Fife Heritage Railway

Fife Heritage Railway is a heritage railway run by the Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society which aims to showcase the heritage of the railways of Fife, based at Kirkland Sidings, Methil, Scotland.

Fife Heritage Railway
Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society
Commercial operations
NameKingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society
Original gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byThe Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society
Length0.5 miles (0.80 km)
Preservation history
1994Last of the rolling stock at Lochty is moved to the Methil Power station until a permanent home can be found
2001The KFRPS acquires Kirkland Yard and the stock is moved to its new home
2008Opened to public
2016First steam locomotive completed

Overview

Following the closure of the Lochty Private Railway due to falling guest numbers and increased public liability premiums, the Kingdom of Fife Railway Preservation Society was quickly formed in May 1992 to take over the former Lochty fleet. In 1994, the last of the fleet was moved from Lochty to the now defunct Methil Power Station until the society could find a permanent home for its collection.

Various locations around Fife were looked at which included the former Crail Aerodrome, Lochore Meadows, Bowhill Colliery, part of the former Auctertool branch line, the former Wemyss Private Railway site at Scott's Road and even the former Kilconquhar railway station, all of which proved unsuitable for various reasons.[1] In 2001 the society acquired the former Kirkland railway marshalling yard on the outskirts of Leven and in 2003, the rolling stock was moved from the Power Station to its new home. Since then the KFRPS have constructed half a mile of track plus substantial sidings, along with a two-track engine shed which is used for restoration work.

In 2016 the Fife Heritage Railway fired the first steam engine to run on a Fife heritage line since the closure of Lochty in 1992. Forth gained its boiler certificate in August which will run until 2020 when it is due for overhaul, after a brief "running in" period, Forth was brought into service during the last days of the 2016 working season. Painted in Wemyss Coal Company livery to match sister locomotives that once worked in the area, an official renaming ceremony was carried out at the start of the 2017 season by clan chief Michael Wemyss.

Rolling Stock

With the society's purpose of preserving locomotives and rolling stock that either worked in Fife or have a Fife connection of some kind, the society uniquely, in its certain location, has the status of having its collection being based in a fifteen-mile radius of where they were first working during their early days in Fife.

Steam Locomotives
Number & Name Description Status Date Photograph
Barclay AB1890 0-4-0ST No.10 "Forth" Ex Granton gas works, after being removed from service it spent a short spell at Strathspey Railway before moving again to Lochty Private Railway. Upon the dissolution of Lochty Private Railway it moved into the hands of KFRPS along with other rolling stock. Restored to steam in 2016 on a short ticket, certification expires in 2020. Operational 1926
Barclay AB2292 0-4-0ST No.21 Built to the Fife Area amended design for the NCB, it is one of few Barclay saddle tanks with higher water capacity, larger boiler and backhead injectors. Spending its working life around many collieries in Fife and a spell at Kinneil, finally leaving service at Frances Colliery in Dysart where it was brought into preservation at Lochty Private Railway in 1983. Long term overhaul began in 2018. Anticipated to take 8–10 years. 1951
Diesel Locomotives
Number & Name Description Status Year Photograph
Ruston and Hornsby 88DS 0-4-0 No.4 "North British" RH421415 Spending most of its working life at the North British distillery in Edinburgh it came into preservation at Lochty Private Railway until dissolution in 1992 where it came into the hands of KFRPS. Currently working as part of permanent way train. Operational 1958
Ruston and Hornsby RH313390 (DP35) 165DS 0-4-0 No.7 Ex Rosyth Dockyard Operational 1952
Ruston and Hornsby 165DE 0-4-0 No.1 "Garvie Flyer" RH431764 Ex Scottish Power Methil Resoration 1960
Ruston and Hornsby 165DE 0-4-0 No.2 "Largo Law" RH449753 Ex Scottish Power Methil Stored 1961
North British 0-4-0 No.400 NBL27421 Operational at RAF Leuchars until it was moved to Lochty Private Railway for preservation. Operational 1955
North British NBL27591 440DH 0-6-0 No.10 Serving at the Michael, Wellesley and finally the Bowhill Colliery it was brought out of service in 1974 and moved to Lochty Private Railway. Partly Restored 1957
Coaching Stock
Number & Name Description Status year Photograph
Norges Statsbaner Full Brake No.5010 Originally preserved at Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, in the early days serving as a brake coach for the continental stock. It came out of use after line extensions causing gauging issues and the acquisition of BR Mk1 stock. Purchased by KFRPS in 2014 it was retrofitted with windows and Mk1 seating for use on passenger service. Operational 1914
BR Mk1 BFK 14010 Privately owned. Used as storage but remedial work being done to ensure possibility of restoration. Stored 1959
BR Mk1 TSO 4223 Privately owned. Converted to house a model railway. removed seating used in Norges 5010. Converted 1956
Other Rolling Stock
Number & name Description Status Year Photograph
BR 20Ton Shark Brake Van DB993875 The shark brake van was used to evenly spread ballast on the running line, in conjunction with a Dogfish ballast hopper. It is now used for passenger services. Operational 1957
BR ZCV Plaice Wagon DB987132 One of the societys first restoration projects, it finds good use with the p/way team. Operational 1979
SGD 20Ton grain wagon 7948 Serving the Scottish Grain Distillers at Cameron Brig, it is now being having a cosmetic overhaul. Under Restoration
SGD 20Ton grain wagon 7926 Serving the Scottish Grain Distillers at Cameron Brig, it is being converted into a ballast hopper. Under conversion
William Briggs & sons 14Ton Bitumen Wagon No.202. DB47112 Built by Hurst Nelson of Motherwell for Briggs Camperdown refinery in Dundee. Donated to the Fife Railway Preservation Society (later KFRPS) at Lochty in the 70's. It moved with other stock on relocation to Kirkland yard. Under Restoration 1955
NBR Non-Vent Van 21117 The oldest item of rolling stock on site, privately owned. Requiring some restoration work but stored inside for safety. Stored 1901

Future Plans

The current object for the society is raise its profile by introducing steam trains on their current branch along with Kirkland built up as a museum for Fife's railway heritage which looks to include a display building to be built in the not too distant future, along with a second steam locomotive. Work has started to restore a second steam locomotive to work alongside the current working locomotive, Forth. With recent developments of the reopening of the Levenmouth rail link to take place within the next few years, the society hope to become a larger tourist attraction for the Levenmouth area and Fife as a whole.

References

  1. "Fife Heritage Railway History". Fife Heritage Railway.

56.195088°N 3.016513°W / 56.195088; -3.016513

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