Highlands & Islands

Strathspey Railway to mark line's Victorian opening

John Davidson
Image caption John Davidson is among enthusiasts who will be wearing Victorian era clothing for next weekend's celebration

Railway enthusiasts are to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of a line from Perth to Inverness.

Strathspey Steam Railway plans to recreate part of a free celebratory train journey held in 1863 between Aviemore and Grantown-on-Spey.

Grantown cannot be reached by train today, but on 3 August's anniversary a steam locomotive will pull a train from Aviemore as far as Broomhill.

Passengers wearing Victorian clothing will travel free.

The steam railway group runs locomotives along 10 miles (16km) of line between Aviemore and Broomhill.

It hopes to eventually add three more miles of track (4.8km) to reconnect Aviemore with Grantown-on-Spey.

The platform at Aviemore will be decorated for next weekend's anniversary celebrations.

The Earl of Dysart, Johnnie Grant, will send off the train.

John Davison, of Boat of Garten, is among the railway enthusiasts encouraging travellers to dress as Victorians by wearing a lum hat and tail coat.

Strathspey Steam Railway's publicity officer, Hendy Pollock, said: "I expect that participants who join in the 'spirit' of this celebratory event will have the most fun and have a very memorable day."

He suggested that people view internet footage of film director Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics for ideas on Victorian attire.

The ceremony featured actor Kenneth Branagh as Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

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