Dalmunzie Hotel Railway -- information requested

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by Calthrop, 1 Dec 2019.

  1. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    In pursuance of a different train of thought, there came to my mind the narrow-gauge Dalmunzie Hotel Railway -- near Spittal of Glenshee, Scotland -- of which I was aware that it existed, or had done so; but very little more. Resorting to Google furnished a small amount of information, but less than hoped. I register that the line was essentially created (inaugurated in the 1920s) to convey shooting parties between "base" -- the hotel -- and the moors; and that some decades later, it ceased to carry out that function. There is however some material which would suggest that at least part of the line stayed active until decidedly recent years -- quite smartly equipped and turned-out -- just "for the fun of the ride"; but it would appear if I understand rightly, that the whole thing is now no more.

    I would be most grateful to anyone who might be able and willing to supplement my above-set-out very meagre total knowledge, about this railway. (Attempted use of this site's search facility, entering the word "Dalmunzie", yielded nothing.)
     
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  3. Steamysandy

    Steamysandy Member

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    I worked for a number of years with a guy who was a bit of an eccentric.Craig had what would now probably be described as Autism.
    However he had a kinda side interest in obscure railways and the Dalmunzie Hotel Line came into that category.
    I believe it was built by the Motor Rail company and had a small diesel loco .I can't remember the full details but it runs in my head that an item about it appeared in a vintage Railway Magazine.
    My connection with Craig was more than Forty Years ago but he was a larger than life character.
    Since writing the above I checked and it's the Da!munzie Castle Hotel and in the images of the Google entry are some shots of the railway rolling stock-.
    A full account is on the Google site as Dalmunzie Castle Railway.
    The Estate was sold in 2015 and the line was withdrawn thereafter with the rolling stock- being returned to the manufacturer.
    Hope this is of use
     
    Last edited: 1 Dec 2019
  4. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    According to Michael Quick's chronology of passenger stations:
    So, not much information, but maybe a little more then you already had.
     
  5. Steamysandy

    Steamysandy Member

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    It's a very obscure line.If it hadn't been for Craig in the late 1960s,I would never have heard of it.
    It was in a location ,a fair distance from the nearest main line railways ( Blairgowrie and Ballater) so I would say it wasn't on the radar of most enthusiasts and by it's very nature ,a true hidden gem
     
  6. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Railscot have a page at https://www.railscot.co.uk/Dalmunzie_Railway/
    They have a several photos including some of the rolling stock. They say it closed in 1978/9

    the page was last edited in 2011 so its not impossible that something has subsequently been reinstated
     
  7. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    I'd heard of this railway but have no knowledge of it despite being very familiar with Glenshee.

    The thread has prompted me to check, and its route is very clearly marked in detail as 'dismantled railway' on both the 1:50k and 1:25k OS maps covering the area.
     
  8. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    https://www.my-place.org.uk/hike/dalmunzie-railway/
    just found this dating from 2016, posted by a chap who walked the route. The line was clearly closed, but he said:
     
  9. Steamysandy

    Steamysandy Member

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    Much of the Google site has a local area account of the various Estates in the area obviously written by someone who lived in the area and published by the community council.Its dated January 2016.
     
  10. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    Crikey; I’ve just realised that I did some work at Dalmunzie about twenty years ago, and had no idea about the railway.

    Thanks for bringing it up.
     
  11. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    I feel a restoration project coming on! What magnificent scenery.
     
  12. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Thanks, to all posters. Interesting, just how little-known this line -- although amongst such scenic splendours -- appears to be. I suspect that I first learned of it in one of the rail-hobby magazines; long enough ago, for details to have been forgotten.
     
  13. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Given that I have a very specific interest in very obscure railways, I'd never heard of this one before, suggesting it's had very little coverage anywhere. I'm tempted to go and have a look at the remains.
     
  14. John Webb

    John Webb Established Member

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    The Geograph website has some photos of the remains and of the line in operation (click on pictures below to go to the larger originals):
    Railway bridge over Allt a' Choire Bhric
    [​IMG]

    © Copyright Rob Burke and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

    Remains of tramway to Glenlochsie Lodge
    [​IMG]

    © Copyright Ali Ogden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

    And taken 53 years ago:
    The train on the Glenshee Railway approaching a bridge
    [​IMG]

    © Copyright Elliott Simpson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
     
  15. Carron

    Carron New Member

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    I've walked the line of the Dalmunzie railway from Dalmunzie House up to Glenlochsie Lodge and last Christmas received a copy of the book The Dalmunzie Railway by Roderick Dingwall (Stenlake Publishing). You'll find it on Amazon. It is a comprehensive history with lots of photos. When I last visited, loco Dalmunzie and two carriages were stored in a shed to the rear of Dalmunzie House, now a hotel.

    The Motor Rail built engine Dalmunzie.JPG

    Carriages sit in a shed at Dalmunzie House.JPG
     
  16. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    Have taken a look in Tony Dewick's Complete Atlas of Railway Station Names, which I've discovered in the past year or so (recommended by a poster on these Forums). The Complete Atlas does its best to include, pretty much, "all the railways there have ever been in Britain"; but rather quirkily, and with seemingly a fairish amount of errors and omissions. It does indeed show the Dalmunzie Hotel Railway in its splendid isolation: by a ruler-straight line covering the short distance between Dalmunzie Lodge and Glenlochsie Lodge; both marked "(private)".
     

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