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2021/22 Recovery Appeal

We continue to run an Appeal into 2021 and still need assistance to maintain services.

A very big thank you for all contributions to date.

The Strathspey Railway is directed and run by Volunteers and events in 2020/21 have made a substantial impact on it's future.    

In the last year year we have managed to complete major works on locomotive No. 828 and we plan to embark on boiler & mechanical overhaul work on Ivatt No. 46512 as necessary together with finalising works on Black 5 No. 5025. This is likely to cost upwards of £200k. The Railway requires to raise substantial funding & support.

There is also lots to do looking after heritage coaches, stations and infrastructure

Please help us keep Steam alive in the Highlands to give the Railway and the people who contribute and depend on our activities a reasonable chance to continue its operations into the future.

Thankyou !

When donating there is a text box into which one may specify specific areas where a donation is to be directed; eg locomotive maintenance, permanent way (track), buildings, signalling and other infrastructure, coaches or other rolling stock.

 

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Diesel Group Appeal

Here at the Strathspey Railway we run a regular steam service and it proves to be very popular. Our resident steam locomotives are supported by a small fleet of diesel locomotives which also see regular use. Some of the diesels are not much younger than our Ivatt 2-6-0 46512 (built 1952), only a few years separate them - Class 08 built 1958, North British built 1960, Class 26 built 1958.

Every day the steam service runs, our Class 08 shunter No D3605 (08490) hauls the stock down to the platform ready for the steam service. Any shunting of our yards in Aviemore or Boat of Garten is managed almost daily by this loco and our North British diesel hydraulic No D2774. There is also an industrial shunter, an 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic Vanguard undergoing extensive engine repairs for return to service.

Through the summer months we have a distinguished visitor in the form of the Royal Scotsman luxury touring train. This needs regular haulage on our line and is quite a heavy load. Our two mainline locos used for this are the Class 31 D5862 (31327) and Class 27 D5394 (27050).

Both these locos can very often be in use for our own infrastructure trains assisting our permanent way team. They are also used to deputise for the steam locos in event of a steam ban due to dry weather or loco failure. The fact that they need to be on standby all the time we run services means they need as much care and maintenance as the steam locos.

We also have two Class 26 locos in long term dry storage, D5302 (26002) and D5325 (26025). It is our intention to return one of these in the short term to running order with the second following further on in the future. Both have quite severe bodywork corrosion issues and D5302 has a partially dismantled engine. D5325 did have a running engine a few years ago but maintenance of our existing fleet became more important so work and progress on that had to be deferred.

There is also an extensive collection of components and spares to back up our fleet which all needs maintained, repaired and serviced. This can be a full time job in itself. Regular servicing of all these locos and spares is performed by a very small group of individuals all of whom are volunteers. Keeping the fleet working is hard and heavy work, it is also very expensive. An oil change for the largest loco uses 120 gallons (545 litres) of oil. In fact to oil change the three main use locos uses 260 gallons (1200 litres). Then there are the filters needed, oil and air. Brake block changes are another regular task, the Class 31 uses 24 brake blocks each time, fortunately this is not so frequent.

Any assistance to support what we try to achieve with our diesels, be it small or large will help to unsure they are kept available and ready at the drop of a hat to run our trains when required. They may not be as glamorous as the steam and can seem quite boring to some visitors, but they are essential to our continued operation.

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Infrastructure Development Fund

The Strathspey Railway has an active team of volunteers who work on the Infrastructure, both on Track (the Permanent Way) and within the Signalling & Telegraph (S&T) and ICT Departments.  Since a disastrous fire totaly eliminating the Civil Engineering base workshop at Boat of Garten in July 2019, much work has been carried out to ensure this valuable and essential facility was quickly rebuilt.  The photo below shows the incorporation of a service pit within the new build, ideal for maintaining the various pieces of Civil Engineering "yellow plant".

Maintenance Pit

The Insurance settlement did not replace many of the items lost, some of which were unique or personally donated tools, although slowly over time these will be replaced.  Work to re-instate the yard just outside the building is ongoing and we identify that more mechanised plant is required to ensure the work, mostly minor civils work for S&T and ICT Depts, is more easily and efficiently carried out without the need for what is otherwise time consuming manual work.  We have a target of £8500 to £10,000 in mind for this specifically in the immediate future.

Some of the active individuals find age does not come easily !  We are also keen to encourage younger folks into the team thereby transferring skills using both traditional and more updated methods where appilcable and this is possible.  This can involve training which is always a good thing.  Below we see a railsaw in action, operated by someone very familiar with the work.  Other outside works include vegetation clearance and fencing which are particularly transferrable rural skills.  The "green growth" this year has been quite substantial and requires annual attention (at least).

Rail

Work at Aviemore to develop and improve the shed rail connection and stabling has been delayed by the ongoing global situation, and its consequences, however there is an eagerness to move ahead with this work as and when resources and finances allow.

If you feel that "building the railway"  is something you would like to support, then this is a fund to consider.  This also includes looking after its buildings and other features along the line.

The signal now at danger awaits clearance to change to proceed.

Signal

If you are interested in further information, then visit the "On Track at Strathspey"  and the "Signal & Telegraph" Blog both of which are updated regularly.

 

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