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Ballater railway station is a former station in the village of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The station was formerly the terminus of a branch line from Aberdeen.[1]

Ballater Station, for Balmoral Castle - - 1747043.jpg
Ballater railway station in 1961
Original companyGreat North of Scotland Railway
Pre-groupingGreat North of Scotland Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
17 October 1866Station opened
28 February 1966Station closed
12 May 2015Fire seriously damages former station
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain

It was the nearest station to Balmoral Castle, a personal residence of the British monarch.



Opened by the Great North of Scotland Railway it became part of the London and North Eastern Railway during the Grouping of 1923, passing on to the Scottish Region of British Railways during the nationalisation of 1948. It was then closed by the British Railways Board in 1966 (as part of the "Beeching cuts").

In August 1912, Ballater railway station played an important role when the body of Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, the son-in-law of King Edward VII, was transferred to Mar Lodge, Braemar, from St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. On 9 August 1912 the Glasgow Herald reported on the funeral:

The casket arrived at Aberdeen from Euston at 7.15 yesterday morning, being conveyed in a special saloon which at Aberdeen was attached to the 8.5 a.m. train for Ballater. Heavy rain showers had fallen on Deeside in the early morning, and when the train reached Ballater shortly after ten o'clock the atmosphere was depressingly gloomy, while the distant hills to the West were thickly enveloped in mist, adding a further melancholy note to the circumstances attending the sad home-bringing of the departed Chief of the Duffs. Travelling in the special saloon from London to Ballater were Sir Maurice Abbot Anderson and Lady Anderson and Dr Essery, while awaiting the arrival of the train at Ballater were Mr W[illia]m Mackintosh, factor and commissioner on the Mar estates; Mr C. H. Taylor, private secretary to the late Duke; and eight members of the Duff Highlanders, specially selected to transfer the casket from the train to a motor hearse which was in waiting to convey the remains over the 18 odd miles to New Mar Lodge. Many hundreds of residents and visitors to the district had assembled in the Station Square and reverently observed the Highlanders transfer the massive polished oak coffin from the saloon to the hearse. Over the casket was laid a Union Jack, which was the only touch of colour associated with the sombre vehicle.

— Glasgow Herald, 9 August 1912, p. 8

Ballater Station was the location of an infamous event on 23 September 1936. On this day, King Edward VIII was due to open a new hospital in Aberdeen; however, he sent the then Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) in his place, citing that he was unable to attend as the Court was still in mourning. This was a foil. Edward VIII was seen at precisely the same time as the Yorks' opened the hospital, meeting Mrs Wallis Simpson off a train at Ballater Station. Mrs Simpson at the time was the mistress of Edward VIII though this fact was relatively unknown to the British public at this time owing to a 'silence' in the British press. Mrs Simpson was the King's special guest at Balmoral.[2]


Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Terminus   Great North of Scotland Railway
Deeside Railway
  Cambus O'May
Line and station closed

Use following closureEdit

The old station, containing Queen Victoria's waiting room, was a visitor centre with a replica royal carriage.[3]


In the early hours of 12 May 2015, fire crews were called out to a major blaze at the station. The fire was fought for around three hours but reports say the building was "around 90 percent destroyed".[4]

The fire is believed to have started in the Station Restaurant, one of several businesses at the station. The building has subsequently been restored and reopened.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ British Railways Atlas.1947. p.38
  2. ^ King Edward VIII, by Philip Ziegler, Kindle Edition, retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ "The old Royal Station at Ballater". Royal Deeside. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Royal station in Ballater destroyed by fire". BBC News. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit