Cruden Bay Hotel and Tramway
Two single deck four-wheel tramcars were built in 1899 at Kittybrewster Works. A restored example is on view at the Grampian Transport Museum . Power was generated at the hotel’s boiler house and distributed via overhead wire and trolley collector. The tramcars were unusual in having a dedicated compartment for laundry, the hotel’s laundry also providing a service for other GNSR locations. The tramway crossed the Newburgh to Port Erroll road by a level crossing, authorised by Aberdeen County Council, with GNSR bearing all of the risk and cost. Although profitable in its early years, the hotel’s remoteness, dependence on the weather and on a specialised wealthy clientele (a species rarer after WW1) soon doomed it. When the Cruden Section was closed to passengers in 1932, the main reason for the tramway’s existence disappeared, but it continued to carry GNSR’s laundry and coal until the Army requisitioned the hotel in March 1941. Thereafter, the tramway was dismantled for scrap. The hotel (which lay empty after the Army vacated it in 1945) was demolished in 1947-1952. Lines, station, tramway and hotel are now long-gone. Nethermill, the Water and the roads persist. Much of the area is now built-up.
After the success of its Palace Hotel in Aberdeen, the GNSR decided to build a luxury hotel near Port Erroll on the Buchan Coast. The 75-room hotel, built of pink Peterhead granite, was opened in March 1899. The adjacent golf course, designed by “Old” Tom Morris of St. Andrews, was deemed “the equal of any north of the Tweed”. To bring their guests to the hotel from Cruden Bay station, GNSR built a short narrow gauge (3ft 6.5 ins.) electric tramway, a venture unique amongst Scottish railways.
E L E C T R I C T R A M W A Y Cruden Bay Hotel A975 Nethermill 200 yards W a t e r o f C r u d e n Cruden Bay Station Cruden Section