Monday, 4 February 2019

Panel Breaking and Tree Cutting - 2nd & 3rd February 2019

The turnout on Saturday was Georgie, Andrew McCracken, Ian Stanworth, Mike Tough, Andy McClintock and Les Turner. The five of us spent the day breaking up the so called "panels" from the Aviemore big railway remodelling in sunny weather, quite warm considering the amount of snow lying on the ground from overnight and the generally low temperatures we've been having. Mostly this involved the five of us barring out Mills clips and hammering out Pandrol clips to free off the rails. 
Above Les, Andy and Mike in the process of getting the Pandrols out with hammers

Inevitably, Mike's well practiced golf swing made him best at getting Pandrols out,
then barrowing the clips and any recoverable pads and biscuits to a number of stillages which Georgie had acquired. above shows Les barrowing clips away. Star at removing the Mills clips (levered out with a hexagonal pinch bar's spade end) was Ian Stanworth.

As we worked away at this, Georgie was running up and down the car park with the Railmaster, collecting sleepers and depositing them in one concentrated heap (above), interspersed with the removal of the freed-off rails to a scrap pile behind the water tank.
 A bit of light relief was provided by Andy McClintock who having warned us all to avoid the areas of snow that the Railmaster had compacted into ice because it was like a skating rink proceeded to sit down on it himself several times. Unfortunately no-one had a camcorder or smartphone to hand at the relevant moments so You've Been Framed will not be contributing £250 to the p-way's funds!
Many thanks to Andrew McCracken for the above photos and text (maybe he would like to become Co-Editor of the PWay Blog as well as the Members' magazine "The Strathspey Express"!)
Sunday saw Georgie, Angus, Ian and myself tasked to remove trees/bushes obscuring the sight lines between the gabian baskets just South of Broomhill stone arch bridge and mile post 92 1/4.
We used a trolley to move equipment onsite which was a hard push due to the snow covered rails.

This had us cutting a large quantity of spindly small diameter trees along the fence line and drainage ditch and culvert.
  Ian had his new battery powered top handle chain saw put to good use cutting and delimbing trees with the larger ones dispatched with my petrol chainsaw, angus was head brash man, and any high limbs were removed with the pole saw.
As we cleared a section of brash Georgie followed on with her magic shovel clearing the ditch of any debris and to make sure it was flowing freely, looks fantastic now, wish I’d taken a before pic. Weather was cold, brisk wind and 4” of snow underfoot. Job done by 3pm
Back at Boat of Garten a giant Meccano set had arrived - for "Operation Undercover"
Thanks to John Wood for all the photos and text.






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