About a Month ago we started work on an approx. 100 yard section of track, just beyond Kinchurdy bridge see PWay Blog of 21st October. Since then Georgie has dropped ballast on the Track "shoulders" and on Saturday a large squad created the "up cess", tidied both shoulders and dug the holes so that stone blowing could commence.
As we had an increasingly rare "Possession" of the line (no service trains running) the Tool Van and temporary Mess Van were able to be stabled at the worksite for the weekend.
Here Georgie is sighting and instructing Mike to jack up the track to the right level and Andrew is doing the same, using the crosslevel as a guide, so that both rails are on the jacks to exactly the required height.
A number of years ago the PWay Squad Volunteers clubbed together to purchase the brand new Stone Blower which is simply a petrol driven air compressor with an air hose
to the above attachment, which Andrew is steadily feeding the small crushed stone ("chippies") into the hopper and the compressed air blows it into the space between the sleeper and the old trackbed. The aim is to completely fill the void so that when the jack is removed the track sits solidly on its new foundations.
These simplistic few words make it all seem easy! But we all found those small muscles that we didn't know even existed were exercised.
As punishment for not getting the Mess Van fire to light first time, we put Andy above left, on to the wheel barrowing of the chippies, thus only being subjected to his Glasgow patter intermittently!
Thanks go to Andrew, Andy, Angus, Ben, Ian, John, Les, Mike and Roger over the weekend Georgie seemed satisfied with the end result.