Caledonian Railway
Caledonian Railway
4.5
About
All aboard for a great day out at the Caledonian Railway in Brechin! The railway runs steam and historic diesel trains during the Summer months as well as selected dates during the year. A not for profit organisation, run entirely by volunteers, the railway society was established in 1979 to return trains to the historic Brechin branch line. Now trains run on the restored 4-mile long line through the pleasant Angus countryside from the stately Victorian terminus station in the heart of Brechin to the beautiful country station at Dun.The railway's Day Out with Thomas and Santa Specials events are popular with families and an exciting host of evening events provide a night out with a difference.Trains can be chartered for special occasions such as birthdays or weddings. Coach parties and groups welcome.Keep an eye out for special events and days out during the year. We hope to see you boarding the train at Brechin Station soon!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Lizzy W
    Montrose, United Kingdom40 contributions
    Fabulous trip down memory lane
    A trip down memory lane for our parents. Nostaligic and just as they remembered the trains being. Afternoon tea was just perfect, lots of little things to try washed down with copious amounts of tea. Staff were friendly, atmosphere was great. The journey was nice with a short while at the other end, time to stretch your legs and take photos then back on the train for the return journey. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Will book again.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 21 March 2023
  • Mamacaza
    Bishopton, United Kingdom100 contributions
    Heritage Railway Fun
    Diesel Festival visit was top notch. Volunteers were fantastic and all looked fabulous in their outfits. There were all sorts of different engines and carriages to see and ride on as well as an extra engine ‘Mavis’ at Bridge of Dun where you got to be right next to it for short rides. Buffet facilities at Brechin and Bridge of Dun as well as on the train. Well done to all the volunteers for looking after this railway so we’ll.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 August 2023
  • Patric D
    Sandbach, United Kingdom1,006 contributions
    Good trip
    Wonderful restored railway with a four-mile run and return. Very enthusiastic staff and we laso had a sandwich lunch on board that was more than adequate. the restored station at Brechin has some great exhibits, but Brechin as a town has little to offer unless you have time to visit the small Cathedral
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 August 2023
  • 1976Jen
    Glasgow, United Kingdom2 contributions
    Magical experience
    Booked for the Polar express. Can’t recommend enough. Magical experience for both young and old. Well worth our 5 hour round trip drive. Staff were brilliant. Lots of photo opportunities. The memories will last a lifetime.
    Thank you so much for coming to visit and the long journey you made to get to us - we get a lot of visitors travelling from all over Scotland and furhter afield - we really appreciate the effort you go to to join us. It's great for us as volunteers to see so many happy smiling faces leaving the train and we're overjoyed that you enjoyed it so much.
    Written 21 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 November 2023
  • Emma M
    1 contribution
    Polar Express
    We had an absolute magical time! This is our second year (due to our little ones loving it so much last year) all of the “cast” appeared different from last year but they put on a fantastic show. We were in the premium carriage and the hobo was amazing, the kids couldn’t stop laughing. Most of our friends have now booked after us telling them how amazing it was last year! We will see you next year! Merry Christmas! (My only issue with any of it is the hot chocolate my littlest <2 knocked a cup and the lid came off, as this was right at the start the hot chocolate was scalding he luckily only ended up with some on his dressing gown and trainers unfortunately the seat got soaked, I don’t really know how this can be avoided, we had already moved them into the middle of the table but the lid just popped off so easily, only brining it to your attention incase anyone can come up with a way for the lids not to come off so easily?)
    We're so glad you have had another magical trip to our event. We try to change things around a little within the constraints of the film, so visitors like yourself get a little bit of a different experience each year. It's so great that you have come again and thank you so much for sharing your great experience amongst your friends - we look forward to welcoming you all back next year. With regard to your issue with the hot chocolate - we are really sorry that this happened. We have tried putting the hot chocolates in cup holders previously for this very reason, but this results in more spillages trying to remove them! We will review options again and speak to other event operators to see if we can find a better way.
    Written 21 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 November 2023
  • pamlogan59
    3 contributions
    Fabulous trip on the Polar Express
    Thoroughly enjoyable for all the family, young and old. The majority of people were in pyjamas which made it so much fun too. Very interactive, with the actors encouraging singing and dancing. They were awesome, very friendly, encouraging everyone to participate. We will be back next year 😊
    Thank you so much for your positive feedback. Our volunteers put in an enormous effort to help to ensure that all visitors enjoy the Polar Express experience with us. This year we have had a particularly challenging lead up to the event with severe flooding of the railway (although many are worse off than us and currently out of their homes) and a driver crashing in to one of our bridges last week that looked like it would result in us having to cancel the event. It was amazing and very satisfying to see so many smiling faces and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
    Written 20 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 November 2023
  • Gill M
    1 contribution
    A perfect day out
    The train at Brechin station is brilliant. I went on it with family summer and again a few days ago when it became the Polar Express. A lovely little trip to Bridge of Dun followed by a walk to House of Dun in summer is a perfect day out. For winter, the Polar Express is a must. It’s like being part of a theatre production, the songs and dance are amazing and I can’t wait to go again next year. I can’t praise it enough.
    Thanks for the great review and we're so glad you have been able to enjoy various sides of the railway. We hope you're able to join us again next year for Warner Bros The Polar Express or perhaps a gin train, a combined trip on the heritage bus to Montrose Air Museum, or one of the other many events we will be running again next year. Thanks again.
    Written 24 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 November 2023
  • Dawn T
    2 contributions
    Fantastic and memorable day out
    We had a fantastic time onboard the Polar Express at the weekend. The staff were amazing and made us all feel welcome and part of the experience. The hot chocolate and cookies were a great addition and the cookies were amazing. The gifts left for us in the Premium seats were a lovely addition and lovely unexpected gifts. All the family (young and old) had a truly memorable experience and will definitely be back next year. The gift shop is worth a visit and stocked great souvenirs. Well done to all the teams involved in putting on such a brilliant show.
    Thanks for the great feedback on your visit. We are a volunteer run railway and, as you can imagine, putting on an event like Warner Bros The Polar Express is no small undertaking. It is great to get reviews like this, but even better to see the happy smiling faces of kids (of all ages!) when they get off the train from the North Pole. We hope the memories stay with you for a long time and can't wait to see you again next year.
    Written 24 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 November 2023
  • ernhill65
    9 contributions
    Family Time
    Went on the Polar Express with our nieces, gr8 nieces & nephews as a Christmas treat. They had all looked forward to it and came appropriately dressed. We enjoyed our sing songs and waving our golden tickets, they had a ball! Faces lot up when Santa came on board. Thank you
    Thanks for the positive feedback and we're so happy that the whole family got in to the Christmas spirit and had a great day out. All our volunteers put a massive amount of work in to put the event on and it really makes such a difference to see all the kids' (and big kids') happy smiling faces when they leave. Hopefully we will see you again next year.
    Written 24 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 November 2023
  • Stuart F
    Stonehaven, United Kingdom289 contributions
    Wonderful afternoon for all the family
    Thank you to all the wonderful people at the Caledonian Railway in Brechin that organise such a fabulous family experience with the Polar Express. We enjoyed a memorable family afternoon out yesterday and were gifted with lovely winter sunshine and blue sky too. I took a minute to reflect on the scale of organising such a special event in the run up to the festive period - it was so very well organised and we loved the on board acting team playing out scenes from the Polar Express movie. It was atmospheric, energetic, professional and value for money. You can’t put a price on seeing the face of my 2 1/2 year old Grandson when he realised out of pure luck, Santa Claus had boarded the steam train in Bridge of Dun for the return journey to Brechin. Priceless. If you’ve haven’t experienced this then I can fully recommend the Polar Express at the Caledonian Railway in Brechin. Thanks all and very well done x
    We really appreciate the recognition of the effort we all put in as volunteers, but more importantly that we achieved a level of delivery that allowed you all to have a fantastic visit. It is an incredible feeling to realise the impact it has on families and the sheer joy it brings to all. We hope you have a great Christmas, and thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback.
    Written 28 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
272 reviews
Excellent
226
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27
Average
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4

Private
Glenrothes, UK18 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
We thoroughly enjoy our trip on the Polar Express on 17th December. The actors were fantastic, and Santa Claus coming into our carriage was magical, although my 21 month old grandson was a bit scared, us adults loved it. Massive credit to to the people who decorated the train station, it was beautiful with christmas music piping through the speakers, just magical! The staff in the gift shop were very friendly and everything reasonably priced. Thank you. We will be back.
Written 31 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kevin50252022
United Kingdom5 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
Visited for the first time at the end of July. The railway has two amazing stations, especially Brechin - there can be few preserved railways that retain an original terminus station such as this. The journey is through attractive farmland bordered by trees with a view of the river. There is a good collection of diesel locos and a modest industrial steam collection. Coaches are Mk 1 and 2. Staff, who are all volunteers, were lovely.

The entire family enjoyed it. We are firstly steam enthusiasts, but visited on a diesel Saturday and loved it!

It is perhaps not on the steam railway enthusiast radar, but I think we are missing something by not making a journey here. I can't wait for a return visit!
Written 22 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for the great review. We are very privileged to be the custodians of our two stations and continue to try to preserve them while making them fit for the future. While all volunteers, we are a rag tag of steam, diesel and general railway lovers with a fair bit of crossover and can appreciate all :). We look forward to you joining us again in the future.
Written 24 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

beefee37
Wemyss Bay, UK25 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
What to say but WOW!!! We had an absolutely incredible time on this magical journey with our two little ones ages 4 and 8. From start to finish we did not stop smiling the entire time. Each and every person working on that experience giving it their all. To watch the joy in my children's faces throughout the entire experience was pure magic. Weve done a lot of xmas experience/santa meet n greets over the years. This one takes first place. Memories made and banked forever. Thankyou xx
Written 22 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're so glad you enjoyed your visit and you still believe. We all get an immense sense of pride and joy from seeing so many happy people leaving for Christmas. Thank you so much for the high praise and we hope we have helped create some family memories in readiness for a wonderful Christmas.
Written 24 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

david m
5 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Had the best time ever. An experience that we will forever remember as a family. The Polar Express staff are just Amazing I was in carriage B and the singers and everyone involved just make it he best day. Thank you for a wonderful day and made us believe again 🙏❤️
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your review and we're so happy that we were able to help you create some family memories. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that we see you again in the future.
Written 22 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Steve S
Carnoustie, UK5 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Absolutely fantastic experience on the polar express. Staff and actors were brilliant. Well done on putting on such a great experience for the family
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review. The feedback we receive helps us to make improvements and also motivates us to run this event, and others like it, in years to come. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that we see you again in the future.
Written 22 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KBaff
2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
We took the last trip of the season on the Polar express, Sunday 17th December. You would never have known the crew had already undertaken multiple performances. It was utterly magical from start to finish, the actors on board were wonderful and engaging and truly brought the magic to life.
Our 4 year old was entranced start to finish (as were we). The energy and skill was apparent to all, every passenger in our carriage was up dancing and singing. It made the build up to Christmas even more exciting and our little one will believe for a lifetime. Everyone we encountered was fantastic with the children, stopping to chat and make them feel special, even the ladies in the gift shop.
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your review. It is great to see so many people leaving the train happy and full of joy (adults and children alike!). We hope you have wonderful Christmas and have helped create some memories with your 4 year old that will last for years to come. Thanks again.
Written 19 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paula R
2 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
The Polar Express experience was absolutely amazing! Myself and my nearly 6yr travelled up from near Edinburgh and I am so glad we did! Amazing train station and the whole experience was just 5* - i imagined it would be good but you guys exceeded my expectations!
The hot chocolate and cookie was the best iv ever had and i cant explain how good it was!
Hope its back for 2024 as I would definitely book again!
Thanks for an amazing day 🎅🏼
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle R
ALLOA8 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
Absolutely fantastic experience from the very word go. Very helpful and kind lady assisted us with disabled parking facilities and made sure we got to the accessible entrance. The platform staff were also very attentive and safety conscious which is so reassuring. Our accessible carriage was fabulous, absolutely loved it with the decorations and Christmas tree, it had a really nice feeling and atmosphere before it even started up. All the guys onboard were superb and made our trip very memorable, we were up dancing and had such good fun, they interacted with our two young folks and they loved it. Hot chocolate and cookies were much welcomed and delicious. The visit from Santa with the sound of bells made it even more magical. Thank you all for making our day so special and memorable, highly recommended and suitable for all ages young and old. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're so glad you enjoyed your visit and felt safe and looked after. We put a lot of effort in to trying to make our event as accessible as possible for all and we're so happy you enjoyed yourself. The train you travelled on and the station were never really designed with a lot of these things in mind, but we have tried to adapt as much as possible. We hope we helped to make some memories with your family that last for some time and wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.
Written 19 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The_Marshes
Bournemouth, UK5 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
My 2 boys, husband & I had the best time on The Polar Express on Saturday night. We didn't stop smiling, bopping & singing. The actors were full of energy for this magical experience. The hot choc & cookies were delicious.

It's suitable for everyone who loves stream &/or the film. There were couples & groups of friends on board too. We're planning to visit again next Christmas.
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your wonderful review. We 'have to' take the train ourselves sometimes to make sure the event is running well and it's great to see so many children (and adults) getting involved - dancing and singing. We're glad you enjoyed the hot chocolate and cookies as well. It's a bit of a task getting 250 prepped and out in 10 minutes to make sure they are perfect for visitors when they get on the train, but great that you enjoyed. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you again next year.
Written 19 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Caroline T
11 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Wonderful time on the Polar Express. Grandsons loved every moment and loved joining in with the ‘staff’ . Lots of giggles and already sure we will book again for next year.
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your positive review. We hope the Grandparents enjoyed the trip as well - it's great to see so many adults getting in the swing of things as well. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you again next year.
Written 19 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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