Keith and Dufftown Railway
Saturday, 17th September 2022.
26 Field Club members met at Keith Town station at 11am on a dreich and chilly morning, for a ride on the diesel train Spirit Of Speyside to Dufftown. The train left promptly at 11.30 arriving in Dufftown at 12.10 and passing through fields and woodlands, woodyards and distilleries and travelling along the picturesque shores of Loch Park. Our guard, Donald Anderson, entertained us with an unexpected rendition of Irish folk song, The Rattlin’ Bog. In Dufftown a soup and sandwich lunch was provided by the Sidings Cafe, and served in a former railway carriage.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated, and it was decided to abandon the planned walk from Drummuir station to Loch Park. We returned to Keith at 14.10.
There is an interesting display at Keith Town illustrating the history of the railway, which was opened by the Keith and Dufftown Railway Company in 1862, later becoming part of the Great North of Scotland Railway. It carried both freight and passengers and was used by the local distilleries. Journeys could be made to Elgin and up the Spey valley to Aviemore. In 1923 it became part of LNER. Sadly regular passenger services ceased in 1968, though freight continued until the 1980s. In 1993 the Keith and Dufftown Railway Association was formed to restore the line as a heritage railway. The first services began running in 2001.
More information can be found at keith-dufftown-railway.co.uk
KDRA have also published books on the history of the line, available at Keith Town Station shop.