New powers granted to Royal Deeside Railway

The Royal Deeside Railway is now a statutory railway undertaking, with the coming into force on 28th December of Scottish Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 345, cited as The Banchory and Crathes Light Railway Order 2012.

A copy of the Order is available on the Royal Deeside Railway’s website ( It authorises the Deeside Railway Company Limited to construct, maintain and operate the railway between Banchory and Crathes.

A Light Railway Order (LRO) is an order granted by Parliament under the Light Railways Act 1896, which allowed smaller railways to be built and operated without the need for their own individual Acts of Parliament.

Many Preserved and Heritage Railways throughout the UK have been authorised by an LRO.

The Company is pleased that the Order has been granted, as this now permits – subject to authorisation from the Office of the Rail Regulator under the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (“ROGS”) – the operation of passenger trains across the Birkenbaud Level Crossing.

It is believed that this will be the last Light Railway Order ever granted, as the Light Railways Act 1896 was repealed in its entirety by the Transport & Works Acts.

It is only because the Company submitted its application prior to 28 December 2007 that a Light Railway Order has been made. Orders made in respect of subsequent applications are Transport and Works Orders.

The Company wishes to express its thanks to all those who have assisted with the process over the years.

The Royal Deeside Railway is also subject to the Planning Permission granted by Aberdeenshire Council in 2006 (M/APP/2000/0003).