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DVD: NARROW GAUGE AT WORK Number 29
ALAN KEEF LTD
DVD Running Time: 64 minutes
SUMMARY:  

Since the late 1970s Alan Keef has been building, rebuilding, and hiring narrow gauge locomotives, rolling stock, and even complete railways. The emphasis has shifted from supplying industrial locomotives in the UK and many locations abroad, to serving preserved railways and the leisure industry in more recent years.

The DVD looks behind the scenes with recent footage of the workshops based near Ross on Wye, as well as looking at some of the older locomotives built for industry, and the railways they served on. In comparison there are details of a number of other more recent projects.

Please see below for stills from the production


Price including postage to UK: 14.00, for Europe outside of UK: 15.00, and for the rest of the world: 16.00.  
 
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Personally built and owned by Alan Keef himself this 0-4-0VBT took a number of years to build. It is regularly steamed for the Alan Keef Ltd Open Days, and has often visited other railways.

At their 2009 Open day, Patrick Keef who has now taken over much of the operation from his father, is seen keeping a watchful eye on shunting operations using the works battery loco.

 

Alan Keef was kept busy entertaining numerous visitors at the 2009 Open Day.

The K12 model loco was Alan Keef's first commercial offering, with 6 of these locos built over a 6 year period. AK5 is seen at Croxton Compost near Manchester.

A view inside the workshops in 2008 showed a heathly amount of activity, with the frames of 'Elf' from the Leighton Buzzard Railway upside down receiving attention.

AK9 was the first K30 to be built after the prototype, and had been working at Midland Irish Peat until recently.

A classic lineup at Leighton Buzzard Railway, with the recently rebuilt Baldwin 4-6-0 on the left, AK59R a hydrokinetic transmission diesel built specifically for the railway, and Doll on the right which has been overhauled at Alan Keef in the past.

The remaining indistrial railways in the UK in the 1990s provided a steady volume of work, and AK28 was one of three class 40S locos provided for Butterley Building Materials near Southend-on-Sea.

Although out of use when seen here, the K12 provided to Wilmslow Peat Farm was the first loco to have full cab and bodywork.

Orders for 4 locos for the Explosives works at Ardeer were fulfilled between 1985 and 1987, using the K30 type loco.

Sometimes Alan Keef have received their locos back for reselling onwards, and even recently these locos were occasionally being sold back into industry. AK28 is now working in Scotland at Auchencorth Moss peat works after previously working at Butterley Building Materials.

One of the larger recent projects was for a complete rebuild of 3ft gauge 'Slieve Callen' for the West Clare Railway in Ireland.

Another aspect of the Alan Keef portfolio is the hire of railway equipment. The MotorRail 'Digger' has been hired out for numerous contracts since the 1970s.

A large amount of publicity understandably surrounded the rebuild of the 4-6-0T Balwin now operating at the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

A visit to the works in March 2009, saw progress on the loco, driving trailer, and coaches for a new railway at the historic site of Blists Hill, Ironbridge. The company also obtained the contract to lay the trackwork.

Finally commissioned in September 2009, the railway at Ironbridge is seen in operation with the latest Alan Keef loco AK84.

 

Steve Thomason 2014

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Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways