Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Morley's Yard nears completion - 12th May 2020

Georgie is still working hard on her own at Strathspey Railway. 

Looks like she has been busy with the clamshell bucket again - a certain new volunteer will be smiling at the thought of not having to hand shovel it out of the wagon, although spreading the steam locomotive waste ash will still be done by hand - Graeme! The ash keeps the weeds down, easy to walk on and finishes it off nicely, although there maybe a shortage of it this year....
Also of note fresh good ballast for mainline shoulder.

More re-cycling from Aviemore, in the form of spoilt/dirty ballast from Network Rail, about to be put to good use again. 
Looking the other way is the wooden Road Rail Access Point, where the RRV can safely go on track/off track.
Thanks to Doug Scott for diverting his daily exercise and taking the above photos.

And more recent photos from Stationmaster Walters, track on the rail jacks for packing ballast under the sleepers, plenty of interlaced sleepers has saved using larger more expensive timbers but difficult to pack using small stone crush.
Showing the "tandem trap" - I am sure the up and running Signals & Telegraph Blog will elaborate in due course. In the distance can be seen the yellow hand point lever, which if connected will almost conclude an amazing amount of outstanding work carried out by one person - Georgie.  


Saturday, 2 May 2020

The Morley Flyer - 1st May 2020

After working the empties to Aviemore on Thursday and then loading them with spent ballast from Network Rail Aviemore 2018/19,
 the socially distanced, full train load seen here approaching the Summit between Aviemore and Boat of Garten,
where the train is run round to propel to Morley's

and be offloaded by the recently acquired Colmar Road Rail Vehicle operating on the new siding, utilising the very useful clamshell bucket
and depositing the ballast into the sleeper beds of the shed road preparatory to lifting the track to its final level.
At this rate the PWay Squad will be getting their P45's! 

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Boat Sea Containers & Traps! - 30th April 2020

Prior to the Lockdown two steel sea containers appeared at Boat of Garten Station, just North of the Up Platform.
In late 2019 Royal Scotsman requested a facility to store spares for their train at the same time as our Catering department found that they need to resume usage of the Catering room at Boat. Robert Walters, resident Stationmaster, proposed a scheme involving two modified shipping containers, the larger for Royal Scotsman (Belmond Hotels), the smaller for use as a station store/workshop.
Robert is in the unique position of actually living on the station and so has been able to continue work on cladding the containers, hopefully turning a rather scruffy part of the station into a tidy storage facility. If one has to be locked down, Boat of Garten Station is not a bad place to live!
Georgie has also been very busy, above is the switch for PWay Siding or into Morley's (mark II) Shed.
The track geometry did not allow for conventional Trap switches to protect the Mainline from unintended rail vehicle movements onto it but as ever Georgie has come up with an old fashioned ingenious solution!
Two single switches - one for each of the "Roads" (routes), which if not set for the Mainline will derail errand rail vehicles before a dangerous situation could occur. The brand new switch on the Mainline will be mechanically interlocked with the two Trap switches but that is a further job for Rob Law and the S&T Department, which incidentally will be starting their own Blog soon I hope! (I will include this in "Associated Blog" section to the right of this)
Thanks to Stationmaster Walters for words/photos and Rob Law for the very up to date photos.    



Monday, 20 April 2020

Visible progress during Lockdown - April 2020

Whilst the Strathspey Railway is in Lockdown to volunteers.

 Georgie gets to grips with the control system differences from the O&K RRV, seen here training with the clam shell bucket and telescopic counterweight in action, creating the route for the point rodding for the new switch (note practising takes place with S&T projects!)

Georgie changed two sleepers for hardwood timbers, so that S&T Dept can securely attach their cranks and rodding to.

A new Boat of Garten - Broomhill Section Signal has been planted, .
as well as the bench that the ground shunt signal will be attached to, for access to Morley's
You are possibly wondering what a bench is? Basically it anchors the foundations, preventing any movement of the structure that is attached to it, 90 percent of the above bench likely to be underground! (hence not much to see for the amount of work required) 

Switch almost there by the looks of things

And on to the next one!
Thanks to all that contributed.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Views from Boat of Garten Stationmaster - March 2020

This was the scene on the Sunday after "The Big Lift",
 Georgie had scooped ballast out of a wagon using the O&K Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) 

and carefully dropped it in the required spaces.

By the following Saturday, Stationmaster Walters (ex-PW Engineer) decided to take his permitted daily perambulation, towards Morley's Mark 2 (although work ceased currently due to Covid 19 Lockdown, article likely in "Express") though he failed to dodge the hail and sleet showers!

Finding that Georgie had been quietly keeping herself busy, tidying all the ballast. He reports "Given the compound curvature both vertical and horizontal, the alignment is superb, above photograph appears to show an issue with the outer rail beyond the check rail but it looks much worse in the photo than in reality! "

The locomotive crews will tell us soon enough! once the service eventually recommences.....


Mid week the new (to us, again article likely in "Express") Colmar RRV was delivered, having had it's rail brakes fitted

and it wasn't long before Georgie fitted the grab and was testing it out!
Thanks to Stationmaster Walters for nearly all the photos and Info.




Saturday, 21 March 2020

"The Big Lift" - Switch into Morley's - 20/21st March 2020

Friday was the Spring Equinox and the sun shone dawn till dusk.
Ian, John, Martin, Jim, Angus and John & Georgie all assembled to study the lifting plan & briefing for "The Big Lift"
Previously dug-out plain line prepares to be lifted by our own, very recently load tested, 12 tonne rail crane.
Higher than normal lift required to clear the underbridge at Boat of Garten
Crane parked up on the bridge

Left Martin to Mind the Gap!
He was eventually told of an alfresco gourmet lunch, provided by John (via Munro's Nurseries on the Black Isle) back in Boat of Garten yard.

 Switch fishplated up, Crossing approaching - finished at 1715.
On Saturday - Mike & Lauren, additionally assisted Friday's Gang, in slewing, measure shovel packing (MSP) the high rail, followed by cross-levelling the low rail (curve cant applied) then whole turnout MSP'd, with a ballast drop to finish off.   

 Our own Station Master at Boat of Garten - Mr Walters commented "as an ex-British Rail Permanent Way Engineer, I would like to congratulate the PWay Dept on a superbly executed piece of S&C design, procurement, assembly and installation. We would have been delighted back in the 1970’s if we had achieved that level of quality in that time with so small a workforce."
Well done indeed to all - especially John for supplying the photos/info (and scones!)

Friday, 20 March 2020

Boat of Garten North Yard (Morley's) - 15/19 March 2020

On Sunday, In true Strathspey style it was discovered that the Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) on/off pad built the day before was 3/4 of an inch too high above the railhead !
so in miserable weather, it was re-packed, notched, drilled and screwed for a second time by Ian, John with Georgie closely supervising and leading.  
Job done (hopefully!) unfortunately John's car broke enroute home meaning a late Sunday supper. Thanks to John photos/info.
 In the background can be spotted the arrival of the steel for the replacement Shed that was accidentally destroyed by fire last Summer.

Originally solely paid for by the late John Morley (same colour boiler suit as RRV) above, I am in orange atop a rather wobbly scaffolding - different era as far as health and safety!   

By yesterday the local firm Nethy Steel Ltd had quickly erected Morley's Mark 2!
Thanks to Mike who took both photos all be it 16 years apart.