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Plans to revitalise Alford's heritage railway steam ahead with ownership transfer request to Aberdeenshire Council

By David Porter

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The Alford Railway Project could take a major step forward with ownership passing to the ACVR group.
The Alford Railway Project could take a major step forward with ownership passing to the ACVR group.

An ambitious plan to bring the Alford Valley Railway back into use could be set to take a major step forward next week when councillors are asked to approve an asset transfer request.

Alford Valley Community Railway (AVCR) have submitted the request in an effort to renovate and reopen the former Alford railway station and engine shed and to lay a new narrow gauge line up to and including the small terminus at Haughton Park.

The railway will primarily run as an attraction for the benefit of the local community and visitors in conjunction with other separate existing community facilities in the Alford Station area and in Haughton Park.

The project will be phased with four elements starting with the station, engine shed and turntable, Haughton Park terminus and then finally the most significant phase being the one and half miles of track

In July last year it was one of fourteen local projects aimed at improving communities and places across Aberdeenshire which shared in more than £2 million in new funding to help drive economic recovery, improve our town centres and support regeneration activity.

The Scottish Government announced a £38 million capital injection into the national Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP) for 2021-22, with Aberdeenshire’s allocation totalling £2.04m.

AVCR were awarded £80,000 to bring the old railway back to life and council officers are recommending that the application is approved as the majority of the projected £158,000 costed to carry out the project is now in place with future phases funded by grants, operational income and a community share offer.

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