KEITH AND DUFFTOWN RAILWAY
LOCO SHED APPEAL
As those who have visited the railway will be aware, we lacked a loco shed at Dufftown for the repair and maintenance of our rolling stock. The railway needed to take action and do something about this. It was therefore proposed to remove the modern shed then situated at Drummuir (left photo) and re-erect it at Dufftown Station (right photo) in order to be nearer to our workshops. As well as relocating the shed, it would be the intention to put down two tracks thereby creating a two-road facility, and to add doors. Other improvements might also be possible within the budget.
The shed was dismantled, re-erected, doors installed, power installed and in use by August 2012. The Shed Appeal was closed. A Track Appeal was set up to raise funds for the second track into the engine shed. The appeal took the form of purchasing a sleeper, for £10, for the second track. The names of those purchasing a sleeper are recorded on a chart at Dufftown Station. Both the Shed and Track Appeal are now closed but a new appeal was launched to raise funds for installing a concrete floor and service pit in the shed. In April 2016 a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of £48,000 was received. The grant was used for the laying of the concrete floor in the shed at Dufftown and some associated work.
Shed Target:- £25,000
Shed Collected:- £25,556 as at 04/02/2015
Track Target:- £3850 (385 sleepers)
Track Collected:- £3850 as at 04/02/2015
Shed Floor Appeal Collected:- £2,900 as at 17/10/15.
Heritage Lottery Fund Grant:- £48,000
An application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund and was successful in obtaining a grant for the laying of the concrete floor in the shed at Dufftown and some associated work. The following Press Release gives details of the grant and the work it is to cover:
Keith & Dufftown Railway Association
New Heritage Lottery Funded project at Dufftown Railway Station
The Keith & Dufftown Railway Association is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant of £48,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the laying of a concrete floor, complete with inspection pit and visitors’ viewing area in our recently erected loco shed. A disabled access will also be provided to ensure that everyone with an interest in heritage railways can get to the viewing area.
As part of the project we will also provide a training centre and heritage centre at Dufftown station so that visitors can learn more about the history of the Railway. The Keith & Dufftown Railway Association was formed in 1993 with the aim of restoring the railway line between Keith and Dufftown and reintroducing passenger services. June 2000 saw trains operating once again on this historic line, which first opened in 1862.
The Railway is operated entirely by volunteers and the new facilities will enable us to provide a safe working environment for our volunteers and extend our acquisition programme for more rolling stock/carriages to run on the line.
We will also be able to convey the heritage railway experience to a greater audience including those who are not currently railway enthusiasts but would enjoy the learning journey.
Commenting on the award, Steve Rhodes, a Director of the Railway said “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident that the project will not only improve our ability to maintain and restore vintage rail vehicles but also assist in attracting more volunteers to help us expand our current operations and boost our position as one of the major tourist attractions in Moray, which will also bring in additional income to the local economy”.
For further information please contact Steve Rhodes on 07531 829647 or e-mail
The KDRA marked another significant milestone when the engine shed at Dufftown was officially opened, on Friday 14th October 2016, by Priscilla Gordon - Duff, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire. There were about 35 people there including representatives from various newspapers – The Banffshire Herald, The Scotsman and The Press & Journal. The engine shed proved its worth again by sheltering the dignitaries and guests from the rain which lasted throughout the opening ceremony.
The above photo shows The Wee Mac, driven by Phin Sloan and carrying the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, entering the shed and ceremonially breaking a tape to begin the ceremony.
Priscilla left The Wee Mac and crossed the shed to a large flag on the wall. Rod Furr, then Chairman, gave a speech about the Railway and all the work that has gone into getting the KDRA where it is today.
The guests at the ceremony watched and listened to the ceremony unfold. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant then replied with knowledge and humour, and declared the shed open.
Priscilla Gordon – Duff then unveiled a plaque on the wall recording the official opening of the shed.
First photo above shows Steve Rhodes, a director of the KDRA, who secured the Lottery Heritage Fund Grant which enabled the floor to be installed. Next photo shows Phin Sloan, driving, Rod Furr and Priscilla Gordon – Duff departing the shed on The Wee Mac.
Afterwards teas, coffees and whisky cake were served in the Spirit of Dufftown dining car. Then the Spirit of Speyside took all who wished to on a trip to Drummuir and back. Priscilla Gordon – Duff travelled in the cab of the train and alighted at Drummuir as this is her local station.
The 5,525 square feet building has cost more than £80,000 and taken a great many hours work, by volunteers and contractors since the project started in 2010. The shed has two tracks, one with a fill length inspection pit. Work will continue in fitting out the shed, installing heavy machinery etc. A secure viewing area will also be included, allowing members of the public to see work going on safely. The shed has been numbered as 61D, the number BR might have allocated if there had ever been an engine shed at Dufftown!
Having accumulated sufficient funds in the appeal, the first stage of this project, the dismantling of the shed has been undertaken.
A contracting firm, RIM Construction of Kemnay, was hired to dismantle the shed and this photo shows the cladding removed from the shed and the contractors using a large crane and high level access platforms to begin the dismantling of the framework.
This photo shows the crane removing one of the last beams of the framework.
Here we have the shed dismantled and loaded onto two wagons of our works train ready for the journey by rail to Dufftown.
Photo shows the cleared site, compare with the top photo on this page for the before and after.
While funds were accumulated in the appeal, a new site for the shed at Dufftown was decided upon. The new site is at the north end of Dufftown station close to the end of KDRA rails. Work has now begun on clearing the selected site.
The two photos above show the road / rail digger being used to start clearance of the site. The digger is working on removing vegetation and top soil where the second track in the shed will be laid. The track in the foreground, where the Class 140 used to sit, will also be enclosed by the shed.
All our rolling stock in the platform had to be moved out into the yard to enable our Grampus wagons to be brought to the site to collect the spoil. The above 2 photos show the Class 140 leaving the platform at Dufftown. This is probably the furthest they have travelled since arriving at Dufftown. The 140 looks as though it is travelling under its own power but this is an illusion created by the camera angle. The 140 was part of a consist that also included one of our grey vans and the Mk2f catering coach hauled by our current service Class 108 DMU.
Once the Grampus wagons were moved to the shed site, the Class 140 was moved back into the platform. The 1st photo is taken from alongside the 140 and shows the site with the Grampus wagons positioned near the end of our existing track.
This photo is the opposite view and shows the Grampus wagons loaded with spoil with the 140 in the background. The posts and red tape mark the site for the shed.
October / November 2011
This photo shows our English Electric Shunter resplendent in its yellow J & B Rare Scotch Whisky livery taking our two loaded Grampus wagons away from the shed site.
Above photograph shows work continuing at the shed site with both the mini digger and the road rail digger involved.
The 3 photos above show the state of the new site for the shed on 22/10/2011. 1st photo is taken from the end of the platform at Dufftown, 2nd just off the end of the platform. Last photo shows a reverse view looking back towards Dufftown Station.
The original plan was to lay the shed foundations in January and a date was pencilled in for early January. However, on that date the weather was too cold to work with concrete so the work was postponed for a week. One week later the same weather conditions prevailed and so the work was postponed again. This continued right through January and into February with the latest date for foundation work now 14th February.
February / March 2012
The above 3 photos show shuttering for the foundations installed, concrete poured and fastening bolts for the main columns set into the concrete then all left to set. Once set the shuttering was removed and drainage pipework installed on both sides of the shed. This work was done in February 2012.
Our two shunters, “The Wee Mac” and “J & B” were used to arrange the required wagons into the order they were required to be. The three photos above show “The Wee Mac manoeuvring the salmon with the shed parts to the north end of the train.
First photo above shows “The Wee Mac” pulling the assembled wagons into position for “J & B” to propel through the yard towards the new shed site. Middle photo is a cab view from “J & B” and third photo is a view of the train passing through Dufftown yard.
Top photo above shows the crew of “J & B” at the north end of Dufftown platform. Middle photo is the complete train, dogfish ballast wagon, two grampus open wagons and the salmon wagon with the shed components. Bottom photo above shows the complete train from the new shed site. Note foundation block in the right foreground.
The three photos above show the shed foundations and the train with the shed components ready to re-erect the shed at the north end of Dufftown station.
April May 2012
Work on re-erecting the shed began at 08:00 on Friday 25th May 2012. Top photo of 3 above shows the Craigellachie end frame fully erected. 2nd photo shows the next frame assembled on the ground and ready to be erected. 3rd photo shows the first two frames fully erected, this photo is taken looking towards Dufftown station.
The first two frames fully erected are shown again looking towards Craigellachie. Then all five frames fully erected, note the empty salmon wagon in the foreground which had all the components of the shed loaded on it. Then the 1st section of cladding being moved into position.
Top photo, of 3 above, shows the shed with the roof and cladding for one wall complete and the other wall cladding more than half way done. Middle photo is the view from the other end of the shed at the same time. Bottom photo shows the two high lift platforms in use inside the shed.
Top photo, of 3 above, is a view looking towards Dufftown, note shed still incomplete and does not have gable ends. The next two photos show the shed fully erected with gable ends and four sliding doors fitted, at each end. Last photo shows each pair of doors slid to either side of the shed leaving a gap two doors wide in the middle.
Two photos of the interior of the shed illustrating the large sheltered area which we will have to work in. Top photo shows one of our volunteers looking towards Craigellachie, middle photo shows the interior looking towards Dufftown. Bottom photo shows another possible configuration of the doors leaving a gap one door wide at the left of the shed.
The shed is now watertight but not wind proof as the floor still requires to be installed. The building is essentially complete but still needs to be fitted out with power, light, water, second track and inspection pit to mention a few of the items required. None the less we now have a useable sheltered work space. Effort now needs to be directed at the fitting out and completion of the shed so there is plenty work for volunteers and still a need to complete the fund raising.
The next major work on the shed, installation of electrical lighting and power is ongoing. Door guides have now been installed and the shed is now watertight. Taking full advantage of having sheltered accommodation, one of our class 108 DMUs has been moved into the shed to have the roof repainted.
Top photo shows the amount of daylight that streams into the shed via the rooflights. Once the electrical installation is complete we will be unaffected by the short winter daylight hours. At Dufftown on a winter’s day there can be as little as 5 hours of daylight from 10:00 to15:00 which has until now limited the amount of hours that can be spent working on our rolling stock. Final photo shows the shed doors closed providing a secure useable work space.
The 140 was moved into the shed for the 150th Anniversary Steam weekend and while there water ingress through the roof, was attended to by sealing panel joints and vents.
SHED IN USE
The relocation of the shed has already proved its worth by allowing us to carry out work sheltered from the elements which would have prevented us from doing many tasks. The 3 photos above show the Wee Mac in the shed having been sanded down and primed ready for its new top coat.
There is already a schedule of jobs to be carried out in the shed which we can now be confident of completing regardless of the weather.
The installation of electrical lighting and power, in the shed, is now complete. Door guides have been installed and the shed is now watertight. Effort now needs to be directed at installing the floor and laying a second track into the shed so there is plenty work for volunteers.
The KDRA Board accepted the quotation from Mike O’Driscoll, Joinery and Building Contractors, of Elgin for the provision of the Loco Shed floor and additional works relating to the access road, concrete base and drainage. The Board accepted the quotation and agreed that works should commence on Monday 9th May 2016. The starting gun had been fired and there was much work to be done to clear the shed. Equipment and material used in the painting, refurbishing and engineering on our rolling stock had to be cleared and the tracks through the shed had to be lifted. The contractor needed a cleared shed and area round it before they could begin work. The following photo shows our Manitou fork lift loading the works train with material to be removed from the shed.
The photos above were taken on 29th April 2016 and show the situation at the shed before the contractor arrived. The shed has been cleared and the left photo shows that the track through the shed has also been removed. Right photo is a rear view of the shed with the Heritage Lottery fund banner.
The contractor commenced work on Monday 9th May 2016. Left photo, taken 14/5/16, above shows the contractor’s plant inside the shed having compacted and levelled the floor. Foundations for the dwarf walls which will seal the shed from the elements are being laid. Right photo, taken 20/5/16, shows the left hand dwarf wall nearing completion and the right wall of the pit under construction. Blocks for construction of the left wall of the pit and right dwarf wall of the shed are stacked ready for use.
The above photos, taken 11/6/16, show inside the shed the reinforcing rods are being positioned in the shed pit prior to concrete laying while outside new ballast is being laid for the tracks into the shed.
The above photos, taken 18/6/16, show outside new ballast being laid for the tracks into the shed and some of the reinforcing rod for the floor while inside the shed the reinforcing rods and wooden shuttering in the shed pit prior to concrete pouring are shown.
The above photo, taken 21/6/16, shows the pit after the concrete was poured, shuttering is still in place until the concrete has cured.
The above photos, taken 11/9/16, show left the front of the shed with the track on the left entering the shed running over the pit; the rails to the right will be connected to the second track in the shed. The right photo shows the pit with rail laid over it and the second track set in the concrete floor inside the shed.
The above photos were taken 11/9/16 and show the progress at that date. Left photo, taken from the front of the shed shows the second track laid in the concrete floor. Right photo, taken from the back of the shed, shows the pit complete with rails so work can be done under our vehicles.
The above photos were taken 11/9/16. Left photo shows the track from the pit passing out of the shed and terminating at new buffer stop being constructed. This buffer stop could also act as an end loading bank for rail vehicles. Right photo shows a rear view of the shed showing the pit road tracks leaving the shed whilst the second track terminates inside the shed.