B.R. Derby Class 108 DMU "Spirit of Speyside"
Dufftown car 53628
This standard DMU was built by BR's Derby workshops in 1958 and numbered M50623 (53628) it was originally partnered by M56223 (54223). Little is known at present about the vehicles’ early histories, but by 1977 both had found their way to the Manchester / Chester area where they worked until the late 1980s. 53628 then headed south to Oxfordshire, while 54223 headed further to Marylebone for a year prior to joining its sister in Oxfordshire. 54223 became the last Class 108 in public service prior to its withdrawal in October 1993 from Old Oak Common depot (53628 was withdrawn in June of that year) and both cars were stabled at Southall until 1998 when they moved to the East Anglian Railway Museum. The unit arrived at Dufftown on 7th March 2000. 54223 left the railway in exchange for M56491 which was in turn replaced by 56224. 53628 is a Driving Motor Brake Second (DMBS) having a guard’s compartment. This unit (53628) was repainted into the BR green livery as shown above in late 2012 / early 2013.
Keith car 56224
Class 108 Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory DTCL BR 56224 M54224, built by BR's Derby workshops in 1959 as part of Lot 30466 to diagram number 640. This vehicle, paired with DMBS 50941, went into service on British Railways’ London Midland Region allocated to Bletchley Depot where they worked the Cambridge to Oxford line. The units were first in British Railways DMU green then were repainted around 1967 into rail blue and from about 1980 into blue and grey. Its partner vehicle 50941 has not survived. The set was withdrawn from passenger service sometime between 1990 and 1993. The Vehicle was asbestos free, in good mechanical condition and retained its first class salon. The vehicle went to the Mid Norfolk Railway then to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, arriving there in March 2004. Before arriving at Dufftown the vehicle was repainted to rail blue. The unit arrived at Dufftown on 17th March 2010. It can seat 65 passengers. 12 1st class and 53 2nd class. This unit (53628) was repainted into the BR green livery as shown above in late 2012 / early 2013.
B.R. Derby Class 108 DMU "Spirit of Banffshire"
Dufftown car 51568
Two more Class 108 vehicles arrived at the railway in summer 2001. Both were in green livery and were supplied by Diesel Unit Preservation Associates Ltd. The unit is unusual in being formed of two Driving Motor Standard (DMS) non-brake vehicles, providing no guards accommodation, however the "power-twin" arrangement proved very effective on the line's steep gradients in the early days. This unit (51568) was repainted into the BR green livery as shown above in 2013.
Keith car 52053
This Class 108 vehicle arrived at the railway in summer 2001 along with its partner vehicle 51568 (see above). Both were in green livery and, have been supplied by Diesel Unit Preservation Associates Ltd. The unit is unusual in being formed of two Driving Motor Standard (DMS) non-brake vehicles, providing no guards accomodation, however the "power-twin" arrangement proved very effective on the line's steep gradients in the early days. This unit (52053) was repainted into the BR green livery as shown above in 2013.
B.R. Derby Class 108 DMU
Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory DTCL M56491
Little is known at present about the vehicle’s early history, M56491 DTCL was obtained in exchange for 54223 which was the original partner to DMBS 53628 in Spirit of Speyside. M56491 was in turn replaced by DTCL 56224 (see above). M56491 built by BR's Derby Workshop in 1960 and is a Driver Trailer Composite Lavatory (DTCL) with 3 saloons and toilet facilities. The leading saloon behind the driver's compartment was formerly the 1st class section but was declassified to 2nd class late in its BR career. This unit arrived at Dufftown in BR green livery and is being repainted into a revised BR green livery as per the vehicles of Spirit of Speyside (above)
BREL/Leyland Class 140 DMU, 140001
This important prototype unit was built in 1981 and pioneered the use of road-bus bodywork on a railway chassis. The design was later developed into British Rail's Pacer units of Classes 141, 142, 143 and 144. The unit ran for many years in evaluation service before entering use as a driver training unit at Neville Hill Depot, Leeds. Falling out of use, consideration was given to converting it to a Sandite unit, but this never took place, and the unit was withdrawn. The unit was moved to Dufftown in 1994 and is currently waiting restoration.
The Class 140 No.140001 has lain at the buffer stops at Dufftown for a few years now, only receiving occasional attention. This is nothing against the 140! The available manpower and money must be focussed on the urgent necessity to keep the Class 108 DMUs in operation and carry out essential maintenance on our 11 mile line.
During the spring of 2012 the end of the line at Dufftown became a building site for our new engine shed. This meant that the 140 had to be moved out of the way, along the Dufftown platform and shunted into a siding. It then received some attention and has been given a spring clean, giving the exterior a good wash down and tidy up. There has been some water ingress through the roof, and this was attended to when the 140 was moved into the shed for the 150th Anniversary Steam weekend in October 2012. A repaint is overdue, but the 140 must take its place in the queue of priorities which are concentrated on our operational DMUs.
In October 2012 a compressor was attached and air put through the system, this proved successful and the doors were opened. Batteries have been connected and the lights persuaded to work. The engines have been barred over which is encouraging, although we suspect that one engine has a cracked cylinder head. The 140 engine was given three 10 second turnovers and it fired on the third on a couple of cylinders. No nasty noises were apparent so it was given a short while for the batteries to recover and on the fourth start the engine burst into life! It was held at low revs while the unit was looked over to see if there were any obvious problems. There were of course! Too many to mention but we now have an idea of what’s ahead. Hopefully it is not a cracked cylinder head but a gasket that is leaking, or condensation after standing so long exposed to elements? Many of the steel fuel pipes are rusty and a leak near the injector pump will take some time to replace. Also when the water system started to pump around a small but difficult to reach pipe showed up a leak under pressure. It probably did not drain when the unit was drained and stored, ergo it froze. The Lighting in the unit all came on when the alternators kicked in so we will get some batteries for the Aux circuits when money is available.
To summarize the Dufftown end car or 14000 is in remarkably good shape the Keith end car or 14001 still has a bad engine and until that is repaired we only have one useable engine.
This pictures shows, 140000 unit engine running and external lighting on. Only door interlock problems stop this car from moving under it’s own propulsion!
This pictures shows, exhaust coming from the running engine.
This pictures shows, external and internal lighting on the 14001 unit.
While the 140 was in the shed two KDRA volunteers waterproofed the roof vents and some seams which were allowing water ingress. Car 55000 o 14000 is in remarkably good shape at the moment. The other car 55001 or 14001 has still a bad engine and until that is fixed and new pipework to replace some rusting fuel lines it will not be a runner unless on one engine.
The second engine on 55001 14001 will be run to warm it up prior to draining oil and water for the winter It will run but has either a cracked head a broken cylinder liner or a head gasket problem. We do have spares for the second engine but finding shed time will be a problem with the bread and butter DMUs to be painted and serviced over the winter of 2012 / 2013 for the next season.
Things that are working on the 140.
Horn (Horn very loud)! 90psi as opposed to 80 on the green DMU’s.
Toilet flush and lighting.
getting 90 psi in the reservoir tanks and 50 on the brake pipes.
engine pre heater motor runs but not heating.
Air conditioning seems to run.
cab intercoms and the public address in one car. Probably both but the batteries were out at the time this was tested.
Internal and external start and stops.
Engine running/stopped lights.
"SPIRIT O' FIFE" English Electric 0-6-0 DM
Loco history by Colin Frost
This loco is on loan from UDV (Distilling) Ltd of Leven, Fife. It was built in 1967 by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire and delivered new to the Seaham Harbour Dock Co for transfer duties. With a works number of D1193, it was plated to operate over BR metals in this role, although would have done so only in exchange sidings. Rail traffic to Seaham ceased in 1989 and the loco was sold to Scottish Grain Distillers for use at the Cameronbridge Distillery. Overhauled in 1997, the loco saw another year's service before rail traffic ceased to the site. The loco has been outshopped by UDV in their corporate yellow livery and the loco arrived at Dufftown on 15th March 2000.
"THE WEE MAC" Clayton 0-4-0 DM
The first locomotive on the line under KDRA auspices was this Clayton 0-4-0 Diesel Shunter, known as "The Wee Mac". The locomotive, built in 1979, spent its short career as a pilot at the Royal Navy Dockyard, Rosyth. It was bought and donated to the Railway by the Macallan Distillery, painted in their livery, complete with whisky bottle on the exhaust! (left photo above) The Wee Mac had been outside in all weathers for many years so its paint work was beginning to look increasingly shabby. The right photo, above, shows The Wee Mac in its current condition (2013) fitted with our weed killing spray rig. The name “The Wee Mac” has been retained in grateful recognition of the Macallan Distillery’s generous donation of the loco.
The Wee Mac was one of the first users of the shed where it has been rubbed down, primed, undercoated and is now receiving its top coat. The following photos show the progress.
These photos show the sad state of the paintwork at the end of 2012.
These photos show The Wee Mac in red primer.
These photos show the undercoat being applied. Note the decision has been made to repaint bodywork into BR green with black roof, exhaust, and bonnet top, the ends will have yellow and black wasp stripes.
The Wee Mac completed its repaint in the first half of 2013 see right hand photo at head of this section. Further pictures of the repainting of The Wee Mac will be added to this section in 2014.
Mk 2f Tourist Standard Open
This coach arrived in March 2011 to replace the Pullman TTO Car 87 which was returned south to take its place in a restored 5-BEL train. The Mk 2f had been in store since 2006 and was still in the livery of its former operating company, Anglia.
The coach was thoroughly cleaned and some re-upholstery work undertaken. The first bay seating on either side has been removed and replaced with cupboard units to make a servery area. The coach was repainted into maroon to match the two coaches of the Buffer Stop. The coach will provide separate dinning accommodation from the Buffer Stop cafeteria coach.
Kitchen Car: BR Mk1, 81295
Carriage history by Colin Frost
Built in 1957 as a full brake vehicle (BG), this coach spent its working life as a guards and luggage/parcels van. Following withdrawal it was acquired by the East Anglian Railway Museum and fitted with a kitchen and buffet counter. Having been used in this form for several years, it became redundant and moved to Dufftown on 15 June 2000 for continued static use in its converted role. A major rebuilding exercise was undertaken to bring the kitchen and serving area up to modern hygiene and safety standards, and car is now in operation at Dufftown.
Since then the coach has seen a continuous process of internal refurbishment to keep pace with current hygiene and safety standards. In 2011 the coach was repainted in maroon.
Cafeteria Car: BR Mk1, 975758
This coach was built in 1957 at BR Wolverton, numbered M25430. Formerly a Corridor Second seating 48 passengers in eight compartments, it was modified at Horwich Works to form part of an Overhead Line Maintenance Train based at Romford, Essex. The modifications included completely gutting the interior of all fittings and fitting with a flat roof with walking boards, which can still be seen. It was secured from Booth's scrapyard in Rotherham for the Railway by members of The AC Locomotive Group, and moved to Dufftown on 14th June 2001. It is now fully fitted out with loose chairs, tables and curtains for its new role as a cafeteria, connected to the Kitchen Car, and was put into use in early 2002.
Since then the coach has seen a continuous process of internal refurbishment to keep pace with modern standards. In 2011 the coach was repainted in maroon.