At the same time the Perth & Inverness Railway proposed a direct route over the Grampian Mountains to Perth, and the Aberdeen, Banff & Elgin Railway suggested a route that followed the coast to better serve the Banffshire and Morayshire fishing ports.
Three private bills were presented to Parliament seeking permission to build a railway, but the Aberdeen, Banff & Elgin failed to raise funds, and the Perth & Inverness Railway was rejected because the railway would be at altitudes that approached 1,500 feet (460 m) and needed steep gradients.
-mile (174.2 km) route, which needed few major engineering works, followed the River Don to Inverurie, via Huntly and Keith to a crossing of the River Spey, and then to Elgin and along the coast via Nairn to Inverness.
Branch lines to Banff, Portsoy, Garmouth and Burghead would total miles (49.1 km).
The Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR/GNo SR) was one of the two smallest of the five major Scottish railway companies prior to the 1923 Grouping, operating in the north-east of the country.
Formed in 1845, it carried its first passengers the 39 miles (63 km) from Kittybrewster, in Aberdeen, to Huntly on 20 September 1854.
Although the railway had several branches, its remoteness has resulted in only its main line remaining today as part of the Aberdeen to Inverness Line.
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