Old Royal Station on track for top award

The restaurant area complete with refurbished carriage. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
The restaurant area complete with refurbished carriage. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

Ballater’s Old Royal Station has been shortlisted in the coveted National Rail Heritage Awards.

The B-listed building was rebuilt and restored by Aberdeenshire Council following a devastating fire more than four years ago,

It was formally unveiled by Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson in August of last year after a £4.2 million redevelopment.

Judges have described the new-look station as “an outstanding project in which all concerned can take great pride”.

The experts who visited Ballater during the summer said the reconstruction of the building was “most praiseworthy” and singled out the council’s determination to see the work completed to a high level.

They highlighted the renovation of the Royal waiting room – now used as a private dining room – as a “jewel in the crown” and an “astonishing display of craftsmanship” which could easily have merited its own entry for an award.

Edward McGloin, one of the judges, said: “On the day of my visit the station had a vibrant feel and was busy throughout.

“It is great to see that four years on from the devastating fire, the station is again at the centre of Ballater and its community.

“Well done to all involved in this very good restoration of this historic station.”

The Provost has paid tribute to all those who shared the vision and ensured the station was sympathetically restored.

He said: “Our officers, partners and councillors were united in their vision to deliver a restoration project that met community needs, was appropriate for the stature and historical importance of the station and recognised its role in supporting the local and regional economy.”

The award ceremony will take place in the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London on December 4.