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Memories of Elgin


One of the two cars did a demonstration run at Elgin at the end of September 1958. Mr DH Cameron of Locheil, Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Area Board of the BTC and Mr GW Stewart, Assistant General manager of the Region, welcomed Brigadier HW Houldsworth, Lord Lieutenant of Moray; Mr James Stewart, MP for Moray and Nairn; Col Nail MacLean, MP for Inverness-shire; Major Robert Bruce, Scottish Council (Development and Industry) and Member, Advisory Panel on Highlands & Islands; Mr Francis W Walker, Convenor of Inverness County Council; also dignitaries and representatives of local commerce and industry. Later, the railbus travelled to Aviemore where it was on display during the afternoon to the public.



The special guests for the inspection at Elgin

One vehicle was used on the 51 mile Speyside route between Elgin, Granton-on-Spey and Aviemore, starting on the 3rd November 1958.

There were three services each way, and an extra train on a Saturday. One return journey was extended to Keith Junction and one to Elgin, the vehicle covering 300 miles per day. In due course Wickham and Park Royal vehicles would operate on the route. On July 15th 1959 four new halts opened: Imperial Cottages; Gilbey's Cottages; Davey Farm and Ballifurth Farm, and drivers were warned of their approach by white boards stating 'Request Stop 100 Yards Ahead'. The frequency of services was also further improved and overall journey times reduced by up to 15 mins, but despite this and the fact that a fine view of the beautiful scenery was to have, patronage did not greatly increase. Passenger traffic was particularly sparse between the tourist centre of Granton-on-Spey and Aviemore, but receipts from the whole service was poor and it was withdrawn from October 18th 1965.

The other vehicle operated Lugton - Beith branch in Ayrshire, beginning on the 6th April '59. It was replaced by a AC Cars vehicle, and would then likely have moved to Hamilton on workings to Holytown, Strathaven and Coalburn, although the railbuses on these lines were gradually replaced by 2-car sets because of their unreliability.

Railbus No. SC79970 setting off for Elgin at Boat of Garten Station on 16th June 1962

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