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May 2013 Bulletin
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2nd to 5th May
The railway ran scheduled services from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th May and on all these scheduled services our passengers were treated to a dram of whisky and shortbread. In addition to our scheduled services and in conjunction with the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival we also provided visits to Strathmill, Strathisla and Glenfiddich distilleries, and nosing & tasting sessions in the first class section of our train.
These photos show our Whisky Stewards and Guard with some of the whisky and shortbread available to our passengers.
The photos above show some of our passengers boarding the train at Dufftown.
The first 2 photos show our train at Keith Town where a German TV crew were filming a documentary also visible in the photo is one of the musicians from the “The Whisky River Boat Band”. The band provided musical entertainment at both our stations and on the train. Third photo shows the scene at Drummuir station where the ST. Fumac fair was in full swing.
The first photo shows two of our volunteers preparing the “Spirit of Dufftown” dining car for our guests. The next 2 photos show some of our passengers at Dufftown.
These photos show passengers arriving back at Dufftown from Keith and just relaxing in the sun.
The first photo shows some passengers about to board the “Spirit of Dufftown” dining car while others make their way out of the station. Third photo is a look behind the scenes in the kitchen car where 3 of our volunteers are up to their elbows in soap suds washing the dishes.
First photo shows Nancy Stewart, Primary 2, Mortlach School who won a school competition and the prize was a family ticket for a railway trip. Steve Rhodes, Line Manager on the day, presented her with a certificate from the KDR as a momento of the family’s trip.
Next 2 photos show “The Whisky River Boat Band” entertaining passengers at Dufftown.
“The Whisky River Boat Band” entertaining passengers at Dufftown.
On Saturday 18th May the train left Keith Town with a group booking of 21 for bride to be Christine’s Hen Party. The ladies boarded the train while the weather was dry but by the time the train reached Dufftown it was raining heavily. The Hen Party posed for some photos on the platform at Dufftown before walking up to Dufftown for lunch in one of the hotels. They returned, by taxis, in good time to catch the last train back to Keith. As they left the train at Keith Town they expressed their gratitude to the Guard and Driver for a great trip on the train.
The guard said that they were a very amiable company on the trip to Dufftown and in the mood for more fun on the return trip to Keith. The guard assures us they were perfect ladies and the KDRA join the guard in wishing Christine much happiness in her married life.
In April Spirit of Banffshire Driver Motor Second (DMS) 52053 was moved into the shed for much needed overhaul to include repainting and engine servicing. The 2 photos above show the car at the stage of being rubbed down, filled and primed ready for repainting.
These photos show DMS 52053 inside the shed with the paintwork being rubbed down, filled and primed. Work on the engines is also ongoing.
First photo shows a family leaving the train at Towiemore halt, the first passengers to use this halt in more than 40 years! The family had recently moved into the area and having seen our trains regularly passing the halt made enquiries if it would be possible to be dropped off at Towiemore. After careful consideration it was decided that this could be safely done, so they were duly let off the train using the remains of the platform at the halt and the ramps carried in the guard’s compartment of the train.
Second photo shows the crossing at Towiemore with the corner of our store on the platform visible at the left hand edge.
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 installing a second track within the shed and completing the run round loop at Dufftown.
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 plus laying the run round loop at Dufftown are now the priorities.
Collected:- £27,424 as at 26/4/2013
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 and the run round loop at Dufftown. The appeal takes the form of purchasing a sleeper, for £10, for the second track and run round loop. The names of those purchasing a sleeper are recorded on a chart at Dufftown Station. To date (26/04/2013) 262 sleepers have been bought leaving 138 sleepers still to be sponsored.
For details of the above use Appeals link to the left or click this link: Appeals
The operational DMU has been changed from Spirit of Speyside for Spirit of Banffshire due to engine failure of Spirit of Speyside Driver Motor Brake Standard (DMBS 53628) during July. DMBS 53628, the unit with engine failure, is also the only unit we have that is wheelchair accessible which means that our current unit Spirit of Banffshire is not accessible by wheelchair. We are currently dealing with the engine failure and will get Spirit of Speyside back in service as soon as possible in the meantime please call Dufftown Station on 01340 821181 (Friday to Sunday) to find out the current situation.
The photos above show the current service unit Spirit of Banffshire. Left photo above shows Driver Motor Standard (DMS) car no 51568 which has not yet been refurbished. Right photo shows completely refurbished Driver Motor Standard (DMS 52053), which, had just been refurbished and repainted in BR Green.
The Buffer Stop opened at the start of the season on Friday 29th March 2013 serving 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
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 and The Wee Mac. 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!