|Queen Anne being liberated from an isolated piece of track beside Aviemore Speyside station in 2010
The other locomotive is an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST of 1936 which worked at Balmenach distillery until 1968. When presented to the Strathspey Railway it still carried its “Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd” livery.
|Balmenach at Boat of Garten 2002
It is intended to restore to these locomotives to something approaching museum condition in their as-delivered form. While Queen Anne can be restored to working order, “Balmenach” would need substantial external funding to overhaul the boiler, but all other parts could be fully restored. The cost to the Strathspey Railway is minimal, as materials used are mainly either surplus off-cuts or supplied free of charge by the restorers themselves. Up to January 2016, the only costs for Queen Anne were £400 for new liners, head gaskets and piston rings, and a £100 donation from the “Friends of Broomhill” for repairs to one of the cylinder heads.
While the object is to restore to original condition, small improvements to the design will be made to facilitate future maintenance, for example by using stainless steel bolts where corrosion is likely, and using modern filters for the engine in place of the relatively ineffective felt and wire gauze originals.
|Queen Anne in May 2011 almost completely stripped down
It is hoped that these locomotives could form a key part of educating visitors to the heritage of the Strathspey Railway and its whisky connections. They could also be used at special events for brakevan rides and “driver for a fiver” as well as featuring in any whisky-themed events.
Finally, many thanks to those volunteers who have given their enthusiastic support and encouragement to the project by helping with dismantling, cleaning, painting and other odd jobs.