Cromdale is an excellent centre for exploring the Highland Railway and the remains of the Great North of Scotland Railway.
From Aviemore, mainline trains can be taken south to Perth and north to Inverness, and it is also the headquarters of the Strathspey Railway who operate steam trains to Boat of Garten and Broomhill. Ultimately their plan is to extend the line to Grantown on Spey to a rebuild around the location of the HR’s Grantown on Spey West original station. From there it is possible to trace much of the original line to Forres using the Dava Way. This was the original main line to Inverness.
Similarly, much of the Great North of Scotland’s Speyside Line can be traced on the Speyside Way, starting from Boat of Garten. Grantown on Spey East is now derelict, but can still be seen from the main road. Cromdale, is the next station up the line, together with other surviving station building s further along.
From Cromdale, it is possible to trace the line of the former distillery branch to Balmenach, a mile or two towards the Cromdale Hills. The 0-4-0 Barclay steam locomotive which operated the line (the Puggy) is in the yard at Boat of Garten.
Further to the east, at Dufftown can be found another heritage centre – Keith and Dufftown Railway who operate trains, mainly diesel multiple units along their 11 mile stretch close to the river Isla.
Other railway centres of interest are obviously Inverness, Elgin and Aberdeen.