The closure of railways throughout Aberdeenshire as a result of the Beeching cuts unfairly removed efficient transport links from an entire region. Such a decision would never be taken today. Fraserburgh and Peterhead remain isolated and in decline. Poor links to the city limit their economic potential. These towns represent the largest population, the farthest from their closest railway station anywhere in Scotland. Proposed road and bus improvements will not adequately address these problems. Previous studies on reconnecting Fraserburgh and Peterhead by rail are now obsolete, new data from the Borders Railway, new government policy and our never-studied alignment completely changes the picture. Buchan also has a strong base for tourism with several tourist attractions popular with locals. Rail links will allow tourism to blossom in the area, providing the conditions for a new type of economic growth.
Our proposals simultaneously set up Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for the coming economic change, and deliver truly transformative modal shift away from the private car just at the time it is required.
We envision a fully integrated public transport system that builds on the success of the existing Inverurie-Montrose crossrail project that brought a step change in rail transport to the North East. These proposals connect 10 of Aberdeenshire’s largest towns to fast, reliable public transport, providing an utterly transformative system that will result in massive modal shift for thousands of people in the region, and will set up opportunities for the necessary transformation of the North East economy.
First, a railway linking Fraserburgh and Peterhead with Aberdeen. The new line north mostly makes use of the disused Formartine and Buchan Way, but rather than branching at Maud, this line would branch at Ellon and follow the abandoned Boddam branch to Peterhead. A railway completed in this way would allow for competitive travel times with the car, while stopping at all of the largest settlements in the area. This particular solution has never been investigated in the past.
Next, a restoration of the Deeside Railway as far as Banchory, with an integrated bus link to Braemar that will meet every train. This would provide competitive public transport for commuters into Aberdeen as far as Banchory, and will create a bus link farther into Deeside that will meet every train, every time. Connecting isolated residents and supporting the region with the forthcoming surge in tourism it will see as Aberdeen begins to accept cruise ships.
Together with new stations on the existing line at Bankhead, Don Street, Cove Bay and Newtonhill, these new lines will bring meaningful inter changes to the existing network, expanding on the establishment of modern local rail services in Aberdeenshire, and will facilitate sustainable transport for the entirety of the North East of Scotland, not just those settlements that happen to be on the main intercity lines.
Our campaign is currently focussed on the Peterhead leg of our proposals, we call this campaign #ConnectOurCoast
How a new Buchan Railway feasibility study should be designed to max chance of success. Start Here.
Application to the JTF
CNER's Expression of Interest in Just Transition Funding. Submitted to the fund on 15/07/22
Summary Case (15 Pages)
A summary of our campaign and our plans. Have a read through or print it off and share it around the community. Click the icon to download.
Detailed Case (65 Pages)
The full case for our proposals, including context and analysis of the previous rail studies, and detailed descriptions of the work required to implement these plans. This document is our master plan for railway in the North East.
Peterhead Leaflet (2 Pages)
A fact sheet delivering the numbers on the business and environmental case for the first phase of our project as we see it, the railway from Dyce to Peterhead.
STPR2 Reponse (8 Pages)
CNER's official response to the Scottish Government's Strategic Transport Project Review.