Keith & Dufftown Railway
7th August 2009
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff
|The Keith & Dufftown Railway, which claims to be the most northerly heritage line in the UK, runs for 11 miles between the two aforementioned north-east Highland towns through pleasant rolling (as opposed to mountainous) countryside.|
|The line was opened by the Great North of Scotland Railway in 1862 and was once one of three routes between Elgin and Aberdeen. It was closed by BR, comparatively recently, in 1991, having latterly been a freight only branch truncated at Dufftown . Before closure it hosted a railtour run - very slowly - by a HST125.
The line was re-opened by the Keith & Dufftown Railway Association in 2000. It is now run entirely by volunteers and despite being in the Whisky Country holiday area only opens on a limited number of days. In summer 2009 these being Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Services are operated Class 108 DMUs - two 2 car units are available. There is no steam and a very limited amount of rolling stock to view. The latter, at least, prevents the line looking like the linear scrap yard some heritage lines appear to be. During my visit there was no evidence of any preservation work underway on the rolling stock.
Below, having written the line avoids looking like a scrap yard, the first view the public have of the railway when entering Dufftown on the A941 is of the prototype lightweight DMU 140001. Being in a dilapidated condition it may not present the best first impression.
The station buildings at Dufftown and Keith have been restored to a high standard by the volunteers. Architecture in this part of the world tends to be functional and solid to withstand the harsh weather, so the frontage to Dufftown Station, above, is not imposing.
Below, the platform side of the station building is more ornate.
Above, in hot sunshine not characteristic of a summer in the Highlands passengers await the first departure of the day.
Below, you won't find many, if any other, pictures of me on this site because I prefer to remain behind the camera, however I could not resist posing on the platform of my eponymous town.