Sunday, 22 July 2018

Last of Resleepering at Summit - 21st July 2018

The PWay Squad met up at a rather busy Boat of Garten Yard, there was a Steam Gala on  and were delighted to see the following timetable
as this meant more BREAKS!
 (as contrary to popular belief we cannot work on the track when a train is passing)
All proceeded to worksite near the summit between Boat and Aviemore and soon got down to hard graft. Above photo left to right "Mike -The Bar- likes leaning on them, both kinds! Pete -The Tongs- sleeper mover extraordinaire and Fergus -The Grape-loves shovelling ballast." Iain -The Bike- turned up again on his bike later and the Photographer John was more than dismayed to discover that the petrol driven Bance was out of action and he only had 42 chair screws to screw down by hand with the T bar.

Talking about tea, Pete and Iain take a well earned break from the scorching temperatures as 46512 passes (with an identity crisis?)
All the sleepers were eventually changed and John used his Pole Saw back at Boat of Garten to remove sizeable tree branches that were obscuring Signals - both Signal & Telegraph and Satellite! from a neighbouring property.
Even our friends Scottish Woodlands had their Rail Plant on display with our trusty JCB acting as a barrier vehicle.
Thanks to John Wood for the Info and photos and he thanks Georgie and Pete for the lifts received.


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Painting Boat of Garten Station - 22-24 June 2018

Boat of Garten station painting.

Over 22 to 24 June the Ellon Team commenced the re-painting the station, greatly helped by Robert Walters who had previously spent four days sugar soaping the building (apart from the doors).

The preparation prior to painting took 10 man days, and this was completed over Friday and Saturday. 

This was the sight that greeted the Curry train special on Saturday evening.


 On Sunday we continued with the undercoating and with a further 7 man days spent, all the cream undercoat had been applied along with about three quarters of the brown undercoat.

From L- R Nick Courtier, Dan Courtier, Colin Frost, Ray Kenyon, Jim Pittendrigh and Dick Davis.

Round 2 will commence on Monday 2 July.

All the above kindly supplied by Colin.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Re-Sleepering & Scottish Woodlands - 16th June 2018

Saturday saw a good squad meet at Boat of Garten Yard, including New Volunteer Peter Muff (easily identifyable below) all then proceeded to the worksite of the last few Months to continue re-sleepering.
Good progress was made in the morning but the heavens opened in the afternoon and the squad were officially soaked through but they still managed to change and pack all the remaining 45 or 48 sleepers (dependant on who was counting!), sleepers still require to be drilled, screwed up and back filled.
Thanks to Georgie, Roger, Andrew, Ian and Peter who later emailed  -"Great day out on the P Way a bit wet but I would do it again." And John who took the photos and supplied the info.

Scottish Woodlands were packing up and moving there lineside clearance equipment out of Boat of Garten yard and onto the Big Railway,(Far Northline I think) We wish them well for the future
and thank them very much for the assistance they gave us during their "Training".

Thursday, 14 June 2018

PWay Miscellaneous - up to14th June 2018

On the last PWay Weekend five of the Gang had a pre-booked holiday going round a number of Heritage Railways in South West England.
This left our octogenarian PWay Volunteer Andy McClintock on his lonesome, Georgie soon found him something to do! The result is above, he made such a good job of painting the "BG" that I thought it was the end product, on asking Georgie whether it was a Southern Region Green, she rolled her eyes and said "its only the undercoat" and she will shunt it over to the Station Dock so he can paint the otherside as well....

Just after taking the "BG" photo I spotted in the distance someone purportedly cleaning windows but missing the windows! Transpires it was Robert sugar soaping the woodwork, in preperation for an entire Station repaint at Boat of Garten, soon to be started by the Ellon Squad, if you fancy a bit of painting maybe contact Colin Frost....
 Mike reports - Monday 11th June saw the Weedkilling Wagon propelled by the Class 08 shunter over the entire line, plus loops and sidings in very suitable weather. Seen here on approach to our Dulnain Bridge, Martin on wagon who assisted Mike spraying. Georgie who was the Signaller and Steve who was the Driver. Thanks to all.
The bit the train couldn't safely reach yet......


Monday, 21 May 2018

Flailing & Re-sleepering - 11th & 19th May 2018

On a recent Trackwalk inspection on a non running day, I unexpectedly came across Scottish Woodlands doing some training work in the area of our re-sleepering marathon but as I approached the flailing stopped, as the eagle eyed Banksman had spotted me and radioed the operator. 
After a bit of cajoling, I convinced the Banksman that really I would like an action shot, they kindly obliged but I had to zoom in considerably with my small compact camera as above (next time I will lug my SLR with me!)
On Sat 19th of May in addition to the expected volunteers of Roger, Bruce & Mike we had Angus & Iain Ross to make up a reasonable squad.
Georgie had to deal with fences broken by cattle at Broomhill in the morning whilst we backfilled & tidied all the open beds left from last time. We then took out, replaced, fixed down & filled in another 15 or so sleepers before she got called away to a lineside fire.
The weather was hot & we all took our cars in & out along the forest track & left for home exhausted (as per normal!) 
The PWay hut is now a long way from the work area & the end is getting closer.
The recent whin removal by Scottish Woodlands is seen on the photos but only goes so far up the slope as yet & the up side clearance has not started but another wee handling exercise was using their brand new machine to up lift the old sleepers into wagons, many thanks to them and all those that turned out. Mike took last photo and provided most of the info. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Re-Sleepering continues and Railtours- 21st April 2018

Large squad turned out for more re-sleepering on a glorious day. Ian's Landrover was ideal for getting us to the worksite, although Mike managed to step out of it, straight into an ant hill and blamed Ian for bad parking...... 
I was cajoled into rapidly climbing the broom laden cutting to try and catch this first smoky train of the day (wont hurry to do that again)

Peter who is a lineside fencer at The Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway paid us a visit and soon mucked in, here getting to grips with the petrol driven Bance - screwing down the chairs.
After 21 years of faultless service the generator decided to conk out on a couple of occasions, Fergus above left cajoled it into life again the first time but the second time, he decided a wee overhaul may be in order at his leisure. 
Notwithstanding the above, In total I think 32 were replaced and screwed down. Many thanks to Ian, John, Mike, Fergus, Peter, Kevin (who also oiled all the point slidechairs on the Sunday) Georgie and Neil H who was repairing the jacker packer at Boat of Garten. 

13th April saw the empty stock of the Northern Belle pay us a brief visit to clear the Highland Mainline and for stock watering and rubbish removal before returning South again, as usual it was actually top & tailed by diesel class 57's.

And yesterday Great Briton XI Railtour took considerably more water from a road tanker in platform 2 at Aviemore before continuing its journey South.  

Monday, 26 March 2018

Re-Sleepering starts in ernest - 24th March 2018

Mike, Jim, Roger and Georgie had another extra day at the PWay. Meeting at Boat of Garten Yard, after looking at some building maintenance issues and
admiring the pristine private Charter Train which was stabled in the Up Platform,
which our own immaculate Class 27 had hauled in from Aviemore very early that morning.

At Aviemore the two superbly restored Mainline Class 47's were stabled, ready for the return working South on Sunday.
To save the long walk to the worksite, Georgie taxied the gang in her van, through the gated forestry tracks to near the Summit on Granish Moor.
20 sleepers were replaced (only 130 left!) but are yet to be screwed down ..the intact sleepers left maintain track integrity. Some of the sleepers to be changed are 9 ft long & date from LMS days ie are maybe 80 years old.

We all had forgotten what hard heavy work pulling wet old sleepers out is but the sun unusually shone and work was interrupted a few times by Caley 828 hauling the first service trains of the new season. We were dazzled by the freshly cleaned & polished paintwork of the carriages (a few from the PWay had helped the Carriage & Wagon Department with this work recently)
Thanks to Mike for all the info, Ryan Munro took the first photo and the rest are Mike's.