Sunday, 18 October 2020

Aviemore footbridge & Re-Sleepering - 16/17th October 2020

Friday saw our 12 tonne Rail Crane in action, lifting the old dilapidating Great North of Scotland footbridge, originally from Longmorn (as below photo shows) courtesy of Douglas Gray/ Graham Maxtone Collection

Longmorn looking to Coleburn 1971

 It linked the island platform at our old Speyside Station from about 1978 until 1998, when we moved into the current refurbished mainline station.

Mike reports it was lifted in three sections, largest above, a suitable new home is being looked at but unlikely on the Strathspey Railway.

On Saturday PWay squad commenced digging out of the sleepers (130 in total) that Georgie had justifiably marked, if below is anything to go by!

Between the turntable and the headshunt at the other end of the yard.

I can see Graeme is having fun!

Helped by John,(Graeme smiling again), Angus, Ian, Andrew and Mike took the photo under the hopeful rainbow from the turntable.

Despite the usual passing traffic giving the guys a break, a very creditable 68 sleepers were dug out.

And some more unusual yard movements were more than welcome!
More running can be seen of this locomotive in the Whisky Shunters link.
Thanks to all for the backbreaking work and John for most of photos and video clip.

Friday, 2 October 2020

Re-sleepering Aviemore Mainline Link - 19th/20th September 2020

Small but productive squad eventually got going, as the tools had to be conveyed to the worksite via Georgie's truck from Aviemore Shed.

Iain screws down one of the secondhand sleepers sourced from Doncaster, I think. Roger on the drill with Peter poised to move the generator.

The Network Rail Boundary plate in the four foot (between the rails) initially couldn't be found but it had been buried with spoil from the last dug out sleeper, we have responsibility for the joint just beyond where the old gates used to be.

The dull humid overcast weather soon gave way to hot sun, which hampered our energy levels but still enough to wave at a friendly passing mainline driver.

Thanks to all that attended.

The first train over the refurbished line almost a week later, was a private charter that stabled overnight in the platform, seen here propelling out onto the mainline and thereafter enroute to Kyle of Lochalsh. 

Mike who took the above photos noticed the very neat shoulder and level cess, with only the dead sleepers to remove. I suspect Georgie's work with obviously able assistance from Kevin on Sunday 20th?

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Muscleman & Aviemore Engine Shed part III - 12th September 2020

 Last week Ian, John & their friend Derek kindly went and got a replacement for the "Muscleman" that was destroyed last year in the fire at Boat of Garten. 

 Above vehicle and trailer hired and the trip wasn't local, as it was from the Paighton & Dartmouth Railway. Took them a few days to wend their way back up North, calling in at a couple of Heritage Railways enroute and sampling a few local ales no doubt! (more details in next edition of our Members' magazine "Express" I am sure)

Saturday saw Bruce, Martin, Fergus, Angus, Ian, John and Georgie meet up for final installment of the new timbers (ordered before Lockdown) at Aviemore. 

John used his small chainsaw to cut the last scarf joint, which was found to be much quicker, (bet Angus was relieved)  then it was a case of dropping in chairs and rails, fishplating and keying up the new wooden oak keys that Jack from the Carriage & Wagon Dept kindly made for us, the old ones resembled kindling for the firebox 

Georgie precisely positioning the 100 plus year old chairs,

Ian (I think!) drilling after the gauge had been checked

 John likewise with a beefier drill  (at first glance I thought Fergus was drinking tea in background!)

 and then Martin screwed down. Georgie must have been pleased with the team effort as she bought tea cakes for the Gang and a rare early finish was granted.

Thanks to all that attended and Bruce & John for the photos - without which, it wouldn't be a blog.

Sunday saw Georgie, Andrew and Kevin being productive I am sure....

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Aviemore Engine Shed part II & Bi Annual Weedkill Train - 5th & 9th September 2020

 Whilst Georgie was not about, P'Way work continued in the form of oiling the slidechairs of points, weedkilling yards & stations by backpack spraying and lopping the rapidly encroaching vegetation around Dalfaber level crossing, as well as the usual mandatory Track Inspections.

On her return we were able to continue renewing the timbers on number 4 road in Aviemore Engine Shed - I suspect this infrastructure was not appreciated before now!
Above Queen Anne had managed to escape being marooned and was trial running in the yard - no doubt an update to will come in due course.

Georgie possibly showing Mike and Angus what is required

and Angus getting on with it.

By the end of the day the giant carpentry skills are taking shape  
Thanks to Bruce, Mike, Kevin, Angus & Martin (and Mike & Rob Law for supplying photos)

Today saw the necessary end to end line weedkiller train.

From as far South as we can go (optical illusion that we are past the red signal) Bruce manned the gates at Aviemore

propelling at a steady 5mph

 Through Granish Moor in sunshine

A few pit stops to fill up with water pumped from the tanker and John cleaning carburetor to get the pump restated again and again!

To the river Dulnain and thankfully the ancient North British Locomotive got us back to Boat of Garten before temporarily overheating.

Many thanks to Georgie, John, Bruce and Mike.


Sunday, 16 August 2020

Aviemore Engine Shed - 15th August 2020

A larger than anticipated squad assembled at Aviemore Engine Shed, to commence renewal of the longitudinal timbers below the Up rail in number four road.

John finishes off removing the detritus from the four foot, having back breakingly  shifted all the dumped ironmongery to the faraway end the previous Saturday.

Taking a breather, after dismantling the track and lifting the rails out by hand, also the "temporary fix" sleepers behind Fergus in shorts,in the distance (fortunately!) were easily removed.

Not so the proper ancient timbers, which we found the concrete edge had been built around!
Again John uses one of his many modern invaluable tools, with a less modern Black Five taking shape in the background.

Kevin hoping Mike doesn't need more sand after a couple of wee concrete repairs and a quarter of an inch bedding sand applied.

The new 6.2 metre timber gets notched outside in the baking sun, ready for insertion another day.......

Many thanks to John, Mike, Ian, Iain, Kevin, Fergus, Andrew and Georgie - some of whom had fun with jacks under the new ablutions block.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Drumuillie routine maintenance - 8th August 2020

Mike Tough captured the below image last Saturday

Of the "new" flail (purchased by Strathspey Railway Association couple of years ago) now finally attached to the Colmar by John Sinclair, Georgie did comment that operating it is a mental challenge, as many controls and not enough arms! (the homemade counterweight seems handy should she come across a broken fishplate) In the background the Members' trail train arrives in Boat of Garten.

And taken from the train yesterday by John Hornby.



Yesterday a large squad assembled at Morley's on a sunny cool morning, Georgie had already loaded up her van with the tools and we proceeded to walk the half mile to the rendezvous point of Drumuillie Level Crossing, where earlier in the week Dave Green and Georgie had carefully dropped seemingly small quantities of ballast from the PWay train to where it was required, between Milton No2 LC and Lynchurn No1

Looking towards Boat of Garten

Iain starts tidying the Up shoulder in time honoured fashion.  

As part of the routine maintenance, the intention was to oil the fishplates on the 180 foot long lengths but due to the number/skill/speed of the volunteers this was surpassed. I wish the same could be said about the ballast tidying! - the sun was hot and none of us are getting any younger.

But scenes like this made it worthwhile - the first revenue earning train since January approaches Drumuillie.

Many thanks to Mike, Martin, Angus, Iain, Kevin, Roger, Fergus, Andrew and Georgie.

This maybe the last PWay Blog as the new Blogger I cannot add photos - I have reverted to the "legacy" one which will soon become obsolete 😟

Friday, 17 July 2020

Tidy ups - 16th July 2020

At Lockdown Nethy Steel had erected the frame of Morley's Shed but all the cladding had already been delivered to site, it was decided for security reasons to transfer it all to the locked Boat of Garten Station Car Park.
Above is the preferred method of transportation back to site, on easement of Lockdown mid May, similar Internal Traffic occurred this week,
with the recent Network Rail donated material from Millburn yard being transferred from the car park at Boat to Broomhill Yard, pending its eventual intended use at the proposed new Aviemore Running Shed. Dave Green driving and Georgie Guarding. Both photos courtesy of Station Master Walters.
Mid-Week Georgie gave us the unenviable task of attempting to tidy up the stored P'Way material at Morley's, so that a trench can be dug to bury the blue water supply pipe as seen below, 
Peter takes a rest with Angus still standing just! (nothing is lightweight here) as Georgie uses the JCB to try and shift some of the overloaded wooden pallets, tell tale signs of Mike burning the rotten dud pallets in background and a general tidy up was undertaken.
Finally the cludgie gets positioned inside Morley's. This was obtained free of charge some years ago, when we paid for and installed a similar double one inside the Hamilton Carriage Storage Shed at Aviemore (anyone got the keys for it though?)
Thanks to all that attended including Ian who seemed to have escaped my camera.