Saturday, 18 February 2017

Track Slewing Lackgie - 18th february 2017

Todays task was "a bit of slewing" according to Georgie!
As the section to be slewed included Lackgie Level Crossing, the majority of the timbers had to be temporarily lifted as below. 

The next task was to dig out the sleeper ends, so as the ballast would not impede the intended lateral movement of the track. In total 16 x 60 foot lengths of rail were slewed, which nearly killed John as the slewing jack is a very heavy indeed, Jim was on the lifting jack and allegedly worked just as hard (no photos though!)
Fortunately today was the first weekend service running of the DMU - Diesel Multiple Unit  or "Vintage Panoramic Railcar" in marketing speak, anyway it gave all a short break whilst it approached and passed. The rest of the squad packed the ballast at the opposite end of the sleeper ends that had been dug out, to prevent the track from springing back to its original alignment and back filling and tidying the dug out ends, all under the watchful eye of Georgie.

Busy scene here reinstating the timbers

and then ballasting all around them, lets hope the rainbow landed in the till at
Broomhill Station.

Of course as there was such a big squad, the job finished early and Georgie decides that a bit of tidying up of ballast is always in order!
Thanks to Georgie, Andy, Angus, Andrew, Jim, John, Martin, Rodger, with Mike and Ian joining in the afternoon after their Strathspey Railway Association Board meeting. 
Thanks again to John for photos and information.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Aviemore Turntable Well Fencing - 11th February 2017

More of the white stuff didn't deter John Wood and Ian Stanworth heading down the road to Aviemore, to complete the palisade fencing round the new Turntable Well.
Once the frozen ground broken, two new fence posts dug out quite easily and posts installed with the aid of three bags of "Postcrete" then approximately 30 metres of level railing attached
and then Ian found a new love for John's gas powered nailgun, some 400 nails later the slats were all attached.
Personally I am glad to see that some of the original slats were reused, as Angus and myself spent ages trying to get them off whole, sometime ago. No doubt a small painting job is required but will be saved for the better weather.
Thanks to John for the photos and info. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Boat of Garten Down Platform repair - 7th February 2017

Finally after being apparently postponed for some 4 years, a start was made on renewing part of the facing of the Down Platform at Boat of Garten that has been slowly crumbling. Sunday saw Andrew MacCracken and "Action Man McClintock" with the aid of Georgie on the Road Rail JCB, lift the heavy coping stones out of the way on the affected length.
This was the worksite that greeted us yesterday morning but the first job was to fix the sticking door into the Porter's Room, which was done by Jim and Mike quite quickly.
 Difficult to see from this photo but at some point in the long history of the platform it was raised, unfortunately using red sandstone, which over time has started to crumble and now threatening the clearance gauge for passing trains. 
Jim proving he does work - sometimes!  The porous sandstone can be seen more clearly dumped in the "Grampus" Wagon.
Hopefully Vic the Builder will be able to use the original solid granite as a base, notice the sloping ramp stones at this end of the to be repaired section, possibly meaning that's as far as the original 1863 platform went?
Thanks to Georgie, Mike, Roddy and Jim for braving the not forecast wintery weather.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

More concrete sleeper replacement 85-85&1/4 milepost - 4th February 2017

Amazingly this was the last PWay Work Weekend before November without any service trains on the line and a big squad was requested and the Gang didn't disappoint!  Meeting at Boat of Garten on a bitterly cold, wet morning for our own PWay Train to the worksite.
Our first task to warm us up was digging out round the pre-marked sleepers (above Angus and "Action Man" Andy), so they can be easily extracted by the Road Rail machine, or so we thought!

Georgie did mention that a "couple" had to be removed by manpower, as can be seen from above. The Road Rail machine jib is not long enough, so a rope was supplied and Jim in between the rails is supervising the Tug 'o' War.
Where the cutting hampered the extraction special sleeper tongs were provided to lift the 1/4 ton or so sleeper, and of course all to be repeated to get the replacement in, once the compacted bed had been broken up and skimmed.
In total 4 out of the 9 replaced had to be done this way - not quite a "couple"! 
It was mentioned that it must be 30 years since Georgie last changed concrete sleepers by hand and now we know why!

A welcome sight was the last of the defective sleepers being loaded onto the Flatrol wagon before we piled into the lovely warm Messvan to convey us back to Boat of Garten.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Rail replacement Tullochgorum - 21st January 2017

 Deformed or short rails in the area of Tullochgorum have been an issue since the track was crudely laid, almost 20 years ago! As I recall the track came in panel form from sidings at Kincardine Power Station.
 A beautiful frosty cold morning saw an excellent turnout at Boat of Garten where the Works Train had previously been loaded up through the week by Georgie.
Andy slackens off fishplate nuts at 90 1/2 milepost, in background looks like Jim praying in readiness for the removal of the dreaded elastic spikes!


Neil and John, supervised by Georgie try out a "new" Rail Drill, which was donated by our late PWay friend John Morley (certainly looks lighter than our old one)
2 crippled rails were changed, did a bit of slewing and ballast tidying and then dropped chippings for another days work, finished off with a hurl to Broomhill to run round the PWay train and back to Boat of Garten.
Thanks go to Steve for expertly driving our class 27 locomotive, Georgie for Leading the Gang - Roger, John, Andy, Andrew, Martin, Jim, Neil and not least Mike for supplying the info and photos.


Monday, 16 January 2017

MSP Croftnahaven and Tullochgorum - 7th January 2017

Apologies the PWay Blog was shunted into the sidings whilst my computer was ill, hopefully normal service will be resumed from now on.....
Biggest squad this year! turned out on the 7th of January in excellent working weather. The task was MSP (Measured Shovel Packing) on longish dips in the track at Croftnahaven in the morning and we moved onto Tullochgorum after Lunch, where a considerable amount of ballast was dug out of the four foot and used to strengthen the Down shoulder by Tullochgorum No 1 Level Crossing as well as MSP, again over a couple of 60 foot lengths of track.
Above the only photo I took? at Crofnahaven No 1 LC - Left to Right Jim, Roger, Neil, Ian, Angus, Martin and John sitting on the rail, with the Boss in the comfort of the van. Mike Tough assured us he would have been with us had he not been at a
Strathspey Railway Board meeting.
To be fair he did brave the elements exactly a week later - sighting for proposed drainage work in connection with the Catering Vehicles in The Roy Hamilton Carriage Shed at Aviemore.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Maintenance near Kinchurdy Bridge - 3rd & 4th December 2016

The Squad headed out by car to park up near Kinchurdy Bridge, we eventually managed to scramble up the steep embankment heading for the 86 and 3/4 mile post. Georgie took the tools in his van through the forest.
Angus,Jim and Georgie carried out maintenance on the Track - replacing rubber pads, tightening chairs and measure shovel packing on the dipped joints.

Myself, Andy and Roger removed all the combustible material from the Down Cess - which was relatively easy, as it was mostly leaf mould and pine needles, until we came to a steep cutting and we had to wheelbarrow the stuff out. Under the canopy of the Scots Pines the ground was amazingly dry, even though its the start of December!

"Santa Express" speeds by

Still more to do though......
On Sunday, In bitterly cold but sunny weather, saw Angus and Andy putting special Winter slide chair lube on the points at Aviemore, to hopefully prevent them from freezing.