Keith and Dufftown Railway

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Keith and Dufftown Railway
The Whisky Line
Spirit of Speyside, Keith and Dufftown Railway.jpg
Class 108 diesel multiple unit "Spirit of Speyside".
LocaleKeith, Moray
TerminusDufftown railway station
Commercial operations
Built byKeith and Dufftown Railway (GNoSR)
Original gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byThe Keith & Dufftown Railway Association
Length11 miles (18 km)
Preserved gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Preservation history
1998Transferred from Railtrack to Keith & Dufftown Railway Association
June 2000Reopened to traffic
Keith and Dufftown
Mortlach Branch
Drummuir Curlers' Platform
Towiemore Halt
Keith Town
Strathisla Mills

The Keith and Dufftown Railway ("The Whisky Line") is a heritage railway in Scotland, running for 11 miles (18 km) from Keith Town, Keith (Ordnance Survey grid reference NJ429508) to Dufftown (NJ322414) via Drummuir (NJ378442) and Auchindachy.

Originally the former Great North of Scotland Railway's Keith and Dufftown Railway which was part of the link Aberdeen with Elgin (with the Strathspey Railway and Morayshire Railway), the line was latterly a freight-only branch for British Rail, truncated at Dufftown and serving the distillery there. Regular passenger services had been withdrawn in May 1968, but in later years it hosted a series of Northern Belle summer Sunday lunch specials from Aberdeen. These ceased in 1991 and after several years disuse, the line passed into the hands of the current operator in 1998; regular heritage trains then began running in 2000.[1]

The line is open, and a regular service runs throughout the railway's operating season from March to September. Special events are also run, including Santa Specials and Scots Nights. These services are run on the Class 108 DMUs.

Dufftown is the main centre of operation of the railway, and has a booking office, a waiting room and a café called the Sidings Café, which is open March to November. There are two headshunts and a loop. Work is being undertaken to install a new loop at Dufftown so that there can be two tracks going into the new engine shed.

At Keith Town station, there is a booking office and a shop which sells railway memorabilia, books, Thomas the Tank Engine items and model railway items which are sold by members of the association. This shop too is also only open during the operating season.

At present there is no connection to the main line: there are two 60 ft sections of track uplifted (these were removed in 1998 when the line was handed over). However, there are long-term plans to reconnect to the mainline; there were discussions about this between the K&DRA, the local MSP Richard Lochhead and Transport Scotland in the autumn of 2015.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

Key: In service Withdrawn Preserved Sold for scrap Under repair Sold for further use
Number Class Name Year Acquired Previous Operator Livery Status
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 Diesel Hydraulic No.415 August 2015 ex-Castle Donington Power Station Blue
English Electric 0-6-0 DM Spirit O'Fife 15 March 2000 ex-Scottish Grain Distillers J&B Cream
Clayton 0-4-0 DM The Wee Mac ex-Royal Navy Dockyard, Rosyth Green
51568+52053 Class 108 Spirit of Banffshire Summer 2001 ex-British Rail BR Green
53628+54223 Class 108 Spirit of Speyside 7 March 2000 ex-British Rail BR Green
56224 Class 108 17 March 2010 ex-British Rail BR Blue Built in 1959.
140001 Class 140 1994 ex-British Rail BR Rail Blue and Grey Formed of 55500+55501. Prototype
144022 Class 144 4 September 2020 ex-Northern Trains Northern Rail Unbranded Formed of 55821+55858+55844.

The railway also owns two BR Mk1 Coaches No81295 and No975758, and a Mk2f TSO. The Mk2f arrived to replace the two Pullman coaches that were returned south.

The Keith and Dufftown also have 3 Canadian Sprinters which could be used to inspect the line, on top of all this the railway also has a variety of permanent way wagons, some of this includes, 2 "Grampus" wagons, a "Dogfish" ballast wagon, a "Salmon" wagon and a guard's van.


  1. ^ Moray Speyside Tourism - Keith and Dufftown RailwayMoray Speyside Tourism website; Retrieved 19 August 2016
  2. ^ "Campaign to reconnect whisky railway to main lines" Robertson, John The Press and Journal news article 9 October 2015; Retrieved 19 August 2016

External links[edit]