Welcome To The Caledonian Railway
The Caledonian Railway is an entirely volunteer run, non-profit organisation that operates heritage steam and diesel hauled trains along the 4 mile branch line between the town of Brechin and the countryside stop of Bridge of Dun. The railway is open on weekends throughout the summer, with all funds being reinvested into the restoration and preservation of the railway.
The Caledonian Railway are please to announce that we have been awarded £115,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage railways. This was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund - £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund was set up to address immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.
This award to the Caledonian Railway is in addition to a further £96,000 grant award from the Third Sector Resilience Fund (provided by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) and £10,000 from Angus Council as part of the Government Covid19 Support Grants.
The railway is operated entirely by volunteers and, as well as preserving some critical heritage, also makes a considerable contribution to tourism in the region. The railway operates passenger trains at various times throughout the year and had only recently opened the Whistle Stop Coffee Shop daily within Brechin station to critical local acclaim. Every penny raised through train operations goes back into preserving the railway.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the Caledonian Railway has been completely closed, and during lockdown activities we have been limited to essential maintenance and security activities. Unfortunately, during this time we have been subject to thoughtless vandalism that has required the involvement of the Police – taking valuable resource away from dealing with the Covid19 crisis. The Railway has had no passenger income since 2019 and safety critical maintenance activities have been seriously curtailed. We are only now, slowly beginning to return to restricted routine maintenance activities with additional controls in place to protect our volunteers.
Thanks to the National Lottery and those who play each week, we can now complete the maintenance and additional Covid19 preparation work necessary to allow us to reopen. Without their support, we would have struggled to meet the additional costs caused by a prolonged period of non-operation, restricted availability of volunteers and additional controls necessary to reopen.
We cannot express our gratitude enough to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, both for the grant and for the speed with which they processed the application and confirmed funding. This, along with awards from our other partners, continued donations and support from the general public and the work of our volunteers, will ensure that the railway can once again look forward to opening its doors and welcoming those of all ages to step back in time and experience a fun day out.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.
Like the Caledonian Railway, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors. Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.
In the interests of public health, the railway is currently closed for the foreseeable future due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Whistle Stop Coffee Shop
The Whistle Stop at Brechin station is back in business! It will be open with limited seating from Wednesdays to Saturdays 10am-3pm for the foreseeable future. Please see their Facebook page for up to date information and to book your table today.
Where are we?
For details information and directions, please visit our Locations page.
Brechin Station Caledonian Railway Brechin Ltd
Bridge of Dun Montrose