The Dalmunzie Railway


Whilst not a public railway, the Dalmunzie Railway (or Dalmunzie Hotel Railway latterly) was one of only two passenger-carrying narrow gauge railways in Scotland.

Built early in the 1920s by an extremely wealthy ‘jute wallah’ - Sir Archibald Birkmyre, its sole purpose was to connect his summer residence of Dalmunzie House to the high moors some distance uphill from the house, and the shooting on these.

Of 2 foot 6 inch gauge and 2.5 miles long, the line was very basic, although it included a zig-zag to gain height, and was a very early user of concrete sleepers. Motive power was two Simple petrol locomotives, there were two 4-wheel passenger cars and two small flat wagons used for bringing the bodies of stags down from the moors - that was it.

The whole Estate was sold in 1945 and became a hotel, but the railway continued to be used for paying guests, grouse shooters and stalkers. The line closed in 1978 when it was decided that as it was used by paying hotel visitors, it wasn’t a private railway, and hence came under MRI regulations, which could not be met at a reasonable cost.

An interesting and very readable book on a little known railway. 48 landscape format pages. 60 B&W illustrations.