Ballater’s royal phoenix station rises from the ashes

SCOTLAND’S Old Royal Station in Ballater has been reopened to the public more than three years after being gutted in a fire.

As reported in issue 203, the blaze tore through the B-listed building early on May 12, 2015 destroying around 90% of the museum and associated restaurant.

Fire crews however, managed to save a £450,000 replica of a royal carriage, used by Queen Victoria for her trips over the Deeside branch to nearby Balmoral Castle, which was installed at the museum in 2008 and has proved hugely popular with visitors.

Better than new – the Old Royal Station at Ballater. ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL

Further damage was later caused by Storm Frank in late December 2015.

Ballater was the nearest station to Balmoral Castle, Victoria’s Scottish holiday home. The showpiece station was the largest wooden building ever built by the Deeside Railway, and many of Europe’s aristocrats passed through the station in the 19th century.

The Deeside branch closed in 1966, but the station building was later reopened as a visitor centre highlighting the Royal Family’s connection to the area.

Part of the branch at Milton of Crathes has been revived as the Royal Deeside Railway.

Read more in Issue 246 of HR – on sale now!

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