By Paul Appleton
A STATION in the remote Highlands of Scotland which saw its last train in November 1968 has reopened as the Highland Heritage and Culture Centre following complete refurbishment of the original buildings and the laying of short sections of track.
Grantown East was on the former Great North of Scotland line between Boat of Garten and Craigellachie, linking with the original Highland Railway (HR) line between Aviemore and Inverness via Forres in the north, opening to traffic on July 1, 1863.
Not to be confused with Grantown West on the aforementioned HR line, which the nearby Strathspey Railway is actively campaigning to return trains to, Grantown East is south of Grantown and the River Spey, alongside the main A95 road towards Cromdale.
Class 26 Bo-Bo diesel D5313 was the last locomotive to haul a passenger train along the line when it headed the ‘Speyside Excursion’ on November 2, 1968, the line having succumbed under the Beeching cuts, although freight still lingered until later the same year.
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