Thursday, 15 March 2018

Level Crossing modifications & Fishplate changing - 10th March 2018

We somehow managed to squeeze in an extra Permanent Way Day and the call to arms was very encouraging - with Bill our Membership Secretary coming down from the Thurso area and a potential new member of the Gang coming up from Glasgow - lets hope the former signed up the latter! Georgie had been given the good news regarding the number of Volunteers the day before, enabling her to plan to split us up into two Gangs!
Steve above, took Georgie, Ian and John with a good selection of power tools to Lynchurn LC, where modifications were made. Onto the second Level Crossing but the ballast was frozen solid so a couple of overhanging trees were dispatched instead. 

The remainder of the large squad -Angus, Mike, Roger, John and myself, were left with a Brake Van for heat and shelter, near the Summit of the line, with the task of changing fishplates on the section of track that we aim to spot re-sleeper this year. The old cast steel fishplates have an increasing tendency to break as above.
Georgie managed to source skirted rolled steel (hopefully) indestructable ones, that have drilled round holes, necessitating the use of tabs to prevent the bolt from turning when the nuts are tightened. The use of washers (recycled from the rail bridge over the River Dulnain) is to accommodate the long length of the bolts.
The new milwaukee cordless impact wrench managed 10 sets of fishplate bolts (40 qty) on each charged battery but is rather noisey! Georgie had hoped that the undug sleeper beds could be completed but this years "perma frost" put paid to that, so a relatively early finish was acheived.
Thanks to all that attended, in the cool damp weather.


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