Firstly, and most importantly, the Royal Deeside Railway is a community project. The Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society and the Deeside Railway Company, the bodies established to develop and operate the railway, are 100% voluntary organisations with no paid members or staff.
Wherever possible the work on the railway is performed by the volunteer membership, with training being provided by qualified personnel. However, where skills are lacking within the volunteer workforce, we are reliant on specialist assistance. In this respect we are very fortunate in having some hugely supportive local companies that give freely of their services and/or materials, for which we are extremely grateful. We are, however, conscious that this generosity has its limits and that to develop the railway in line with the organisations' infrastructure development plan, we'll need even wider community support.
The infrastructure plan comprises a number of projects and project elements, for which sponsors are actively being sought:
• West Lodge halt;
• West Lodge picnic area;
• Bridge of Bennie detailed structural survey;
• Bridge of Bennie structural repairs (scope definition pending structural survey);
• Burn O'Bennie path / light vehicle bridge supports;
• Burn O'Bennie path / light vehicle bridge structure;
• New footpath West Lodge to Banchory;
• Fencing West Lodge to Banchory;
• Carriage shed groundworks and foundations;
• Carriage shed structure;
• Carriage shed services;
• Banchory station platform;
• Banchory station building;
• Track laying from Bridge of Bennie to Banchory;
• Renovation of Mk2 TSO carriage;
• Renovation of Mk2 BFK carriage;
• Surfacing Milton of Crathes station car park;
• Restoration of Victorian carriages (at Ferryhill railway shed, adjacent to Duthie Park).
We are also seeking sponsors to help with the maintenance of our rolling stock and other operational activities:
• Maintenance of Class 03 diesel D2037;
• Maintenance of Class 03 diesel D2094;
• Maintenance of Class 03 diesel D2134;
• Maintenance of Barclay diesel 415;
• Maintenance of operational Mk2 carriages;
• Maintenance of the Battery Multiple Unit, 'Sputnik';
• Maintenance of permanent way wagons (GUV, tube wagon, lowmac, dogfish, brake van, bogie bolster);
• Maintenance of the rail crane;
• Transport of bogie bolster wagon from East Anglian Railway Museum to RDR.
and to support the planning application for the extension of the railway to Park (Drumoak):
• Environmental assessment and statement;
• Architectural plans and drawings;
• Structural design of bridges;
• Planning application legal advice.
Sponsorship can take many forms:
• Taking complete 'ownership' of the execution of a project, perhaps as part of a community support programme;
• 'Adopting' a piece of rolling stock;
• Supporting staff who would like to volunteer at the railway, e.g. by counting volunteering activities as part of an apprenticeship;
• Provision of specialist services;
• Loan of equipment;
• Provision of materials.
Please have a look through the infrastructure development plan to see where your company could provide us with some much appreciated and valued assistance. This could range from a complete project scope to a particular element within a project. Any support, whatever it is, whether manpower, use of equipment, fabrication, painting, provision of materials, or professional services, etc., will be acknowledged on the RDR website, in the railway's magazine, 'Queen's Messenger', and also at the railway.
To advise us on how you would like to get involved, or for more information on sponsorship, please contact the RDRPS Chairman, Frank Grant, in the first instance. We will be happy to meet you at your convenience to discuss details of your company's involvement in this project.
The infrastructure development plan schedule has been based on currently available resources. With the wider community's help we would like to accelerate this schedule significantly, in particular by bringing forward the development of the Banchory facilities, so that the railway is being developed form both ends of the line.
If, after reviewing the plan you feel that your company is not currently in a position to take on a sponsorship role, there are other ways your company can provide support:
• Take out a Corporate Membership;
• Charter a train for a company function, e.g. in support of a children's charity, or a family day out;
• Engage in team-building activities at the railway;
• Make a financial donation;
• Publicise the railway within your workplace (download poster).
Please visit the RDR website regularly to keep up to date with project developments and sponsorship opportunities.
Chairman, Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society
Mob: 07971 032 795
Tel: 01467 643961