The Arbroath Road Train was removed from service in 2018 due to mechanical issues. The repairs were considered uneconomical for Angus Council to carry out, so the train has been in storage since then and is surplus to requirements.
The council invited the communities of Angus to apply for ownership of the Land Train in April. This generated a vast public interest with six applications coming forward. The application process closed in May 2023.
Applicants had to demonstrate a genuine interest in the asset, describe the benefits to the community, their capacity to deliver, and detail how they would fund any repairs and maintenance going forward.
Following assessment, the successful applicant was the Caledonian Railway Brechin Group. The Group demonstrated it had the knowledge, experience and proven track record to not only maintain the asset but ensure local community benefit going forward. The train will enhance the services already provided by the Group and play a vital role in continuing to support the local community to get out and about around Brechin. It will also encourage visitors to see other historic sites around Brechin and will link to other attractions.
Councillor Mark McDonald, Angus Council communities convener, said: “The Arbroath Road Train was an iconic vehicle trundling around the streets of Arbroath until it was destined for the scrap yard in 2018.
"It's great to see a group take it over that can bring the machine back to life for the benefit of the public once more.
“A lot of work is needed to maintain the land train and I have no doubt the Caledonian Railway Group has the skills to keep it not only on the road but also have it fully utilised for events in Brechin and wider attractions all over Angus."
Jon Gill, Caledonian Railway Brechin Group chairman, said: “This is fantastic news for the Caledonian Railway and the local tourist economy.
“The Community Asset Transfer of the Angus Road Train will ensure that this valuable local asset remains in Angus and, following substantial repairs to be undertaken by the railway, will continue to benefit the residents of Angus.
“The land train will be used to link local attractions to the railway, but it is also planned to be available to other local groups where possible.”