3 Amazing Train Journeys You Have To Make in Greater Speyside

For wildlife enthusiasts, scenery spotters and train buffs alike, we reveal three amazing train journeys. 

Step back in time and explore Greater Speyside’s TWO heritage railways. The area is also connected to central Scotland by one of Europe’s most beautiful railway journeys – still a well-kept secret.

Strathspey Steam Railway

If you would like to journey on a steam train then you can catch one on the Strathspey Steam Railway. The line was first opened in 1863. The railway operates a Caledonian Railway Engine 828, built in 1899. The railway also runs a diesel railcar which offers stunning panoramic views through the wildlife-rich Cairngorms National Park.

The service runs 10 miles from Aviemore to Broomhill, also stopping at Boat of Garten, and takes in some of Scotland’s most magnificent scenery. A major claim to fame is the appearance of Broomhill Station in the BBC series “Monarch of the Glen”, where it is transformed into the wonderfully named “Glenbogle”.

A full journey lasts up to 2 hours; the railway regularly runs dining experiences on the train ranging from afternoon tea to five course fine dining. Look out for special events too.

If you’re a dog owner you’ll be delighted to know that (well-behaved) dogs are welcome on board (although not in the dining area or in first class – even pedigree pooches). If you are a cyclist your (presumably well-behaved) bike can be taken on board.

READ MORE: 8 welcoming Greater Speyside pubs and restaurants your dog will love too!


Keith and Dufftown Railway

The former Great North of Scotland Railway Keith and Dufftown Railway runs for 11 miles. The name is now wisely shortened to Keith and Dufftown Railway.

The journey between Keith and Dufftown runs through Speyside Whisky country; at the Dufftown station there’s a licensed café (“The Buffer Stop” ) and booking office; at Keith there’s a shop and booking office. Don’t be confused – the Scotrail station at Keith has services running to Inverness and Aberdeen, but this is not the same station as the heritage railway.

Dogs and bikes are welcome on this railway too.

The route passes through the River Isla valley and some wonderful Speyside scenery. You might be lucky enough to see red squirrels, deer and buzzards.

The railway runs diesel trains, many carrying British Rail livery, including British Rail Class 108 units built in the late 1950s.

Operation is seasonal and the railway operates special events, so check the timetable: http://www.keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk/timetable.php.


Disabled visitors may want to check with the heritage railways prior to travel as access can depend on the carriages being used.


Highland Main Line

The Highland Main Line is quite simply one of the most beautiful rail journeys to sit back and enjoy. Scheduled services run from Perth with stops at Aviemore, Carrbridge (some trains) and terminates at Inverness from where you can travel on to the far North of Scotland or through to other towns in Greater Speyside: Nairn, Elgin and Keith. Services also run down the line to Glasgow, Edinburgh and London Kings Cross.

Services by Scotrail and East Coast Rail run approximately every two hours providing time to explore a town or two along the route.

The line runs 118 miles through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest National Park in Britain. It climbs majestically up to the Slochd Summit just outside Inverness before its decent into the city. The route is especially beautiful in Autumn as leaves turn golden brown and in winter when snow-covered mountains await.

Check the Scotrail website for times and prices. http://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/timetables-and-routes/timetables-by-location. The trains can be very busy so we recommend reserving your seat. If you are booking in advance look out for deals on East Coast First Class tickets.

Any hints or tips about travelling by rail in Greater Speyside? Tweet @greaterspeyside or email info@greaterspeyside.com.

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