Moray SNP News
SNP MSP for Moray, Richard Lochhead, took a ride on the Keith and Dufftown Railway’s Whisky Line with members of Keith and Dufftown Railway Association on Monday. Mr Lochhead also invited officials from Transport Scotland to come and see the Railway’s potential and hear about the Association’s aspirations after the Association had been in touch with him about their plans.
The Railway originally opened in 1862 but was closed by British Rail in 1991. The Keith and Dufftown Railway is a preserved line and provides a service between Dufftown and Keith. The Association, run by volunteers, was formed in 1993. The popularity of the line has grown in success over the years since the launch of the first train between Dufftown and Drummuir in July 2000.
The meeting and site visit were informative and Transport Scotland has agreed to share Keith and Dufftown Railway’s aspirations and consider potential opportunities. Mr Lochhead has written a follow-up letter requesting that he be kept informed of any progress made.
Commenting after the visit, Mr Lochhead said:
“It was great to join Keith and Dufftown Railway Association members and Transport Scotland officials on what was a fascinating 11 mile train journey from Keith to Dufftown. It was a wonderful way to see the picturesque scenery and a novelty to experience the train draw to a halt to allow deer to cross the line.
“The Railway operates regularly from April to September and the Association, run by volunteers, lay on some fantastic special events such as a Ghost Train around Halloween and the Santa train in December both of which promise to provide something for all the family. Having been on the railway, I am unsurprised that the Association report an increasing turnover and their aspirations to expand are exciting both for the railway and tourism in Moray.
“The volunteers are doing a great job of maintaining and promoting the Railway and are now seeking reconnection to the main line which would put their tourism potential through the roof because, if successful, it would allow tourists and locals to dismount the mainline rail service at Keith and board the Keith to Dufftown Railway. With wildlife, beautiful scenery, distilleries and castles, there really is a lot to be seen and I’m sure the Railway will go from strength to strength. I’ll certainly be visiting again soon to take my family along for a fun afternoon out and I look forward to hearing about what happens next for the Railway.”