Harman Patil

Portgordon railway station

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Place  Portgordon
Grid reference  NJ 3935 6414
Area  Moray
Platforms in use  1
Portgordon railway station httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Pre-grouping  Great North of Scotland Railway
Post-grouping  London and North Eastern Railway
1 May 1886  Great North of Scotland station opened

Portgordon railway station was a railway station in Portgordon in Moray. The railway station was opened by the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNoSR) on its Moray Firth coast line in 1886, served by Aberdeen to Elgin trains. The station was originally named Port Gordon railway station until 1938 when it was renamed 'Portgordon' by the London and North Eastern Railway, closing to regular passenger traffic on 6 May 1968 on the same date as the line itself. A photograph of 1968 shows a name board with 'Port Gordon' clearly displayed.

Contents

In 1923 the GNoSR became part of the London and North Eastern Railway and at nationalisation in 1948 became part of British Railways. The line was recommended for closure by Dr Beeching's report "The Reshaping of British Railways" and closed on 6 May 1968.

Background

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.

Great North of Scotland Railway

The GNoSR station opened as Port Gordon on 1 May 1886 with the central section of the coast line, served by through Aberdeen to Elgin trains. In 1923 the Great North of Scotland Railway was absorbed by the London and North Eastern Railway. This 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.

Services

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

The station infrastructure

Portgordon station had a single platform on with a wooden station building and a wooden storage building sitting next to it. in 1915 it was improved and the platform extended in length. The 1903 OS map shows a small goods shed and a couple of sidings, one lying behind the passenger platform.

The line was predominantly single track apart from a double track section between Buckie and Portessie. Track lifting took place shortly after closure in 1968. The station site is now a small park and a bowling green.

Operation Sea Lion and the German spies

In September 1940 three German spies named Werner Walti, Vera Eriksen and Karl Drucke were landed by seaplane and after coming ashore in a dinghy Eriksen and Drucke had walked to Portgordon railway station, arriving at about 7.30am intending to catch the train. John Geddes was the porter and John Donald the stationmaster at the time. The two strangers had to ask the name of the station as no name board was displayed during the war and this aroused suspicion, not helped by their wet clothes and shoes, further enhanced by Drucke indicating to the name Forres station on the timetable which he pronounced as "Forrest". Upon payment Drucke displayed a wallet that was bulging with banknotes and tried to pay with far too large a denomination note.

Stationmaster Donald phoned the local policeman. Upon seeing see the stranger's identity cards that had no immigration stamp on their cards and a continental style of writing the game was up and the two were arrested. The third spy, Werner Walti, had gone to Buckpool railway station and was eventually arrested in Edinburgh after making several equally suspicious errors.

The trio had intended to spy on the military facilities in the area, especially the airfields, in preparation for the German invasion of the United Kingdom, code named 'Operation Sea Lion'.

References

Portgordon railway station Wikipedia


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