Track extension to West Lodge


If you would like to make a donation to help the railway complete the construction of the track extension to West Lodge, you can make a donation of any amount online by clicking on one of the 'Donate' buttons below.  Donations can be made with debit or credit cards, or with a PayPal account.

If you prefer to send a cheque, then please mail it to our office at the following address, including your name and address :

The Royal Deeside Railway

Milton Of Crathes



AB31 5QH

A very big thank you for your support, no matter how small !


To enable train services to be extended to the West Lodge platform location, three workscopes need to be completed :

1) Installation of a semi-automatic barrier in place of the existing manual crossing gates at Birkenbaud, (£ 15,000 to be raised).

2) Upgrading of the track at the new  West Lodge platform (£ 2,460 to be raised).

3) The new bridge is required to carry pedestrians, horses and vehicular traffic to continue to serve the needs of the Leys Estate and provide the new Deeside Way route.  Estimated cost to complete this project is £ 37,500.

The Office of the Rail Regulator requires that a new semi-automated crossing barrier be installed in place of the current manually operated gates at Birkenbaud.  Current workscope is 10% complete and it is hoped to finalise this project in time for the 2019 season.

The cost of the work is estimated to be £15,000.



If you may be able to provide significant assistance in helping support what has become an extremely popular tourist attraction, please contact our Managing Director Keith Robertson in the first instance on 07808 257304 or 01224 781234.

Donate online to the Track Extension Project

Donate online to the Crossing Barrier installation

Donate online to the track upgrade

One of the remaining challenges in getting the rail track to Banchory is the Burn of Bennie, currently the original bridge that carried the track conveys the Deeside Way.

This original bridge built in the late 1800’s had masonry restoration work carried out by the RDRPS within the last 18 months. However, we can’t use this bridge for rail track until the Society has built a new bridge in parallel.

The new bridge is required to carry pedestrians, horses and vehicular traffic to continue to serve the needs of the Leys Estate and provide the new Deeside Way route.

Estimated cost to complete the project is £ 37,500

Bridge location


Construction of such a bridge with the capacity to carry 8 wheeled vehicles and a load of 20 tonnes is no mean feat and had the potential to be prohibitively expensive, then along came Shell !

Shell UK offered the Society a quantity of surplus steel from the Brent Abandonment Project. The offer was made in December and representatives from the Society were able to quickly assess what was available; based on our initial assessment the massive 15.7 mtr x 900mm “I” section beams not only meet but exceed our requirements and in doing so simplifies bridge construction by taking us out of the water course.

We are most grateful for the donation from Alistair Hope and his team on the Brent Abandonment Project

Current status:

     I.     The steel has been collected from the Shell base and is stored at McIntosh Plant (MPH) Echt. Shell provided the craneage and handling, transport by MPH.

     II.     Meetings with Planners from Aberdeenshire Council have confirmed that the current approved planning meets their needs; no further application needed

     III.     Meetings have been held with Interested parties such as Deeside Fisheries and our Landlords being The Leys Estate, all are satisfied with what is being proposed by the Society.

     IV.     Full site and topographical surveys have been completed.

     V.     Design will start when results of the surveys are complete

     VI.     An initial budget estimate is in place and will be refined once the full design has been completed.

This project involves applying additional top ballast to the existing track and then rail levelling at the location of the new platform at West Lodge.

The main expenditure will be the supply and transport of approximately 6 x 20 ton loads of 20/40 aggregate ballast at a cost of over £400 per load. The ballast plus consumables will cost a total of £ 3,000.

This work is well advanced and is planned to be complete during the 2019 season.