Sunday, 25 September 2016

Minor Track Maintenance - September 2016

Small squads due to Holidays (including my own). Mike Tough reports - Measured Shovel Packing & pumping sleeper remedials at firstly Drumullie & then Kinchurdy Wood, where he took the photo below.
A nest of Wood Ants, lets hope they don't like creosote!
As I have space, has anyone seen the below item?
It is our light weight bespoke Track Walking Hammer, which was ideal for hammering loose track keys in and tightening Fishplate Nuts. If seen please return it to the Porter's Room at Boat of Garten.
Lets hope it is just been misplaced and has not "walked"!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Track Slewing and MSP at Croftnahaven Wood - 20th August 2016

Eight Volunteers and two Staff made a very good sized squad, the first task was to Slew the track under the expert guidance of Georgie, deciding where and which way -
Sleeper ends dug out, Track lifting Jack the (above) right rail, carefully dug out hole for the Slewing Jack by Ben (Mike gave him marks out of ten each time) and then Mike heaves the heavy piece of equipment into position and pumps the handle to hydraulically push the track over by the desired amount, then pack ballast in the voids left at the sleeper ends, drop the Lifting Jack and finally release Slewing Jack - repeat at next prescribed location.

This is the temporary roller coaster view after Measured Shovel Packing (MSP) but before the train runs over it and irons out the lumps and bumps. In the distance can be seen John and Stuart, who all day repositioned any loose elastic spikes and replaced damaged ones (and removed the jammed piece of ballast under the baseplate photographed in the last Blog.)
One of these days I will learn how to electronically crop a photo! Anyway the above was taken from the start of the old The Great North of Scotland Railway divergence, which headed over the River Spey and our train from Broomhill approaches on The Highland Railway Line, shocking how quickly the broom has grown at this location. A very tiring warm day meant we finished early and the Inverness contingent stopped off at Carrbridge for a well deserved ice cream.   

Sunday, 7 August 2016

MSP Rail Joints Drumullie and Oiling Points - 6 & 7th August 2016

On Saturday- Large squad assembled at Boat of Garten and proceeded by car to the worksite at Drumullie, which is about a mile further North.
We welcomed Gavin who is armed with shovel in the "four foot" (between the Rails), being his first time I hope we did not over work him! as believe, after doing the Measured Shovel Packing at the dipped joints some slewing of the rails was carried out and finished off by shovelling a lot of ballast at the Level Crossing for safety reasons. Thanks to John Wood for photo & Info.
On the Sunday Myself, Andy and another New face Iain, lubricated the slide chairs of all the points at Boat of Garten and Aviemore, this was made easier as all the Signal Boxes were Staffed and the Points were quickly reversed when the Signallers were asked to do so, thank you Guys.
Above Iain doing slide chairs on a set of Hand Points at Aviemore. 
In the afternoon, once we had obtained the requisite surplus bearing oil from the Engine shed and a suitable dispenser, we then oiled the mechanisms of all the hand points.
Sure Iain was desperate to glance up at 46512 departing Boat of Garten!

A rare sighting of the S&T Department (Signals and Telegraph) at work! They had the audacity to complain that the New Water Tower is not positioned correctly, as it complicated their new signal wire lines, for the new signal attached to the water tower.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

MSP Rail Joints Croftnahaven - 16&17th July 2016

This Weekend saw small squads, guess people are away on Holiday.
Saturday- Ben, Roger, Stuart and after fixing a door at Aviemore, Mike, did Measured Shovel Packing of Rail Joints, slewing and tidying of ballast in the vicinity of the Croftnahaven No 1 Level Crossing.
This is the second Level Crossing to be visibly named, the first, was Tullochgorum, when Andy McClintock advised me not to give up the day Job! Don't think this one is any better, so if there are any budding stencillers out there, please let me know. I intend to do the UP Side only, as they are protected from the sun and prevailing weather, also hoped to put on an Ordnance Survey grid reference but mislaid all the readings from GPS.....
  Returning from Broomhill the Sunday Diner passes "Croftnahaven No 1". Stuart and myself continued with yesterdays work, today
the ballast wedged under the baseplate, front left is for another day....... 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

More Painting at Aviemore

Rather decrepit Stop Board, protecting Aviemore Station, before 

and after Painters got their hands on it, looks like they have joinery skills as well!
The Level Crossing Gates at the other end of Aviemore Loop, in the background is the repainted one almost in Signal Red.
Thanks to Colin Frost and the Gang for the work and the Photos.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Aviemore Station Painting and "Line Inspection" - 18th June 2016

The Ellon Painting Squad led by Colin Frost, start the undercoat, using the bespoke scaffold (as per last Blog) to paint the Aviemore canopy facia.
Photo taken by Norman Cameron, during his last Track Walk Inspection

and by the end of the day the other end of the canopy! Well done Guys.
photos taken by David Crosley.
The main event was the Annual PWay Line Inspection/Do from the comfort of the Watkinson's Trust LMS Saloon (it is available for private hire, fortunately we got it for free!) where a few "libations" were had and for the first time ever, we were served soup and a sandwich by a charming young lady from the Railways Caterers. Maybe the Caterer slightly underestimated how hungry "line inspection" work can be!
 We had a leaving card and collection (350 Canadian Dollars raised) for Norman Cameron as he is emigrating to Canada with his Canadian Wife. We also gave him at little expense, a book on Canadian Railways, donated to the Railway at some point! to whet his appetite for his new life. He gave us a short thank you speech above, in which we learned that he has been Volunteering in the PWay squad since 1973!
Here Norman wears, the first to be presented - 30 Year, Long Service Badge
 (yes we know he's been here more than thirty years but its the highest we have! and we thought postage costs to Canada might be a bit steep)
Anyway thank you Norman and we wish you and your Wife Marlyin all the very best. 

Group photo in glorious sunshine at Boat of Garten almost concluded, I hope very enjoyable day had by all.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

New Departmental Wagon - 13th June 2016

As mentioned in this Blog a few weeks ago, Colin and the Ellon Gang Painters must have come up with a plan in their local Pub on how to access safely our inaccessible platform 3 canopy facia at Aviemore because on Monday, Speyside Scaffold from Aberlour came to the Railway to erect a bespoke scaffold.
Which was securely clamped to an old "Sole" wagon chassis and suitably certified. 
Which surely is one of our more exotic additions to our Departmental Fleet of wagons, all be it temporary as the intension is to start painting this weekend, weather permitting.
Thanks to Mike for Info and photos.