Gleneagles is world famous for its golf course and 5-star hotel. The train station that serves the hotel had been a shadow of its former grandeur for many years. Then came the Ryder Cup in 2014 and investment was ploughed into the station. It is a delight to arrive at this station and it is now one of the finest in Scotland.
A stay at Gleneagles evokes the elegance of the 1920s. Back then the wow-factor began as soon as you stepped off the train. Gleneagles station was suitably spectacular, but when the glory days of rail travel passed by and more people took to the roads the station declined.
Prior to 2014 I started one of my cycling trips from Gleneagles station. I was saddened to see the train station boarded up. There was still a hint of its former beauty, but it looked neglected and faded. All the windows were boarded up, the doors sealed shut and the paintwork was dull.
Sporting events that attract global audiences always bring investment into the local area and this is exactly what happened to Gleneagles station for the 2014 Ryder Cup. A huge number of spectators were expected to arrive by train, so the station had to be up to the job. 3.5 million was spent on lifts, toilets and infrastructure improvements. But the best thing was the reopening of the waiting room, which meant the beautiful bay windows seeing light for the first time in years.
Inside the waiting room the walls are wood paneled and there are information boards that tell the story of the area, including the history of the hotel and the railway.
The station has also been painted in the colour scheme of the Caledonian Railway, the company that originally built the station in 1919. This reinforces the important heritage of this building. It makes it stand out among other stations in Scotland for not having the Scotrail corporate colours and branding.
It is great to see Gleneagles restored to such a high standard after years of neglect. With the hotel and golf course attracting visitors from all over the world I feel proud that they will be seeing this beautiful building at its best.
The station is in a supberb location for heading off on cycling trips into the area, so it makes for an enjoyable start to days out in the Perthshire countryside.
Make sure to stop by at Gleneagles station and let me know if you love it as much as I do.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.