The hard work of the Railway's volunteers has been recognised by a number of national organisations - here is a selection.
HERITAGE RAILWAY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL AWARD 2001
On 2nd February 2002, the Keith and Dufftown Railway Association was presented with the Heritage Railway Association's prestigious Annual Award, for successfully opening the line from Dufftown to Keith on limited resources.
The award was shared jointly with the North Norfolk Railway who successfully in raised funds at short notice to purchase its station at Sheringham. The award, a coat-of-arms once used on Royal Trains, was displayed at Dufftown for six months.
In 1992 the Keith and Dufftown began the long tedious task of purchasing the 11 miles of track, which incidentally has 42 bridges; one the famous 60ft high two-span Fiddich Viaduct. The viaduct needed urgent repairs and the railway was fortunate to obtain grant aid from Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise, and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The grant monies also covered refurbishment of Dufftown station, four miles of track and four bridges. Phase 1, Dufftown to Drummuir, opened to passengers on 3rd June 2000. Further funding was obtained in October 1999 from ERDF and the local Enterprise Company, resulting in the remaining seven miles opening to passenger trains on 18th August 2001.
The success of the railway is due to the enormous effort of its volunteers who have given many, many hours of their time and money to the project, the ERDF, and Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise. The Keith and Dufftown Railway Association thanks them all for putting their faith in the Association to accomplish this awesome task, although at times, when bureaucracy went into overdrive they and the Association wondered if they would ever see the line open. The volunteers are small in number, but dedicated to the project.
The year's other winners were the Linconshire Wolds Railway - HRA Annual Award for Small Groups, the Middleton Railway Trust - John Coiley Award for Locomotive Preservation (Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust - Highly Commended), and the Talyllyn Railway - Peter Manisty Award for Excellence.
Adapted from the HRA Press Release.