Santa Claus has brought the curtain down on a memorable year for Brechin’s Caledonian Railway.
The Santa Specials train journeys proved popular on Saturday and Sunday with a stopover at Bridge of Dun station.
Andy Pegg from the Caledonian Railway said the biggest highlight had been the re-introduction of the Brechin brake van into service after it was torched in 2016.
The introduction of a new gin tasting train was another popular move in the line’s 170th anniversary year,
“The brake van restoration was a huge success – a real community effort and turning a negative into a positive,” said Mr Pegg.
“It was especially exciting for those who had put in the work rebuilding the vehicle to see all their hard work pay off.”
The restoration was completed in September when a ceremony was held to celebrate the achievement and officially name the 1940s brake van Phoenix.
The year ahead will bring another milestone for the railway as it will be the 40th anniversary of the Brechin Railway Preservation Society.
Formed in 1979, the society’s main purpose remains to ensure that the railway is preserved for future generations to enjoy and learn about the history of their local area.
The Brechin to Montrose branch line was closed to passengers in the early 1950s but remained open to freight traffic until 1981 when it was preserved by Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd.
In 1993 the railway received a Light Railway Order which allowed trains to operate the line to Bridge of Dun.
Mr Pegg said all eyes were on the future now as the team look forward to a bustling 2019.
“Everyone at the railway does what they do for a number of reasons; to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life; to socialise and make friends with other like minded individuals; or to simply get involved with what is going on in their local community,” he added.
“By providing a variety of opportunities for individuals to get involved with, this is what I believe is the key to keeping the interest and the passion we all have for the railway alive.”