Friday, 17 July 2020

Tidy ups - 16th July 2020

At Lockdown Nethy Steel had erected the frame of Morley's Shed but all the cladding had already been delivered to site, it was decided for security reasons to transfer it all to the locked Boat of Garten Station Car Park.
Above is the preferred method of transportation back to site, on easement of Lockdown mid May, similar Internal Traffic occurred this week,
with the recent Network Rail donated material from Millburn yard being transferred from the car park at Boat to Broomhill Yard, pending its eventual intended use at the proposed new Aviemore Running Shed. Dave Green driving and Georgie Guarding. Both photos courtesy of Station Master Walters.
Mid-Week Georgie gave us the unenviable task of attempting to tidy up the stored P'Way material at Morley's, so that a trench can be dug to bury the blue water supply pipe as seen below, 
Peter takes a rest with Angus still standing just! (nothing is lightweight here) as Georgie uses the JCB to try and shift some of the overloaded wooden pallets, tell tale signs of Mike burning the rotten dud pallets in background and a general tidy up was undertaken.
Finally the cludgie gets positioned inside Morley's. This was obtained free of charge some years ago, when we paid for and installed a similar double one inside the Hamilton Carriage Storage Shed at Aviemore (anyone got the keys for it though?)
Thanks to all that attended including Ian who seemed to have escaped my camera.  

Monday, 13 July 2020

Morley's Mk 2 - 11th July 2020

Despite a record five call offs (various reasons) a good squad still managed to assemble at Boat of Garten. Georgie was already on site selecting, measuring & preparing the rail to be used from the pile near the North Signal Cabin
John Wood cuts as Iain and Kevin observe
and this is the gap to be bridged, the new and improved rail vehicle inspection pit inside Morley's Shed (mark 2 - as the original one accidently burnt down almost exactly a year ago) Roger digs out the rail ends and Kevin likewise at North end, hoping that Georgie measured the gap more than once! 
Kevin & Martin were then deployed onto Road Rail Vehicle Access Point (RRVAP) to fill in the "6 foot" between the mainline and siding, with the dark coloured infill. Above is a wee clip from John showing the purpose of his RRVAP!

The 2nd rail is carefully manoeuvred into position.
After awkward drilling and screwing down, fishplated up, we were getting there by lunchtime.
Martin seconded a vibrating whacker plate, which happened to be handy! to compact the hardcore on either side of the longitudinal timbers. 
and Georgie drops a top dressing for us to spread about by shovel, getting the floor more level.
and we finished off by going round the inside perimeter and a bit of tidying up.
Many thanks to John, Iain, Roger, Martin & Kevin (who is hoping his apprenticeship of digging ballast is already over!) 

Monday, 6 July 2020

Normal conditions return (sort of) -1st & 4th July 2020

Mid-week saw a small productive squad - 
Mike, Les, Angus and myself try and tackle some of the bushes behind the stored concrete sleepers that Georgie wont be able to reach with the new flail, when it gets attached to the new Colmar, just visible is the top of the new "Outer Home" signal post, which requires to be  clearly seen from some 240 yards apparently. Chainsaw will be required next time for a couple of trees. I forgot to take an after photo.

After lunch, S&T Dept in form of Rob Law asked us to retrieve a couple of signal ladders from behind the new storage shed (nothing is ever light! but it did make us socially distance) and take them to the North Signal Cabin.
Likewise with a "few" signalwire posts.
We went home tired!
A large squad met up at Morley's on Saturday.
 Not to be shown up by the S&T's Blog's technological wizardry - above hopefully is a wee video clip of one of the empty Route/Traction Revision trips passing one of the day's worksites, in hopefully NOT new normal Summer weather!
After a lot of measuring, cutting and notching led appropriately by Mr.Wood (far right)
The Road Rail Vehicle Access Pad (RRVAP as Network Rail call them) takes shape, basically its where Georgie can safely get the new Colmar RRV onto/off the track,
either within the PWay Depot siding or on the mainline (right).
Yet again we were seconded to the S&T Dept, this time electrical cable hauling, all the way to the new Outer Home Signal.
Photos from Me, Mike, Rob and Video from John
Many Thanks to Georgie, Mike, Ian, Lauren, Iain, John, Fergus, Angus, Kevin, Graeme and Roger.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Mid-Week & first COVID 19 Weekend - 17 & 20 June 2020

Spot the difference -
 Both taken from inside Boat of Garten North Signal Cabin a few days apart (using a zoom lens) unfortunately no sun on Wednesday though.
Mike and Georgie met Boss of Nethy Steel Ltd, who hope to recommence the construction of the shed imminently. Later myself and Mike managed to cut back the vegetation that would soon obscure the back of the exit signal from the seemingly officially named
"Permanent Way Depot" - aka "Morley's".
After Lunch it had dried up sufficiently for Mike to continue the never ending weedkilling, hand spraying around the South yards and myself to tackle more bushes and trees (with a bushman's saw). Hopefully will be able to see the new Down Starter Signal, once the arm is attached and I attempted to increase sighting of the Up Home Signals, Oh and Georgie has now removed the 10 mph Temporary Speed Restriction!

 True to their word Nethy Steel got the roof cladding on by close of play on Friday, thanks to Robert Walters for the photo.
Saturday was a long time in coming for many of us - hence the great turnout - sensibly socially distanced over plenty of worksites. On arrival Ian was cutting the grass again on approach road to the rendezvous point - Boat of Garten Station Car Park.
The Weed Killing Train poised ready to go for the 3rd attempt at getting to the River Dulnain!
John looking for divine intervention at the prospect of turning a load of mis-sized planks of wood into a Road/Rail Vehicle Access Point (RRVAP) firstly finishing off the down shoulder of Siding, Lauren casually looks on, awaiting instructions.
Andrew (with the Boris hair do) shows Kevin (newbie) the ropes on fishplate oiling all the new joints. Rob Law (S&T Dept) encouraging Angus (seconded/conscripted for the day) to dig faster!

Dave Green gingerly takes the train past the RRVAP worksite,
and accelerates away - apparently Mike, Ian and John Sinclair only had 2 or was it 3 calamities to contend with whilst spraying,
Mike subsequently sent this photo to prove they made it! (or for us to admire his bridge) 
With the Siding complete, more packing wood was required for the wooden sleepers on the Mainline, Graeme having just packed some ballast under the first timber.
Having been fishplate oiling in the morning, Kevin still has cream trousers and even more amazing is he is still smiling after helping Georgie, Andrew and myself scavenge small amounts of excess ballast, in the mid Summer heat, for packing under the new RRVAP.
Thanks to all mentioned (hope I haven't missed anyone?) Roger paid us a very brief visit and still cannot believe the progress Georgie has made.  

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Yellow Machine & Weeds get a repreive! - late May & 12th June 2020

Our intrepid Station Master reports  "Don't Panic!
 We are not about to demolish the Island Platform Waiting Room.
Before Georgie took a well deserved short break from work (end of May) we agreed she should leave the Colmar jib on the platform near a power supply, so that I could use a heat gun to remove the old branding. Took 90 minutes just to remove one label and some paintwork came with it! Horrible job" - which he regrets ever mentioning but he has a spray can of JCB yellow to speed things up...…"

Finally the twice postponed annual weedkilling train got underway yesterday - the class 08 Shunter driven by Georgie, hauled the fully fitted train from Boat of Garten to Aviemore, with the operators Mike, Ian and Martin getting PPE'd up on the brake van.
Cool calm dry weather - perfect for spraying - meant slow plain sailing on the propelling movement on return, above approaching the splendid lattice Down Distant signal for Boat of Garten
and the grand co-acting Down Section signal, of note is Martin's unscathed spraying boom, less said about Mike's the better!
Someone had the bright idea of filling up the thousand litre tank quickly from the steam locomotive water tank above.

After this the guys washed their hands (for more than 20 seconds) and luncheon was had sitting in the sun on the platform.

The intension was to spray all the way to the River Dulnain but on the descent to Milton Bridge some of the spray nozzles clogged up with what looked like grass - stop pump - stop train and get down, unscrew and clean them out, this kept on occurring until the overbridge at Tullochgorum at which point the decision to go back to Boat was made, to further investigate.
Above shows the problem in the almost empty plastic tank - moss? our only conclusion was that there must be a birds nest in large water tower - Mike checked it out but no trace.
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to flush out the tank - scenes akin to Laurel & Hardy ensued, when the we used the power of the fire pump.
To be continued..... another day.




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.