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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.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Wiring and Colour Schemes

Wiring completed

It is fortunate that in 1948 Ruston Hornsby made extensive use of electrical components used in cars of that era.  The enduring popularity of classic car restoration means that many of these components are still produced, meaning that Queen Anne’s electrical system can be restored to its original condition.  In particular, brass bound armoured cable would be very difficult to imitate were it not still being made (although at a premium price).

The electrical system is very simple and the photographs below show the various components wired up to the control box and working.  Similar armoured cable has also been used to connect to the battery, starter and dynamo.

The front light

The rear light

The cab light

Control box and wiring

Note LH horn switch by cab opening

Colour Schemes

Recently some colour photographs of Queen Anne in its original green livery have been obtained.  The green colour is certainly not the standard “Deep Bronze Green” as used by Rustons before WW2 and later on.  Some of these colour photographs can also be seen on the revised “Queen Anne History” page.


An early view at the loading dock

A later view in 1979 or 1980
Prior to donation to the Strathspey Railway in 1980, Queen Anne was repainted with the whisky advertisements on a chocolate brown background.

Getting ready to leave Longmorn

Some more of the Longmorn staff

The new livery with chocolate brown background
Some time after arrival at Aviemore the background was repainted in a beige shade.  This has been confirmed by sanding down the paintwork and by comparing the lining above the rear advertisement, which is lower down after the beige repaint.  All this may seem a bit pedantic, but modellers seem to be very particular about liveries.

Note brown background and lining on rear panel



Later beige background and different lining
One outstanding item in the restoration of Queen Anne is the restoration of the bi-fold louvre doors on the bonnet sides.  These were replaced with flat panels when the locomotive was repainted with the Queen Anne whisky advertisements in 1980.  The louvre doors will take some time and effort to reproduce due to the rolled edges and punching the louvres themselves.


The Queen Anne style flat doors would be much easier to make and in view of the fact that Hornby is producing a model of Queen Anne in its as-donated livery, it has been decided to initially restore the locomotive in the same form as the Hornby model.  This would be contingent on financing the brown background paint and the vinyls for the whisky advertisements.
The Hornby Model


The ultimate goal is still to return the locomotive to its 1948 condition, but restoring to “Queen Anne” condition initially may help generate more widespread interest in this restoration project in view of the imminent release of the Hornby model.




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