up
 the Goods Shed, which lay close to where the sandy heap is dumped. The single line split into two, one track stopping outside and the other inside the shed. Just ahead of the goods line points another set
of points curved sharp left and then split into the up & down platform tracks, which were out of the picture on the far left. 
 The tramway came in from the far right inside the railway land following Station
Road then just before the station entrance, up by the large trees, turned on a tight curve and eventually stopping at the buffers immediately to the far left.


Right: From the far western corner just clear of the cutting. A wideangle view of the goods yard. Another iron gate that suggests that it is an origianal. Possibly the goods yard had been protected by this
gate! However, there had to be a post on the left side of it too, similar to the one on the right, which looks more like a tree  runk than a gatepost!.
The tramway came down the hill, inside railway poroperty.
The red-roofed building, which  is a police station  stands on the actual trackbed. The tram line hugged the inside edge of the field all the way to the far left as far as the main gate then on it's long curve
and stopping just behind where I am standing.

23rd Sept 2014 Walk

 
Original GNSR fencing by the southern entrance.

 
Left: From the short cutting the station throught opens up where the points to the goods yard turned off to the left.
Right: The southern entrance to the station coming in from Golf Road.

 
Left: From the south station entrance, looking north over the station site, towards the viaduct. Who could imagine a station ever having stood here.
Right: From the south side of the station entrance, looking southwards over the goods yard toward Golf Road. The track ran let to right.

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Approximately where the Goods platform stood. Looking towards the cutting coming in from Hatton. The goods shed was to my right of the heap of soil with the two goods lines running up to the mainline
points by the cutting. The tram line and terminal ahead a little and to the right and terminating alongside the Up platform, which ran the length of the area.


Right & Below: A "Now & Then" photo. The scene is from the western corner of the station layout by the embankment, looking towards the Station House with the backfilled cutting just beyond the
viaduct to the far left.
The empty field makes it  very difficult to imagine what the scene was like in the railway days. The montage below is almost impossible to believe and proves just  how almost
complete the railway demolition  has been. It's almost as if someone was determined that the railway would never return again!


I have reduced the Sept. 2008 photo to almost the same scale as the 1930's photo using the station house as the
main guide. The railway cutting, while back-filled virtually sits in the correct place. N.B. Newer B&W photo scan
replacing the previous one, now showing more of the goods shed.

You can now see where the Goods Shed stood. According to the pab below, there were two tracks, one stopping outside the shed 
and the other going inside to a loading bay. It would appear that one of the tracks had been removed. The nearest goods line also
ran to the end of the yard but had a short spur that terminted at a short loading bay. You can also see how the platforms were built
on a long curve to line-up with the viaduct. I used a 35mm lens setting as this is most likely what the original photograher was
using way back then and I must have been standing close to  where he/she took the photo.

This diagram, from the book "Cruden Bay and it's Tramway" by Keith Jones shows what the complete layout
looked like. No credit was given to the source of this map. I have added some of my own details, such as
station house and text. There is no sign of the double track goods lines in the old photo, which makes me
wonder if there was actually two tracks built or if one had been removed over the years.

 
Left: Sept 2008. This is the view from the station entrance on Station Road. The railway ran from the cutting on the far left directly across the picture from left to right, this side of the line of trees in the background.  Again
it is difficult to imagine where the concourse, station platforms & buildings, the Good's Shed and the the tramway all stood.
Below,  I have drawn, well scribbled, a free-draw sketch, using the computer mouse, to give some
idea of what was there and where they stood in this scene.


of the'up' platform. There was a run-round loop for dealing with the Hotel luggage & laundry van, which stood at a short stub that stopped just outside the signalbox. The main entrance and concourse ran down the
centre, stopping by the main station building the one that was destroyed by a fire in the 30's. The Stationmaster's house was off to the far right.It's a shame that there are  no old photographs to go with this
2008 photos.

 
The main entrance to the station site on the 23rd Sept 2014. Sadly, a sign showing the station site being up for sale and 200 houses being panned for the site. While houses are needed it would be a shame
to destroy the station site at the same time as Cruden Bay grows even larger and saturaed with traffic A station and a railway could well be required once again in the future!

 
Left: A reverse view showing Station Road and the main entrance from within the station site. Right: From midway on the station platforms, looking south towards Hatton and the cutting up ahead. The steepness of the
bank on the left of the trackbed puzzled me for a time as it would not have slopped so serioulsy to the station. However, once you realise how much embankment has been removed between here and the viaduct it would
appear that the trackbed here has also been lowered considerably. Allowing for some soil removal, plus the depth of ballast and the height of the sleepers, rails and platforms then it should all level up. But that still
looks rather steep to me!
 


With the remains of the viaduct in the background and standing on what would have ben the north end of the
down platform
. When this photo was taken in 2002 I didn't realise it at the time that I was actually on the
station site. I believed that the station was beyond the viaduct, which of course was actually the site of
the brick works.

 
The station embankment. The bridge crossed over the Nethermill road, towards the viaduct, behind me. Right: A side view from the north side with the railway embankment on the right, showing how the road
bridge and embankment to the viaduct have been removed

 
Sept. 2008. From the south side of the track with the embankment from the station, where it has been removed, along with the road bridge and the embankment leading to the viaduct, which is off to the right. The house, just
out of sight to the far left is  the new house built on the site of the old stationmaster's garden. It shows a well-groomed garden.
Right: The view from the top of the same embankment shows the line towards the viaduct and
proves that, along with the bridge, just how much embankment has been removed. It included the road bridge of which nothing remains.


Cruden Bay Viaduct. From Google Earth.


Cruden Bay Station, Goods Yard, viaduct and Brick works from the air. It is interesting see the whole station area and that there are still some station
buildings standing, also the road bridge north of the station is sill in place as is the embankment leading up to the Viaduct. The farm brdge crossing
the mouth of the cutting is also seen. The expanse of the quarries and Brick Works is seen. You can fallow the route of the tramway from the station
to where it left Station Road and onto the Hotel. Note how underdeveloped this area is, especially around Hillhead and along Station Road
.

This full-sized photo and many more can be purchased from the Royal Commision on the Antient and Historical Monuments of Scotland web site at CAHMS
  

From 23rd Sept 2014 Walk

 
Taken from Golf Road by the Ex Station Master's House. Where the road overbridge stood and where the embankment continued over the River Cruden and to the Viaduct.


The cutting beyond the viaduct has been back-filled. On each side of the cutting are the
two large concrete blocks that are the remans of the over bridge that stood there.
The Down starting signal stood to the left of the opening of the cutting.

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The three arches with the cutting behind, which has been back-filled. The embankment from the station (behind) has also been removed. I would not have been able to stand here or view this scene during the
railway period
I had wondered for the reason for filling  in the cutting but with so much flooding around  the site of the brick works and deep water in the quarry, it's a dangerous place to wander around.
This view  gives a good example of the deep cutting beyond the viaduct and how much has been back-filled. Right:
The new housing estate at Braehead creeps to the edge of the railway cutting.

 
 The pillars are in very good condition considering the 60 years since trains last used them. Right: A telephoto view captures the highlight of the in-fill. A signal also stood at the mouth of the cutting, on the left.
I don't know if this was the advance  starter for Cruden bay or possibly a distant for the Brick Work sidings. Perhaps the sidings was worked  from a ground frameand signals were not involved!  I believe there was a
road/path over the cutting originally, which would have mean't there being a bridge!

 
The station house is in excellent condition, albeit the GNSR colour has been changed. Right: This was the entrance to the Station Master's House, which was separated from the station area to give him
and his family some privacy. The main entrance to the station was a little further up to the left from here.

 
The rear of Station House from the Nethermill road. The drop to, and the Station Master's garden still remains. However, the steps are gone. A modern house and drive way has been built on the right.
Right:
The tramway had it's own right of way up through the fields to the main road where it crossed and entered the Hotel grounds. A railway boundary post proves that the tracks ran between there
and the new concrete base. From what I understand the boundry post is due to the run between here and the hotel being on council land, with the GNSR having permission to use it but to maintain
the tramway and the main road area where the track crossed and entered the hotel grounds.

From 26th Sept 2014

A further look around the Ex track bed of the Electric Tramway where it left the station and on up to the Hotel. There was no road and the tramway ran in isolation. Today  a road runs up to the main road and
a police station and a housing estate upon much of the track bed.

 

 

   

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The railway boundary post. A few of these posts still remain along the trackbed. They were specially desinged (Most
railway companies had their own design) and placed so that there was no conflict if/when someone may have
trespassed on railway land  or may even attempted to build on it or even steal from it, which isn't unknown.

 
The Police Station has been built over the tram trackbed as it climbed up to the main road. The boundry post is by the wall, far right. Right: The tramline crossed the road around this point and the Hotel stood
just behind the new houses, to the  right a little way. Nothing remains of the Hotel, However, the Golf Course is still in operation and is one of the finest in Scotland.

From 26th Sept 2014

The north end viaduct as seen from the bottom end of Golf Road, where the road crossed the Cruden River.

 

 

 

 
Left: The river Cruden running northwards and curving around to run below the viaduct and into the sea by the beach.
Right: The south side of the river bridge, with the house built out onto the railway cutting at the south end of the station site, top left.

  

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Another visit to the top side of the viaduct on the 23rd Sept. 2014.

To reach the viaduct there is a foot path, which today starts from the new road that is now part of the new housing estate. (Morrison Place). The path starts from the river bridge and takes you around the higher estate of
  Braehead. The path is good until you ahve to get to the top of the viaduct remains, which can be very boggie, with high grass and reeds. You need to take care, both getting there and once on embankment at the top
of the viaduct. There is no fencing at the viaduct edge so care must be taken when at the edge.

 
The viaduct remains from the footpath.

 


On the track bed on the north side of the viaduct. The ctting has bee back-filled. However, you can see the two concrete blcoks that mark each side of the
farm access bridge that crossed over the railway. The Up starter signal stood at the opening of the cutting on the left of the track bed. The signal
wire had ran all the way from the signal box at the station.

  
Left: The north side concrete block of the overbridge with a wire tension post still standing. Right: Top  the back filled cutting.


A cropped section from above right. Interesting metal poles, which would appear to be remains of the farm access bridge
that crossed the mouth of the cutting.


The wire tension post of the east side of the Ex overbridge.

 

 

 

   
The east and west decorative pink granite edges of th viaduct. Both show considerable corrosion, albeit the stones themselves appear to be quite complete.

   
The two granite pillars are still in excellent condition in spite of the years of weathering. Lined up to show the direct line to the embakment on the west side of Guf Road and where the line ranto the station site.


A wideangle, horizontal view of the viaduct peirs.

 
The granite stone sets of the sides of the viaduct.

 
Left: The river Cruden curving off westwards towards Nethermill.                                                                                     Right: The two pillars and north embuttment of the Viaduct.

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These view, from the remains of the viaduct give a good idea of the layout of the station and the missing
road bridge and link to the viaduct.

 
Three pillars of the viaduct still stand. The viaduct joined an embankment that crossed the valley and the road. The cutting can just be made out to the left of the house seen on the exctreme left, where the station lay. Again,
this photo shows the amount of earthwork that has been removed.     Right: Another view showing the line of sight from the viaduct to the station and cutting. The station lay to the left of the darker  line of growth running
towards us, with the goods yard and tram terminal to the left of that. The stationmaster's house is seen on the extreme left. The large house in the middle distance is blocking the view through the cutting. The goods yard
track was in the green field behind the station house. The electric tramway came down behind the station master's house and curved towards the the left of the Up platform. The Nethermill  road bridge was probably where
you see the lighter green patch by the road.  The track bed from the viaduct was on a short curve to match up with the northern end of the station platforms.
 


The viaduct pillars as seen from the main road. The road alongside the new houses at the top of the hill
 (Braehead) is called  'Station Road' which is completely misleading if you are looking for the old station
 site, which is to the far left of the viaduct across the valley.
Since taking this photo back in 2002, the
view above can no longer be seen as housing being built here blanks the view

Cruden Bay Station & Tram pictures

Or Hatton To Cruden Bay 

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