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Keith & Dufftown Railway


RCD’s Overview

This heritage railway runs for much of its length along the River Isla, passing through mountains and forests, lochs and glens, moorland and farms. It runs along the former branch line from Keith to Dufftown, where it once connected with branches to Elgin and Speyside. At 11 miles the line is fairly long by heritage standards and passes through attractive Scottish landscape. It mostly uses heritage diesel multiple units, rather than steam, which provides excellent viewing possibilities from the train including forwards past the driver. Speyside is a popular tourist destination, and a visit to it can readily be combined with a trip along this railway. 

The support group is the 'Keith & Dufftown Railway Association' (see 'Information on the Suport Group' below).


Happening This Month:

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Keith to Dufftown (Moray)

Principal Visitor Centre:

Dufftown Station

Period of Operation*

- April to Early October (Weekends)

- June to August (Also Fridays)

- December (Special event trains)

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Exclusively diesel

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Heritage DMU’s, Pacer, industrial shunters

Length of Line:

11 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

1 hour 40 minutes

Number of trains per day:

3 in each direction

Number of Stations:

4 stations


Note: Save for the rover tickets, all tickets sold as singles.

Rover: £20. Adult single: £7. Concession single: £6. Child single: £3.50

Part line tickets also available.

Time to allow for Visit:

2 to 3 hours





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Car parks available at Keith and Dufftown


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- No, but light lunches available at ‘The Sidings Cafe’               

Event Trains:

- Easter Bunny Weekend: April

- Spring Whisky Festival: End April/Early May

- 1940s Weekend: June

- Ghost train: October

- Santa Specials: December 

Principal Galas:

- None currently advertised




Telephone:                                                           07383 354254


Social Media:                                             



Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The railway from Keith to Dufftown was promoted and built by an independent company, intent on linking Dufftown with the Great North of Scotland main line to Aberdeen, at Keith. It opened in 1862 and was later absorbed by the Great North of Scotland Railway. It carried freight mainly associated with local distilleries, and also passengers who could travel east via Keith, west via Elgin, or south down the Spey valley to Aviemore. Passenger numbers fell in the 1960’s, and the line closed to passengers in 1968 at a time when numerous other lines were closed in Scotland. Freight services however continued from Keith to Dufftown until the 1980’s. By that decade there was some reluctance to immediately recover trackwork of closed lines, and it remained in place for some time and even used by occasional trains. However the line was formerly closed in 1991. Shortly thereafter a preservation society was formed to restore the line as a heritage railway. By 2001 the Society was successfully running passenger services over the entire route, although it is yet to gain access to the main line station at Keith.


 Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) Heritage DMU Class 108 - ‘Spirit of Speyside’ (53628) with DTCL car (56224)

(2) Heritage DMU Class 108 - ‘Spirit of Banffshire’ (51568) with DMCL car (52053)

(3) Heritage DMU DTCL - M56491

(4) Pacer DMU Class 144 - Unit 144 022 (3 car: 55822, 55858 and 55845)

Industrial shunters:

(5) English Electric - ‘Spirit O’ Fife’

(6) Clayton 0-4-0 ‘The Wee Mac’

(7) Andrew Barclay - Diesel Hydraulic (Works 415)


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- BREL/Leyland Class 140 DMU - 140001



Name of Support Group:

Keith & Dufftown Railway Association

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £18. Senior: £15 Junior: £12. Family: £25. Life: £250


Benefits of membership:                                   Send email for information on benefits of membership


How to Join:                                                      Go to


What They Say About Volunteering:

We are always on the lookout for people who would like to become part of our Volunteer Group. The Railway is staffed entirely by volunteers working on a whole variety of tasks, indoors, outdoors, with the public and behind the scenes. For some it’s a chance to get their hands dirty, for others it’s a chance to meet people, and for many it’s the chance get stuck in helping to run a real railway! Throughout the year a vast programme of work is undertaken by our volunteers, ranging from working on the track, running the trains, staffing our stations, to rolling stock maintenance, building maintenance… and the list goes on.


How to Volunteer:                                          Go to


How to Donate:                                              Go to


WHY JOIN: The railway relies heavily on its supporters, both financially and through its volunteers, without which it could not operate.



Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Highland Railway Society

- Great North of Scotland Railway Association


Model Railway Clubs:

- Elgin Model Railway Club

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