aberdeen railway views on BR, NBL locos and more
A variety of scenes from the Aberdeen area

Our first look at Aberdeen portrays the southern approaches to the city, with its majestic signal gantries and substantial signal box. In this February 1981 view 25234 is seen accelerating hard with a southbound Freightliner working, this was more normally in the hands of a Class 40 or 47. Today 25234 has its work cut out for it.

Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this page are the copyright of Mike Cooper.

A second view of 25234. This locomotive spent from January 1975 to October 1982 allocated to Scottish Region depots, Haymarket, Eastfield & Inverness. It received an intermediate repair at Glasgow Works from August - October 1980, the paintwork still shines in this view from that visit. Withdrawn at Derby in July 1985, it was towed off to Swindon, but escaped from there to end its days at Vic Berry's Leicester in the summer of 1987.
Three Class 26's - 26011, 26034 & 26018 await their next turn of duty at Ferryhill, June 1981, when blue & yellow ruled supreme.
Aberdeen depot was located to the south of the station on the west side of the running lines. In this April 1978 view 27021 keeps company with an un-identified Class 25 & Class 40. During the late 1970's Classes 25/26/27/40/47 were the primary workhorses in the Aberdeen area.
From the cab of a Class 40 comes this interesting April 1978 view of 25065 and one of the Swindon 3-car dmu's used on the Inverness - Aberdeen service for many years.
Another view from April 1978, taken from the doorway of 40112 is this close up of 25091 and another of the Swindon units, this one still in the solid blue livery. The smokey looking atmosphere was created by the clag coming out of the just fired up 40112.
Its April 1978 and the line-up in front of the depot is typical of this time period, 40112 & 25091 are the principal locomotives in this view.
A visit to the station on July 18th 1979 finds 25033 and 40161 awaiting their next turns.
A sunny summer's day during 1977 finds 25108 front & center with 40158 in the background.
Dual braked 25229 basks in the warm summer sun sometime during 1977. The locomotive has received red headstocks and silver rimmed buffers (for a Royal working perhaps?) and its datapanel and shed allocation sticker are in a most unusual position.
In this April 1978 view 25065 is coupled to the Swindon dmu, suggesting that a rescue has been made recently on the Inverness - Aberdeen service. Off to the left is 25033. The Class 47/4 remains anonymous.
Almost a full house on this day in April 1978, with 25033, 25091 & 25023 all present amongst the regular Type 4's.
The southbound West Coast Postal accelerates away from Aberdeen with 25065 in charge on July 18th 1979. This working was more normally in the hands of Classes 26/40, today however, Derby's finest will rattle & roll down the east coast coast of Scotland as far as Dundee before heading inland.
When the Class 24's were allocated to Hornsey during the early 1960's they were occasionally called upon to assist ailing Deltics. At the opposite end of the country & two decades later the 14.40 Aberdeen - Edinburgh on October 27th 1980 receives the assistance of 26029 after a minor fault was reported with the Class 55.

Kinnaber Junction

An unidentified Class 46 heads north with the 08.50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen, photographed from Kinnaber signal box sometime during 1981.
Its February 3rd 1981 as 46046 with the 08.50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen heads north past Kinnaber box. Here the Class 46 will transition from former North British to Caledonian metals. In the foreground is the former Caledonian route to Perth via Forfar & Stanley Jct. Passenger traffic over this route ceased in September 1967.

Around Montrose

An unidentified Class 45 heads north with the 08.50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen sometime during 1981.
There's no doubt as to which direction this Class 46 is taking with the 12.40 Aberdeen - Edinburgh sometime during 1981.
26011 & 27007 head south through Ferryden (Montrose) with probably a late afternoon Aberdeen - Edinburgh service sometime in August 1981.
The October evening light fades on 26037 & 27002 as they leave Montrose and pass through Ferryden with an Aberdeen - Edinburgh working, 1981. Can't you just hear the two Sulzer 6LDA's echoing out across Montrose Basin?
46047 draws to a halt with the 08.50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen on April 30th 1981. 46047 had just over three more years of service left, ending its days at Swindon in January 1986.
Some venerable looking station barrows wait for their next turn of duty, whilst gaily painted tractor tires house some hardy looking flowers. For a few more moments quiet will reign until open doors are slammed shut, a whistle sounds, brakes blow off and almost Sulzer's finest powers up to head a little further north.
Having worked north earlier that morning (see view above) 46047 is seen here heading back south with the 12.40 Aberdeen - Edinburgh.
"Here by the sea & sand, nothing ever goes as planned...", well its not quite Brighton and 46047 was probably not the planned locomotive for this working but it strikes a fine pose as it awaits time.
As the evening draws in 46011 heads south with the 18.23 Aberdeen - Edinburgh on July 7th 1981. 46011 would be one of the final Class 46's to remain in service, being withdrawn in November 1984 and sent down to Swindon for scrapping.
An unidentified Class 46 cruises by Usan as it approaches Montrose with the 08.50 Edinburgh - Aberdeen sometime during 1981. South of Montrose these passenger services used North British metals to Arbroath, then joint North British/Caledonian metals to Dundee.

Some Before & After views

Ferryhill Yard, May 30th 1981 and August 31st 1991. The Deltic is 55002.
The two chimneyed house in the center of the 1991 view can be found on the extreme left of the 1981 view.
Brechin, March 1981 with 27027 on the local goods and September 7th 2002 with preserved 26035, 25083, 27024, 26014 in view.
Hillside, summer of 1981 and summer of 2002. 25228 with the fertilizer empties on the Brechin branch, waits for access to the ECML before reversing back down to Montrose. The house seen through the arch in the 1981 picture ties the two views together.

Views from one of my rare visits to Ferryhill

A camping trip to Scotland in June 1978 provided the opportunity to capture the local railway activity. Seen here at Ferryhill is 26038 & 26011.
A close up of 26011.
Our campsite was close to Nigg Bay, which allowed some opportunity to photograph the workings on the line south of the city. Seen here is 26038 again, this time working the 'Postal' south.
Back to Ferryhill, only to find an LMR invader, 40036 taking a break before its next turn.
There were three class 40's on Ferryhill that afternoon, 40099 seen here, 40036 to the right and 40162 behind 40099. All were nicely spaced apart to allow for easy photographs.
Back lineside at Nigg Bay, 40162 has been diagrammed for one of the services to Glasgow Queen Street.

Some older views from the area

About 25 miles north west of Aberdeen on the line to Inverness lay Inverurie, home to the GNSR workshops. These workshops survived long enough to repair a number of BR's diesel classes. Seen here on July 15th 1969 is withdrawn NBL Type 2 6108.
Photograph courtesy K Hughes, RCTS Archives ref # HUO00942.
When the NBL Type 2's revealed their true nature of unreliability many would find semi-permanent homes in storage at depots across the Scottish Region. Seen here at Kittybrewster on September 22nd 1966 is fire damaged 6128.
Photographer not known at this time.
Another view at Kittybrewster, this time of D6129, also on September 22nd 1966. D6129 fared a little better D6128 (above), the latter officially withdrawn during December 1967, though it had been in store some time prior to its offical withdrawal. D6129 remained in service until October 1971, quickly despatched to Glasgow Works and cut up there in June 1972.
Photographer not known at this time.
A wonderfully atmospheric view of an unidentified NBL Type 2 & an EE Type 1 inside Inverurie workshops July 15th 1969.
Photograph courtesy K Hughes, RCTS Archives # HUO00943.
Also from the camera of the late K Hughes (RCTS Archives # HUO00806) is this fine view of an unidentied Class26. Although the location is not known it certainly could be Aberdeen Ferryhill.

From the collection of Norman Smart

A wonderful view of 25076 at Elgin during the winter of 1981. The view was passed onto me by Mike, who is providing a home for Norman's railway photographs following his death recently (Nov 2002). I hope that in time I will have the priviledge of showing more of Norman's fine work.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
More of 25076 in Elgin Yard.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
More of 25076 in Elgin Yard.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
A fine portrait of 26041 at Rose Street, Inverness sometime in November 1980.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
26041 looking from the other end of the locomotive.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
A work weary 25050 shunts at Elgin, believed to be sometime during 1980.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
The photographer just catches the sun on 26025 as it pulls away from Elgin, date unknown, though presumably on a cool day judging by the steam escaping from the steam pipe connections & most likely winter as there are no leaves on the trees.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
On April 13th 1985 the Scottish Region put on an event at Perth Station, bringing together a number of locomotives and rolling stock. Included was 97250 and one of the Mk3 sleepers which had made the existance of the 'Ethels' necessary.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
In the autumn of 1981 an unidentified Class 27 (possibly 27033 - sources far smarter than me now advise this machine is almost certainly 27007) passes through Union Street Gardens in Aberdeen at the beginning of its northward journey to Inverness.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
With snow on the ground and steam escaping from the coach connections an un-identified Class 27 clocks up the miles on yet another service over the Aberdeen - Inverness line. This view is believed between Keith & Elgin.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
Somewhere between Keith & Elgin, perhaps close to the River Spey another Class 27 motors along with its train of six coaches in tow, quite a contrast to twenty years earlier when Class 27's could be found on surburban services in the St Pancras area.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.

Two views in the Elgin area, presumably during 1981, un-identified Class 27's in charge of the Aberdeen - Inverness services.

After the scenic delights of some fine countryside northwards from Aberdeen an unidentified Class 27 arrives in the Highland capital, surrounded now by gas holders and a great display of semaphore signals, a busy network of tracks and miles of point & signal rodding.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
No DMU's here, just solid Type 2's and plenty of Mark 1's. 26038 & 26043 cross at Achnasheen, date unknown.
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.
More 26's and Mk1's at Achnasheen as service trains pass, date unknown, but a scene captured many times on film by travellers everywhere. Here 26041 becomes the star for a moment
Photograph courtesy Norman Smart.

Page added October 4th 2002
Page updated February 4th 2006

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