This 2 foot 6 inch gauge private railway was built for carrying quarried stone and for carrying shooting parties.
The line closed in 1978/79 due to new safety rules governing railways. Improvements to the line would have cost £60,000. There is presently some interest in reopening some of the line.
This is an area of hilly moorland to the west of Spittal of Glenshee. At Dalmunzie is Dalmunzie House, now a hotel, Glenlochsie farm and a number of cottages. Many of the cottages can be rented. It is possible to park at the hotel (there is a fee of £2 at present) rather than walk to the hotel from Spittal of Glenshee.
Description of route
The line was commissioned by Sir Archibald Birkmyre who was the owner of Dalmunzie House at the time. Birkmyre was involved in Indian Jute and the Gourock Ropework Co (which owned works in Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow and was ultimately to own many other works including those at New Lanark). The company made rope and sailcloth and a particular innovation of the company was the water-proofing of the cloth. The Birkmyre Export Co. of Calcutta still manufactures jute and canvas bags
This was a single track 2 foot 6 inch railway which was 2.5 miles long and gained 500 feet. The line ran from Dalmunzie House, now a hotel, to a nearby grouse moor. The line was originally opened to carry stone from a quarry for extensions to Dalmunzie House. There had been plans to extend the line which were shelved on Sir Archibald Birkmyre's death.
There were two 20hp petrol-paraffin simplex locomotives "Dalmunzie" (still in existence) and "Glenlochsie" (broken for spares). The nameplates from the engines reside in the bar at the hotel. A engine/coach was sold to the War Department in 1940. Two petrol engines were army surplus from the First World War. There were two passenger coaches (both still exist) a "first class" with windows, upholstered seats and sides and a "second class" with bench seating. Coaches had two independent hand-brakes. Seating could be reversed for the downhill journey. There were also "goods wagons" (two survive) which were flatbed wagons.
The head keeper's garron, (highland pony), was kept uphill of the train and preceded it on the ascent.
This station was at Dalmunzie House, now a hotel. The house predated Sir Henry Birkmyre who acquired it and extended it. There is a bell on the side of the house which, I presume, must have been rung before train departures. Trains left at 10am sharp and those not on board the train would be left behind.
Here there was a branch to the game larder and two sidings. Further up the line were another two sidings; one serving a water pump which was separated from the line by 10 inches over which wagons were manhandled.
Here trains from Dalmunzie would reverse to gain more height before running forwards again on a higher level line to Glenlochsie.
This station was located nearby the Glenlochsie Lodge. This lodge is now derelict. The "station" had a stone platform and was located above the lodge and separated from it by a swift-flowing stream. There seems to have been a siding here, accessed by reversing from the station, which may have been part of the projected extension of the line not carried out. Alternatively this is where game was loaded onto the flatbed "goods wagons".
From the summit passengers could continue by foot or by garron to the moors above. Today the trackbed is used by many walkers as the start of the climb of Glas Tulaichean.