An historic bench that once formed part of the original Kintore railway station is to be restored to its former glory as part of the development of the forthcoming new station.
The bench, which would have been used by many a passenger at the old station before its closure in 1964, was recently discovered at auction and has now been secured for the project by Aberdeenshire Council and regional transport partnership Nestrans.
It is hoped that following its refurbishment the bench will form part of the new station, providing a tangible link to the station’s history which was a strong theme from earlier consultation with the community.
The project team are also keen to involve local organisations in the restoration work, with support already provided by haulage firm ARR Craib who assisted with transport of the bench.
The news comes soon after plans for the wider Kintore Rail Station project took a significant step forward with planning permission now granted for the platform, car park and access road.
Councillor Peter Argyle, who is chair of Nestrans, deputy leader of Aberdeenshire Council and chair of their Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am very pleased to see the progress that has been made on the development of the station.
“The discovery of the bench is most opportune and a fantastic way to involve the community and recognise their desire to see local history reflected in the new development. I look forward to seeing the bench renovated and on site at the new station.”
Councillor Martin Ford, who is a member of the Garioch Area Committee and a substitute member for the Nestrans board, had highlighted the historical find at auction and added: “I am delighted that the bench has been secured and will form a point of historical interest at the new station.
“The area where the new station is sited has deep historical roots in transportation, going back prior to the 1800s, and you can see various signs and markers of its time as a Turnpike Road and a canal route. Whilst we do not know the exact age of the bench, it seems fitting that we can continue this tradition and link the new station back to the former site, which opened in the 1850s.”
The station project is jointly funded by Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans, and Transport Scotland via the Scottish Stations Fund, with support from Network Rail and ScotRail. It will see the construction of new station platforms, lifts/overbridge, passenger waiting shelters, a new access road, a 160 space car park, a pedestrian and cycle path and secure cycle parking facilities.
The new station, which accompanies Network Rail’s Aberdeen to Inverness Improvement Project, is due to re-open to passenger services in late 2019.