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PITLURG STATION SITE
(Update April 2015)
DEDICATED TO ANGUS McGOUGAN
It was with great sadness that I learned that Angus died on the 7th of July 2015.
I only knew Angus a matter of months when he got in touch with me after
finding this page about Pitlurg Station, which he was the present owner. He
kindly invited me to visit and gave myself and David Towsey a tour of the
station site, in which this latest update would not have been possible otherwise.
David I certainly enjoyed the visit and learning more about the site and discovering
that the Goods loading platform was still there and also seeing the 1935 rail shoe
that Angus had found on the site.
It was sad that Angus didn't get to see this update as he was very keen on seeing
anything about the old station. Angus was a retired policeman.
The Sept. 2007 walk to Achmacoy was via Hillhead to the area called Pitlurg. There is only a large house and ruined castle and no village of any sort to see on the way. Then on past Nether Leask and the
Milltown Of Leask, which is a pleasant corner on a steep hill, with a couple of farms. Then past the road junction (134) and on past North Artrochie to the road junction that takes you into Achmacoy village,
or in my case, to the old Station, where I spent a few moments looking around before walking into the eastern suburb of Ellon by the main road.You can see my error of not taking the secondary road by
Pitlurg station that would have crossed the trackbed and rejoined the main road south of Hillhead. However, on my 2007 visit I learned that this is no longer a through road therefore I had made the right
decision not to wqalk to that spot as it would have been a long walk back to the main road. This time the bicycle made short work of it.
In September 2008 I had another visit to Pitlurg and following the railway trackbed to Achmacoy. This time I got the loan of a mountain bike from Dave Towsey, who lives in Ellon. Dave owned and ran
the group of Radio & TV shops 'Telemech' in Aberdeen and Ellon. Dave kindly drove me to Pitlurg station where I was able to start the bicycle & walk back to Ellon. I really appreciated this and managed
to get to all the places that I wanted to, getting to the places that I missed last year because they were too far to include while walking.
Starting from Pitlurg station I was able this time to enter the site and have a good look around. I went to the house to ask permission but no-one was at home so I took the opportunity to look around
while not disturbing anything else. Sadly, there is nothing to see of the station, unless there is something hidden in the heavy overgrowth. However, I got a useful number of photos to add to this
article and learned more about the railway.
In Sept. 2007 I had to walk the whole road to Achmacoy, which took me away from the railway. I had to decide which way to take for Achmacoy. Go back to the main road or take the country road down
through Pitlurg and Milltown Of Leask. Both routes completely miss the railway as it cuts down country in between the two roads, which are some way apart. I decided to take the quieter route via Mill Of Leask.
A good three miles hike via a narrow, winding road. However, it was a very pleasant walk and thankfully made lighter by the heavier gradients being in my favour. On the way I passed the ruins of
Pitlurg Castle, caught a few very pleasant views and passed farmers working in their fields and heard gun shots a number of times, of someone hunting, or perhaps, it was one of those automatic firing
machines that scare birds and animals off. The only community of any size was at Mill Of Leask, which is no more than a handful of dwellings. Thankfully this time around I was able to cycle the route and
cover it in much quicker time as well as get to the places I missed the previous year.
UPDATE APRIL 2015
On the 19th of April 2015 I was pleased to visit the Pitlurg station site from the invitation by land ower Angus McGughan and was also very pleased that David Towsey was also
David Towsey was also able to join us.We enjoyed a good look around the complete station and goods yard site. You can still make out the humps of the old Up & Down
platforms. From the south end by the remains of the old overbridge you can easily see how the land widened out where the single line split into two Goods lines and where
the double track ran through the station. My thanks to Angus and his wife for the kind invitation.
The station site from Google Earth. This clearly shows the goods siding area and even how it came off the running line just
after the road bridge.
Showing how the platform and goods lines spread out from the south end of the station.
Pitlurg Station Layout. The diagram shows only one track through the station but the
footbridge indicates that there had to be two tracks, proved by the 'down' track just
seen in the old photo below. Update (April 2015): I found that the Goods yard loading
platform still stands but there is no sign of the Goods Shed where it is shown in this
diagram. (NSL RailwayMaps).
Left: Walking along the road from Bogbrae to Pitlurg you see the road rising to curve around and over the site of the Ex over bridge at the south end of Pitlurg station site. The track bed runs left
to right across the scene toward the building on the far right. Right: from the same spot looking north from the road you see the abondoned over bridge and road to the north of Pitlurg station site.
The track bed from the station site up to the bridge is in a cutting. (20th April 2015).
Left: The old entrance into Pitlurg Goods Yard from the road. Right: The Goods Yard entrance looking out onto the road.
On the Pitlurg road. The station site is to our left running paralell with the road. The road climbes then curve over the railway on the usual style
of GNR bridge over the railway. The track bed came in from the south (right) from Auchmacoy. The building on the right stands on the track bed.
(20th April 2015).
View southwards from the Ex road bridge with the track bed heading directly towards Auchmacoy and Ellon. An uncompleted buildings stands on the track bed up
ahead. This was a failed attempt at building a Winery on the site. A few hundred trees were planted on the track bed beyond the house. The track bed is closed off
to the public for a good half mile southwards. You have to walk the far track seen on the right down to the farm where there is still an over bridge standing where you
can get onto the track bed. (19th April 2015).
View over the north side of the Ex road bridge site. Left: Not much to see but this is looking down on where the line split to go off to the right into the Goods Sidings and the double track through the station.
Right: Just below where the road bridge was is a pile of stone where they were dumped when the bridge was demolished. (19th April 2015)
The station drive way, looking towards the entrance on Pitlurg Road. The station house is on the right.
Two gate posts are still standing within the station drive way. Left: A smaller gate, while Right: a much larger gate post which suggests this was the main gate for locking
up the station when closed.
Pitlurg Station House, with modern extension. The station to the right.
The over bridge was through the line of trees but was demolished in the 80's and filled-in to road level. This is where the tracks spread out for the two lines through
the station and the two tracks into the Goods Yard.
This wooden building is standing on the mound of what was the Up Platform. The trees on the left are growing on the the Up track site.
This is looking northwards towards Boddam. The next station was at Hatton. The station forecourt would have been on the right.
Pitlurg Station & Staff. c.1920's on the the Up Platform. From the photos above and below it is simply impossible to imagine that such a station stood
at this site today. It appears that most the stations on the branch were of the same design. N.B. The down platform track is just seen at the bottom
far left of the photo.
This is about as close as I could get to the 1920's photo above. Taken from the road. level with the station site. The station building stood, on the
Up platform, where the shed stands today and the footbridge and signalbox were on the far left by the trees. (20th April 2015).
Angus & David on the remains of the Up platform.
Left: From the middle of the Goods Yard tooking south towards the Ex station bridge. Right: The station site to the left from the same position.
Left: The signalbox and the station footbridge would have been by the trees. This is looking from the old Down platform to the Up platform.
Right: From the down platform site with the Up platform site across the double track site.
Left: Looking north from the end of the two platforms with the track bed running into the cutting that ran up to the old road bridge. Seen in the background.
Right: Looking south along the track bed between the Up & Down platforms.
David & Angus on the Down Platform remains near the north end of the Goods Siding with the station track bed heading north towards Hatton. The line ran into a short
cutting before going under a bridge on the main road then heading for Hatton. This overbridge and old road stands abandoned due to a new road being built on the north side.
This is also where the platforms ended and the double track emerged into single line ono Hatton.
South end of the The Goods loading platform.
The loading platform remains in place. One track ran along in front of the platform, while another ran closer to the camera
as a dead-end siding towards the Goods Shed off to the right.
The Goods Siding site, with the loading platform on the right. The Goods Shed would have stood between the gate and the
Yellow Broom. The station platforms would have been seen to the far left, running within the tree line.
Ditto. You can follow the curve where the two Goods lines would have come off the man line this side of the trees in the background.
Where the road bridge was.
Right: Overlooking the Ex Up Platform from the Down Platform.
Left: David and Angus on the remains of the Down Platform with the Goods siding to the right. Looking southwards.
North end of the station, heading into the cutting and onto Hatton.
This rail shoe was found partly buried near the Goods Siding. It is a 1935 GNSR rail shoe. Having lifted the shoe out of the ground it could be seen that it had obviously been in use as it still has the three
screws that fixed it to the railway sleeper. If unused there would have just been the three holes. After rubbing some of the dirt away it was possible to make out the 1935 date (on the right). The
branch just made it i nto BR days just to be closed in 1948 and demolished by 1950. I suggested to Angus that it should go to a museum. He also said that he would consider having a metal detector
scan to see what else may be hidden on the site.
PITLURG TO AUCHMACOY
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