On Wednesday, June 20, more than 20 people met at Cheers Cafe Bar and Tavern in Fraserburgh to discuss the possibility of forming a committee with the objective to bring back a miniature train to the Broch beach.
Charlie Reid organised the meeting, which had attracted more than 60 confirmed guests online via Facebook, and introduced himself to the crowd, which included councillors Charles Buchan and Hamish Partridge, and director of Fraserburgh Development Trust, Ricky Sheaffe-Greene.
Mr Reid told those interested in bringing back a train to Fraserburgh’s beach that there had been a large Facebook presence of people keen to see it happen, but that was it was time to “get a group formed to get this put into motion.”
Councillor Buchan raised several questions at the meeting, including the cost of bringing the idea to fruition, where this money would come from, and whether it would be a completely new train, or the Kessock Knight, currently on display at the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre.
Mr Reid responded that the plan was not yet at that stage, saying that they would first have to form a committee, but that he had been in contact with a similar group further south who had taken over a train track from their local council.
“He said that we’re definitely looking at a new track,” Mr Reid said, going on to say that the ground would also need to be redeveloped.
Mr Reid also suggested that he would prefer to leave the old train at the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre as it was, he said, “heritage”.
A member of the public commented at the meeting that for a new, eco-fuel locomotive the group would be looking at spending around £35,000.
Mr Reid said that they had been made aware of funding options, such as the AEFF. Asked whether the group would be for profit, Mr Reid said any profits would be put back into the train, or the community.
It was revealed that the land where the group hopes to bring the train back to is owned by Fraserburgh Feuars Managers, who would first have to give the go-ahead for any plans for the ground.
After the meeting, the following people were elected for roles in the new committee: Charlie Reid (chair); Andrew Jones (vice-chair); Donna Elrick (treasurer); Jane Willox (secretary), and Kristopher Taylor (Press).
Speaking afterwards, Councillor Buchan said: “The mood was serious yet upbeat, and there was a real sense that the group wished to make as much as possible of Fraserburgh’s main trourist attraction, that is, the beach, and it’s environs.”
“I wish Charlie Reid and his group the very best in this initiative, and I hope support will come from all quarters,” the councillor added.