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.

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

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