Tuesday, 26 March 2019

A Rails to Grantown initiative and Aviemore Mainline works - 23rd & 24th March 2019

Saturday was an extra day of scrub clearance and tree felling organised by Andrew McCracken, close to Grantown on Spey, as part of the "Flags in the ground" initiative. http://www.railstograntown.co.uk/
An excellent turnout of nearly a dozen occurred and it was perfect weather.
The only practical way of getting rid of the material was to have a few controlled fires, above Jim and Angus feed one and Mike and Martin can just be seen in background tending another.
Andrew planned to feed the troops with baked potatoes
but at picnic time at Glenbeg Bridge, alas they were ever so slightly underdone. Just as well we had the usual back up sandwiches! John, Ian and Ben did the technical stuff with the chainsaws felling large trees by the bridge and using John's pole saw and ropes for the broom on the very edge, some inevitably escaped but were swiftly collected up into the back of Ian Masson's Pick-Up (owner of Grantown Garage) and driven round to Mike's fire for incineration.
Above John sawing, Ben assisting, sectioning the previously felled cherry trees into 4 foot lengths for a local Woodturner to collect.
Eventually Angus got his mid-afternoon snack, which he ate with gusto!
Andrew checking the remnants of the fires before phoning Scottish Fire & Rescue, with Ian, John and Ben having a long walk back to the cars, from cutting down a tree on the "bridge to nowhere" very close to the A95 Trunk Road.
Andrew thanks Ian Masson, Neil MacQueen, Roddy MacPhee, Mike Tough, Jim Clark, Angus MacPhail, Ian Stanworth, Ben Tyrell, Iain Ross and John Wood for all their hard work. 


Meanwhile the "Aviemore Story" at the other end of the line was the final stage of the Mainline Re-Signalling/Re-Modelling (we could do with one of the above) thanks to Daniel Nimmo for this photo.
The Strathspey Railway passively accommodated a fully loaded top-n-tail ballast train - at the Northern end 66539 (thanks to Davie Dow for this photo)
and 66511 at the Southern, with the named "Thomas Telford" Tamper in our run-round loop. (thanks to Roddy MacPhee for this photo) 
On the Mainline side, a hive of activity
courtesy of the above Kirow Rail Crane (thanks to Davie Dow for above two photos) 
 in theory, we easily gained the redundant material from Network Rail overnight, although our Steam Season starts 30th March!.... 

Thanks to all that contributed to this Blog - very much a team effort all round.

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