While the main focus of the Strathspey Railway is running steam trains for the paying public, a small but dedicated group of volunteers has been restoring other items of heritage interest in spare moments between working on the loco fleet and improving locoshed infrastructure and facilities.

The current project is a Ruston Hornsby 48DS diesel shunter of 1948 which worked at Longmorn distillery until 1980 (even though Dr Beeching had closed the adjacent main line in 1967). Because it was presented to the Strathspey Railway repainted with advertisements for Queen Anne blended scotch whisky, it is known to most people as “Queen Anne”.

To find out more about our aims, follow this link or click the [About] button above.

This Blog was started over 5 years after the project began, so most of the initial blog entries are retrospective.

Friday, 25 March 2022

Latest Diesel Gala Video Uploaded

Here is a compilation of film clips of Queen Anne taken at the Gala on Friday 18th March :-


Monday, 21 March 2022

Strathspey Railway Diesel Gala March 2022

Brakevan Rides

The Diesel Gala ran on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 18th to 20th of March.  Seven Strathspey-based diesels were in action. Class 27 (D5394), Class 31 (D5862) and Class 37 37674 were in action on the main line and shunters Class 08 (D3605), North British D2774, Ruston 48DS “Queen Anne” and Thomas Hill Vanguard gave top-and-tailed brake van rides at Boat of Garten and Aviemore.  An SRPS railtour headed by two Class 37s made and appearance on the Saturday.

At Aviemore, Queen Anne was at the south end of the brakevan and the Vanguard at the north.  The rides were in Aviemore yard, from the coal dock up to the headshunt.  There was no timetable - trips were made on demand.  Quite a number of people were carried and three dogs.

Queen Anne at the Coal Dock

... and the Vanguard

Both locomotives ran without problems.  It was a good workout for Queen Anne pushing hard from the back on the uphill northbound runs and doing most of the work on southbound runs.  The Vanguard was used to get the train rolling in both directions to avoid overloading the Slow gear clutch and to provide most of the braking effort.  Middle and Fast gears were mainly used and Queen Anne in Fast gear could just keep up with the Vanguard as it accelerated towards the end of the headshunt.  Over the three days about 9 gallons of diesel was used.

Loading up

Ready for off

On the move

Gone to lunch.  Back soon.

After her shakedown (literally) run, the next step will be to give Queen Anne a thorough examination to check for anything that may have worked loose or needs adjustment.  It was noted that the fan bearing was rather noisy and it will be replaced in due course.  It was not possible to fit the chain oiler system in time but this will be completed in the next few weeks.

Class 31 passing

Class 37 in background

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Paintwork Details

Four days of intensive work this week have seen most of the outstanding paintwork items dealt with.  The "Queen Anne" advertising vinyls will hopefully be applied by an expert in a week or so.

Sand Yellow

This is the colour for the buffer discs, draw hooks, wheel rims, cab edging, cab interior and lining out.  These items (except for the lining) had up to now been painted in a cream undercoat.

Cab interior painting in progress

Cab interior complete

Note that the windows are now fitted as are the curtains.

Lining Out

The lining on Queen Anne is quite complicated and is over 36 metres long in total.  It consists of lines 9mm wide in Sand Yellow.  The original was probably painted by (a very skilled) hand but it was decided to use masking tape this time.  For the straight lines (ie. most of it) 3M Fine Line Striping Tape 06314 was used.  This is 1" wide with 8 x 1/16" strips down the middle that can be peeled out after the tape is in place.  For the curved lines two strips of flexible 3M 471 masking tape were used with the gap between set by eye.

The original Autocad drawings for the cab platework were modified to include the lining.  The actual size and placement was determined by examining many photographs of Queen Anne in the original livery.  Guidelines were then added to the drawing 12mm outside of the centre of the lines, which is approximately half the width of the striping tape, so laying the edge of the tape against these lines would put the painted lines in the right place.

An extract from the lining drawing.

The guidelines were drawn on the cab using a black Chalk Marker (this is supposed to rub off with water, but requires a bit of scrubbing).  The striping tape was then carefully applied inside the guidelines :-

The guidelines drawn in

Striping tape detail
Striping tape on the bonnet

Striping tape on the rear panel

 The gap between the strips of masking tape was rubbed down with a thin strip of emery paper to remove the gloss and provide a key for the Sand Yellow paint.  The paint was then applied using a small brush and left to dry overnight.  The following day, once the paint was fully hardened the tape was carefully removed to reveal the finished lining.  The 3M tapes work very well and are easy to peel with no seepage under the tape.

Bonnet lining complete

Rear Lining

 As stated earlier, the "Queen Anne" vinyls are due to be applied soon and the loco will again look as it did when it arrived from Longmorn Distillery in 1980.

Diesel Gala

Another reminder that Queen Anne will be in action giving brake van rides at the Strathspey Railway Diesel Gala on the 18th, 19th and 20th of March 2022.  She will be top-and-tailed with the ex BSW Sawmill Fort William Thomas Hill Vanguard.  Both locos are 4-wheel chain-driven diesel shunters.  We hope to see you there.


If you upload any videos featuring Queen Anne at the Gala to YouTube, there is now a new page on this blog "Queen Anne Videos" to provide links to appropriate content.  A search of YouTube will be made periodically and links to new videos added.  To make sure your video is found, please add tags "queen anne", "ruston" and "shunter" to make it easier to find.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Final Touches


The self-adhesive vinyls have arrived.  The artwork had been prepared some time ago using desktop publishing software and are an accurate representation based on measurements of the old panels and some trickery to create a "Queen Anne" font very similar to the original.  The quality of the printing is very good.  The artwork has been printed on standard 40" x 60" and 700 x 1000 mm sheets with a brown border that will be trimmed prior to fitting.

Two of the vinyls were taped in position on the cab sides to gain an overall impression :-

Rear Vinyl
Rear Vinyl

Cabside Vinyl
Cabside Vinyl

View of both vinyls
View of both vinyls

The same brown colour (NCS S 7020-Y30R) was specified for the paint and printing, but inevitably different processes produce different colours.  The excess darker brown on the vinyls will in any case be trimmed off before fitting.

The vinyls will be applied once the lining has been painted.


The curtains have been made and are ready to fit, which will be done after the final coats of paint have been applied inside the cab.  Oilcloth was tried initially, but proved unsuitable so waterproof vinyl cloth was tried and works very well.

The fabric was cut slightly oversize based on initial measurements and a wide hem was stitched on the top edge.  It was determined that 10 eyelets per curtain were required and these were riveted to the hem using a tool specially bought for the job.  The eyelets are marine grade solid brass (not the cheaper brass plated ones) with a 1/2" hole.

The curtains were threaded onto the curtain rods using the best of the original copper curtain rings and some new ones.  In a previous post it was explained that the old rings had been used in the whisky still in a device to prevent frothing.  The curtains were then trial fitted to obtain the correct width and drop :-

Cosy Cab

 The curtains were then taken away, trimmed to size and a 1/2" hem stitched on the other three sides at the curtain workshop :-

The final curtain

Fuel Dipstick

There is no fuel gauge on Queen Anne, so a dipstick was made from a piece of oak.  The level markings were calculated based on original Ruston drawings of the fuel tank that are archived on the Lincs To The Past website.  Artwork was produced using Autocad and the markings burnt on using the Laser Engraver at Kingussie High School.

The Fuel Dipstick

 While re-routing the fuel pipe from the tank to accommodate the Chain Oiler, it was noticed that fuel was not flowing freely from the tap under the tank.  This was because the tap had become blocked with rust flakes.  Fuel taps for motorbikes etc. often have a tubular gauze filter that pokes up into the tank, so it was decided to obtain one of these and fit under the tank.  This should ensure a free flow of diesel in future.

The installation of the chain oiler is nearly complete, and will feature in a future blog post.


 It is hoped that Queen Anne can be moved into the Carriage Restoration Shed for the week beginning Monday 21st February so that painting can be completed.  The upper inside of the cab needs finishing and the lining and other details need to be applied.  Hopefully the vinyls can be applied shortly afterwards (ideally by someone who has done it before).
 The Strathspey Railway is holding a Diesel Gala on the 18th, 19th & 20th March 2022.  Queen Anne will be appearing and we hope to have everything finished by then.

Friday, 17 September 2021


There had not been much progress recently until the glass for the windows arrived.

Fitting the glass

The glass was ordered from Highland Joinery and Glazing of Dalcross who very generously waived the cost as the Strathspey Railway is a good customer.  6mm laminated glass was chosen for safety reasons.

As explained in an earlier post, the original rubber moulding that located the glass in the aluminium frame is no longer available, so a rectangular "U" channel moulding was used instead.  This was cut to size and mitred using a jig and then a bead of adhesive was applied to the channel and the moulding placed around the glass.

With the rubber moulding on all four sides, a further bead of adhesive was applied to the inside of the the aluminium frame.  The glass and its moulding was then carefully offered up the the frame and pressed firmly home.

After 24 hours curing, a further bead of sealant was applied to cover the small gap between the moulding and the frame and allowed to cure before finally cleaning up.

The adhesive/sealant used was Bostik ISR 70-03.  Application was made much easier by using an inexpensive pneumatic caulking gun fitted with a pressure regulator to control the flow rate.

A piece of glass with a length of moulding fitted

The finished windows all cleaned up

The sealant and pneumatic caulking gun

Chain Oiler

It appears that some later Runton 48DS locos were fitted with a chain oiler, for example the one at Rogart station (although we haven't inspected this yet to see how it was done).  It is important that the rollers on the chain are oiled to ensure they do not seize on the pin.  The maintenance manual states that the chain should be regularly brushed with light oil, but this involves getting under the loco.  In order to make operation of the loco more "foolproof" it has been decided to fit an automatic chain oiler.

Two ex-steam-loco drip-feed oil pots were found in the locoshed and refurbished (one for each chain).  Each will be fitted with a 12 Volt solenoid valve which will be connected via a pipe to a wire brush lubricator in contact with the chain.  The oil pots can be adjusted to get an appropriate drip rate, and the solenoid valve will ensure that oil will only get through to the brushes if the engine is running.

At the moment the oil pots are the only parts we have.  They will be mounted under the bonnet, one on each side of the engine.

The refurbished oil pots

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Latest Progress

 Painting - Topcoat Applied

The brown topcoat has now been applied over most of the loco and the buffer beams finished in red.  The colours are the same as those used on the Hornby model (see here).  For the record, the brown colour is NCS S-7020-Y30R and the red is RAL-3000 "Flame Red".  The roof has been painted gloss black.  As the following photographs show, she is looking very smart.


There are a few more details to complete and some more work inside the cab, but since the space in the Carriage Restoration Shed is now needed, Queen Anne has been moved out.  It is hoped the paintwork will be completed later in the year.  The artwork for the advertising vinyls is ready and these will be ordered once painting and lining is complete.


Some investigation was done to see if 3D Printing could be used to produce the rubber seals for the windows.  Unfortunately the 3D Printer available was an early (and now obsolete) model which failed, and most printer software does not readily support printing in flexible TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane).

So it has been decided to use commercially available rectangular U-channel rubbers and glue them to the aluminium frames.  This has been tested using a piece of 6mm plywood to determine the correct glass size.  The windows will eventually be glazed with 6mm toughened glass.

Glazing rubbers trial fitted using 6mm plywood

 The frames will be pre-painted with brown on the outside face and cream on the inside.  This will allow them to be glazed "on the bench" and bolted onto the locomotive once other painting is complete.

Other Videos

There is a short video clip on the P-Way blog (see "Associated Blogs") of Queen Anne on the move in the yard in her new brown livery taken on 17/10/2020.  Also, a video was uploaded to Youtube in 2010 of Queen Anne being craned out of the isolated section of track next to the old Speyside station :-

Strathspey Railways Queen Ann Geting Lifted (Part 2)

Friday, 11 September 2020

Queen Anne Moves Again


 Queen Anne has now moved (under her own power) into the Carriage Shed for painting.  She is currently in primer.

Primer paint applied

First Moves

The last time Queen Anne moved under her own power was somewhere around 35 years ago.  The first test runs were carried out recently in the yard at Aviemore.

Only a few minor adjustments were required.  The brakes needed tightening up and the clutch spring for first gear needed adjustment.

A short video of the first moves has been produced :-

An initial load test was also carried out and a coach was pulled in and out of the carriage shed without any problems.