New Year 2014 Bulletin
The railway ran eleven Santa Specials on the first 3 weekends in December 2013 and all were fully booked. The hoped for light covering of snow which adds to the appeal of these trains failed to materialise but at least that meant there were no problems in running the trains or in people getting to the trains. The following photographs were taken on the 8th December & 22nd December 2013. Most of the photos speak for themselves but occasional comments are added where necessary. The 1st batch of photographs are from 8th December 2013.
These photos were taken at Dufftown.
This is Drummuir aka The North Pole.
The above photos show: Left, Santa speaking to all on the train, middle shows the 2nd Keith Scouts on their return from the North Pole bearing the gifts given to them by Santa and right photo shows nearest the camera Santa’s Chief Elf and two of the train crew.
The next batch of photographs are from 22nd December 2013.
The photos above show Keith Town Station waiting room.
This elf said standing on the top of the tree was a job for a fairy not an elf. Santa, the train crew and all the elves pose for their photo. The lil elf.
Final photos of Santa walking the train and in his grotto.
REFURBISHING ROLLING STOCK
Over winter Spirit of Banffshire Dufftown car no 51568 has been in the shed being repainted. The left photo above shows 51568 before it was moved into the shed. The right photo is actually of Spirit of Speyside Dufftown car 53628 but this is how 51568 will look when fully painted and lined out.
Our guards van is also in the shed for refurbishment. The following photos are of an earlier stage in the refurbishment.
At a Board meeting it was agreed that the following were the priority projects:
Short Term – To complete the loco shed by laying the floor and installing a second track within the shed.
Medium Term – To provide or reinstate 4 railway halts. These halts are still under discussion with all interested parties so no further details can be provided at this stage.
Long Term – To re-establish a rail connection at Keith Junction Station.
An appeal was launched in 2010 to move the modern shed then located at Drummuir to Dufftown. The shed was re-erected at Dufftown May 2012 and most of the work is now complete, indeed the shed has already proved its worth by enabling us to repaint and overhaul some stock. Installing the floor and laying a second track into the shed are now the priorities.
Collected:- £28,543 as at 11/1/2014
A very large and heart felt thank you to all who have contributed to the appeal. The appeal is now closed but any donations received for the shed will now be directed to the Track Appeal.
The Track Appeal has been set up to raise funds for the second track into the engine shed. The appeal takes 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. To date (11/1/2014) £3,210 has been raised.
For details of the above use Appeals link to the left or click this link: Appeals
The operational DMU is now Spirit of Speyside comprised of Driver Motor Brake Standard (DMBS 53628) Dufftown car and Driver Trailer Lavatory Composite (DTLC 56224) Keith car. Spirit of Speyside was used for our Santa Specials in December 2013 and is expected to be the operational DMU for the 2014 season. Spirit of Speyside is wheel chair accessible.
The Buffer Stop will open at the start of the season on Friday 18th April 2014 and will close on 28th September 2014. During the season the Buffer Stop serves tea, coffee, soup, sandwiches, cakes and scones. We enjoy serving booked parties, those using our trains or just popping in while passing. All are welcome to enjoy our good food at good prices.
Please note the Buffer Stop is entirely staffed by volunteers and its operation is dependent on sufficient volunteers being available to operate it. More volunteers are always welcome see our Volunteers page using Volunteers link to the left or click this link: Volunteers
During the closed season the Kitchen Car of the Buffer Stop has been stripped out. New flooring is being laid and all kitchen equipment, plumbing and wiring being replaced / refurbished / reinstalled. The following photos show the work in progress but by 18th April 2014 the Kitchen Car will be in full operation again ready to welcome the new season’s guests.
TUESDAY WORK PARTY
The Tuesday Work Party at Dufftown station has tended to concentrated on “light work” i.e. smaller tasks that tend to appear further down the list of priorities e.g. painting and keeping the environment tidy etc. However, of late they have been involved in more major work such as the refurbishment of our DMUs , the Brake Van, Permanent Way and a multitude of other tasks. We can find work suited to everyone’s ability. Works trains and training runs on our DMU also take place.
This is another reason why people should not trespass on the line at any time. We do not just run scheduled services as published in our timetable but works trains on any day of the week and at any time of the day. Many people assume that if there are no scheduled services on a day then there will be no trains but this is very wide of the mark. We can and do run works trains, training runs and line inspections on any day of the week and potentially at any time of the day. Please do not trespass on the line at any time.
Anyone interested in taking part in this group is asked to contact Alistair Coull on 01542 831295. There is always work for any pair of willing hands. Come along, learn something new or share your skills with others!