Harman Patil

Portessie railway station

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Place  Portessie
Grid reference  NJ 4464 6665
Original company  Highland Railway
Area  Moray
Pre-grouping  Highland Railway
Platforms in use  3
Portessie railway station httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Post-grouping  London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1 August 1884  Station opens as 'Portessie'

Portessie railway station was a joint Highland Railway (HR) and Great North of Scotland Railway (GNoSR) station at the junction for the Buckie and Portessie Branch which also served the small fishing village of Portessie, in the parish of Rathven, Scottish county of Moray.

Contents

The HR station's platform was served by trains on the Buckie and Portessie Branch north of Keith until 1915 and remained open for freight from Buckie station until April 1944. The GNoSR station remained open until 6 May 1968 when it closed for both passenger and goods traffic.

The Highland Railway

The station was opened by the Highland Railway in 1884 to serve the village of Portessie and had a short life with services being suspended during World War I on 9 August 1915 and the rails south of Buckie removed as far as Aultmore, although it was the intention to reinstate the track and restart services when the war ended. The central section of the line was still without track in 1923, when the Highland Railway was absorbed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). After this amalgamation the track between Buckie and Aultmore was relaid, however services were not restarted and the track removed again in around 1937.

The separated stub from Buckie to Portessie survived until 1944 in isolation from the rest of the, by then, London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) system.

Work had begun on the Keith to Portessie line of the Highland Railway on 7 November 1882. Wartime economies led to closure of the line on 9 August 1915 and in 1917 the track between Aultmore (towards Keith) and Portessie was requisitioned by the Admiralty. The north and south sections of line were re-opened by 1919, but the Aultomore to Buckie section (passing through Drybridge, Enzie and Rathven) was never re-opened and the track was again lifted circa 1937.

The construction of the GNoSR Moray coast route had "effectively doomed the Highland route. Westbound journeys were shorter via the GNSR, and although the route to Aberdeen was longer, the Moray Coast Railway had services that were faster, more frequent and more convenient, with through trains running from Elgin, along the coast and to Aberdeen. As a rather straggly branch line, the Highland route struggled to compete, and the population between Buckie and Keith was too sparse to provide much additional traffic."

The Great North of Scotland Railway

In 1881 the Great North of Scotland Railway put a bill to parliament to extend its Portsoy line along the Moray Firth as far as Buckie. In 1882 the Great North of Scotland applied for permission to build a 25 14-mile (40.6 km) line from Portsoy following the coast to Buckie and then running on to Elgin.

In 1923 the Great North of Scotland Railway was absorbed by the London and North Eastern Railway and this company was nationalised in 1948, and services provided by British Railways. The station and line was recommended for closure by Dr Beeching's in his report "The Reshaping of British Railways" and closed on 6 May 1968.

The GNoSR station was served by through trains running between Aberdeen and Elgin. There were no Sunday services.

The Highland

The station had an island platform with a station building that it shared with the GNoSR. The HR had a two bay engine shed, a water tower, a turntable and two exchange sidings. A signal box was originally located on the island platform and a run round or passing loop was present. Following the cessation of passenger services the signal box was closed and one bay was removed from the engine shed. The two lines ran parallel for a short distance before entering the station.

The station was designed by Murdoch Paterson who also designed the station itself.

The Great North of Scotland

The GNoSR station had two platforms and as stated it shared an island platform with the Highland Railways branch to Keith. The station had a passing loop, a signal box, a wooden station building, a loading bank with two sidings and a London and North Eastern Railway style pedestrian overbridge.

The site today

In 2012 the platforms could still be seen, the trackbed was overgrown and partly infilled. The turntable pit associated with the Highland Railway shed also remained as did the base of the old water tower. The Buckie and Portessie Branch once ran westwards from Portessie, remaining on top of the cliff, passing the Pot O' Linn, skirting the rear of Cliff Terrace and crossing Harbour Street then swinging south and following the curve of Mill Crescent to stop at Buckie 'Highland' station.

References

Portessie railway station Wikipedia


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