For sale: Historic rural station on railway line '“ but the trains won't stop for you

It is a two-bedroom village home that will admit its new owners to an exclusive club – living in a former station on a working railway.

Gartly in Aberdeenshire is among what’s thought to be just a handful of lived-in disused stations on the Scottish network.

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Owners Helena and Euan Couperwhite, both 49, are reluctantly saying farewell to the single-storey building on the Aberdeen-Inverness line after nearly five years because of a job move.

Built in 1854 for the Earl of Lennox, the station closed in 1968 and lay derelict until being converted into a home 14 years ago.

The couple have just put the building up for sale, at offers over £209,975.

It contains the original stained glass window station name and a station lamp.

Picture: Blackadders

Another unusual feature is the unfenced trackside garden, which Mrs Couperwhite said the couple had looked after, by agreement, even though it is part of the railway.

Selling agents Blackadders said: “The former platform is laid out with grass and flower beds. Although belonging to ScotRail, this ground is maintained on an informal basis by the sellers with the owner’s consent.”

The main bedroom was once the ladies waiting room, while the living room was the gentlemen’s waiting room.

Picture: Blackadders

The kitchen was the stationmaster’s office and a waiting area adjacent to the platform is now the dining room.

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Mrs Couperwhite said: “It was in quite a poor state with upgrading needed, such as new windows.“We have kept as many period features as possible, such as the fireplaces and interior doors, to keep it in character.

“We have even had visits from people who used to work at the station, one of whom stoked the fires as a boy.”

Picture: Blackadders

She said the couple had moved from Largs to take up new jobs with Aberdeen University and the city council.

Mr Couperwhite is now being seconded to a post in Glasgow.

His wife said they were not trainspotters, and living beside a railway had not been a particular draw. She said: “We were looking for a property with character and the station has a lovely, cosy and warm feeling about it – calming and serene.

"There’s also spectacular scenery with fields and hills. It’s a hidden gem.

“We just don’t notice the trains – they have just become part of living here. Guests also tell us they don’t hear them.”

Mrs Couperwhite said despite trains no longer stopping at Gartly, the couple often travelled into Aberdeen from Huntly station, five miles away.

Disused stations on the current network rarely come up for sale as homes.

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Loth, near Helmsdale in Sutherland, which closed in 1960, went on the market two years ago.

Rail experts said the few other such lived-in stations included Dalguise, near Dunkeld, and Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway.

Picture: Blackadders

They said some others had become holiday accommodation, including Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire, Strathcarron and Plockton in Wester Ross, and Beasdale near Mallaig.

Several operating stations also contain homes, including Springfield in Fife, Scotscalder in Caithness, Rogart in Sutherland and Newtonmore near Aviemore.

The former Gartly railway station on the Aberdeen t0 Inverness line is now a house – and is on the market at offers over £209,975

Words: Alastair Dalton

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