Highlands & Islands

Aged steam locomotive to run Highlands line

Murray Duncan and David Mitchell make finishing touches to locomotive. Pic: Strathspey Railway Company
Image caption Final touches are made to the overhauled 828

A 110-year-old steam locomotive has been fully restored and is expected to run on a railway in the Highlands over the summer.

Caledonian Railway Number 828 has been given an overhaul in a £220,000 project which attracted support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Restoration was led by the Scottish Locomotive Preservation Fund and Strathspey Railway Company.

The engine is to run on a line from Aviemore to Broomhill.

Strathspey Railway chairman Doug Scott said the 828 was one of the most important locomotives to be preserved.

It is thought to be the only surviving example in Britain of what is known as a McIntosh design.

Mr Scott said: "The Strathspey Railway is a highly suitable location for such a magnificent machine.

"The recent overhaul should allow 828 to enjoy many more years of active service on the former Highland Railway Company main line."

The Strathspey Railway Company officially launched an appeal in March to raise £5m to lay the remaining track needed to link two towns in the Highlands.

Three miles of track requires to be laid to connect Aviemore with Grantown-on-Spey.

The money would also pay for a bridge donated by Network Rail to be put in place across the River Dulnain.

Enthusiasts already operate services on almost 10 miles of line from Aviemore to Broomhill.

The railway company hopes to complete the project by 2014.

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