Sunday 27 December 2015

Mezzanine floor Aviemore Engine Shed - 22nd December 2015

A good turnout on 22nd Dec of would be joiners who were there avoiding peeling brussel sprouts, stuffing turkeys or even worse shopping, substantially finished the mezzanine floor.
Ian, John, Mike & Georgie (Stuart & Fergus resting above) set up the last of the wallplates, cut & fitted all joists & dwangs & laid & screwed down all 20 mm plywood flooring.
Only some middle flooring screws to fit plus kick boards & closing off of the arch way tops with left over plywood.
The Shed lads who were most impressed at progress & wanted to start piling stuff onto the floor straight away! Another day is planned for 29th December.....
Thanks to Mike and John for photos and information. 

Friday 18 December 2015

Infrastructure Works Aviemore Engine Shed - 17th December 2015

The PWay squad are multi talented.....
Yesterday was spent sorting out the recently delivered timber, funded by the Strathspey Railway Association and then we got onto the long postponed mezzanine floor in the back of the Engine Shed at Aviemore.
Ian, Georgie, Stuart & Mike were there & our work was admired by the shed staff present (who probably came out of their Mess Room complaining what all the noise was!) 

Strathspey Railway Association Chairman on the rip saw cutting plywood flooring. His power tools were a big aid.
Wallplates were fixed, joists cut & laid out & plywood flooring started & maybe 25 % completed. The rest will be easier now that we are clear of the stair & know what we are doing!

Thanks to Mike for photos and information.

Monday 14 December 2015

Track Walking - 12th December 2015

Not a PWay Work Weekend although some PWay work must still continue - due to Festive trains running - Weekly Track Inspection of the line between Aviemore and Broomhill, a distance in excess of ten miles, when you consider sidings and loops, fortunately we split it into two Sections of roughly equal length.

Here Martin Macleod and High Viz Lennon have a well deserved rest in the Guards Van, to convey them back to Boat of Garten, having earlier walked and inspected the line from there and no doubt chased a few few rabbits (that's Lennon you understand!)

Meanwhile Mike Tough inspected the line from Boat of Garten to Broomhill, above is the re-sleepering still to take place towards the 91 mile post.
The heavy rain mentioned in my last blog, causing the River Spey to flood fields at Broomhill but no Elf & Safety worries as Mike had inspected it earlier!

Talking of Elfs, here Colin Frost being as resourceful as ever, dons his head torch when the lights inevitably failed in the BFK ( on the evening Santa Train.

Monday 7 December 2015

Re-Sleepering continues 5th & 6th December 2015

Reasonable squad on the Saturday, but due to the persistent heavy rain (forecasted), Georgie wisely decided to instead spread the accumulated waste ash from Locomotive 46512, inside the Roy Hamilton Carriage Storage Shed, forming walkways. I believe it poured rain all day and due to poor lighting, trying to get photos inside the Shed is hard on a fine, sunny day - hence none.

On the Sunday it was cool but bright, although the above rather hurried photo doesn't convey this.

Myself, Georgie and Stuart managed to drill and spike a good number of sleepers up to Tullochgorum No1 Level Crossing, we then went back, packing and tidying the ballast until darkness prevented us doing any more. The end of the re-sleepering is in sight honestly! Looking closely at the photo the 2nd white mile post is the end.

Friday 27 November 2015

Boat of Garten temporary watering - 26th November 2015

Yesterday Georgie, Stuart and Mike were at the Boat of Garten Water Tank.

Above is the new pipe at the base of the water crane awaiting the replacement base section which is being made at present, I believe by a local Blacksmith, however it is the intension not to use the crane during Winter services this year or in the future, as it is susceptible to being damaged by frost.
A temporary watering facility was rigged up, which will be replaced with a proper gantry supported pipe for next years Winter services...... all this effort is to improve on the previous years method of watering at Aviemore - pumped from a rail tank, with plain mains water. This year our steam locomotive 46512 will get lovely treated water, lets hope she appreciates it! 
Information and photos courtesy of Mike Tough.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Water Treatment plant at Boat of Garten - 21st November 2015

Andrew MacCracken continued with Winterisation of points at Boat of Garten until completion (proper PWay work), then he assisted the rest building external box around the water feed pipes,
above, the silver tape is the trace heating and then insulated with rocwool, below.
Then moved inside building to dwang out the ceiling and insulate with 50mm kingspan and 150mm of rocwool on top.
Not the warmest of days but apparently Stuart did supply biscuits - knowing him they may have been getting close to their "Best before" date!
Thanks to John Wood for photos and information.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Point Winterisation - 20th November 2015

Small squad today no thanks to another Strathspey Railway meeting, with the Winter Santa  Services (fully booked) starting a week today the opportunity was taken to do some "Winterisation" of the of the slidechairs of the points.
Above Mike having scraped each chair clean, Stuart applies  
 "Kilfrost Rail Plus" which is a specially formulated anti-icing fluid that prevents ice from forming, works to minus 35 degrees Celsius apparently, not that we want it to get that low! Today was cold enough.
All the points at Aviemore were completed thanks to Fergus and Stuart, "assisted" by me and Mike mid-afternoon (there were some muttering that we upset their routine!) 

Tuesday 10 November 2015

AGM Day & Water Tower - 7th & 8th November 2015

Well once again the Strathspey Railway Association Members' Annual General Meeting clashed with our own Pway Weekend. The Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) again freely supplied by the Blue Square Diesel Group, conveyed 64 Members and Guests from Aviemore to the Bridge over the Dulnain, 
Stopping off at Broomhill and contrary to appearances there is not a mad dash for the exit or the Ladies! but for the free tea/coffee provided by Helen and Nick Thomson, Broomhill Station Masters.
Here Maureen Cuthbertson, closest and Diane Beveridge were admiring the view before a pesky photographer interrupted!
The DMU pulled back from the Bridge so that Members could alight to inspect it and all too quickly it was all aboard for the trip back to Aviemore,
where approximately 60 of us had hearty Soup, Sanwiches and Tea/Coffee in the Cairngorm Hotel prior to the actual AGM in the function room next door.
On the Sunday a few of us gathered at Boat of Garten to thread new pipework under the Track as the pipe from the Water Tower to the Crane on the opposite platform had burst.
Here Jim Hardy and Andrew McCracken simultaneously shovel earth in to backfill until realised its an electric cable and needed the requisite yellow warning polythene on top of it! Not too much digging required though. Unfortunately it rained and my camera doesn't like it but good progress was made and we are waiting for the Blacksmith to reconnect the crane. 

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Water Work Aviemore - 25th October 2015

The temporary water feed to the dining set in the carriage shed had been run on the surface from a tap at The Lodge and this needed to be buried before the winter weather set in.

So the first task was to locate the mains water pipe that was installed some 30 years ago, that feeds from The Lodge to the Steam shed. Luckily Big Davie was present working on another task with Colin Stirling and he recalled seeing a picture of it being laid close to the running track, probably some three feet down.
Nobody knew for sure what other services might be lurking below ground, so hand digging was required.  After about an hour of digging through the surface of the compacted rubble that forms the yard we were lucky, and the pipe was located, in the cess, much closer to the running line than first thought.

Avoiding the Telecomms cables running the length of the yard, the trench was dug by Stuart and Georgie and the 32mm pipe installed.
Sunday the job was completed, with the fitting of an external stop cock valve and internal tap, that feeds a hose that runs to the catering set. 

Some of the happy team with the job nearly done.

Colin, Nick, Ray, Hayden and Georgie.
Thanks to Colin Frost for info and photos and my Wife for the not so simple cut & paste!


Saturday 24 October 2015

Spey Lodge Work -24th October 2015


Today a large squad comprising Colin Frost and three friends from Ellon plus Mike,Jim Clark, Colin Stirling, Bill Johnson, Davie, Ken and paid staff - Georgie, Stuart and Henry assembled to carry out various tasks close to Spey Lodge, Aviemore.

  Above trench was dug from the mains water to the Roy Hamilton Shed, after problems in finding old water main and turning water off, a pipe was eventually laid, with further pipework in shed still to be completed at a later date. Also a Telecoms trench dug to the Strathspey Railway Association Spey Lodge (which provides cheap accommodation to Volunteers)

A new back-up oil boiler and tank positioned onto paving slab plinths. This has to be plumbed in and set up prior to the December Train Service, in case the pellet boiler should let us down again when most needed.  Special thanks to Jim for staying on later than he was supposed to the make the water pipe connection & we hope he did not get too big a row when he got home!
Also thanks to Mike Tough for info and he claims to have been too busy for more photos!




Thursday 15 October 2015

Water treatment at Boat of Garten - 14 October 2015

A water Treatment Plant has been installed in the Centre platform brick
building at Boat of Garten to provide clean treated water to the water tower
to improve the life of the steam engine boilers.
some of the trenching required

 The water pipework into the
building for the water treatment plant had been put in by the Permanent Way

and in
With the technical plumbing bits neatly done by Jim Clark (apologies no photo of the man in action!)
 Also a drain pit had been dug for the water
from the treatment plant when it back-flushed.  .

At the same time as this was being carried out Colin Frost and Ray Kenyon (above)
completed the fitting of insulation muffs on the exposed outlet water pipe
from the water tower. Last autumn trace heating tape had been fitted to the
outlet pipe and insulation muffs fitted but there were insufficient muffs to
complete the job. Colin Frost kindly offered to purchase the remaining
insulation required and fit it, in order that the trace heating would work
more efficiently this winter.
 An electrical supply was
also required for the controls and chemical pump and the SR electrical
department attended to assist with connecting this up.

Above after the installation engineer attended on 14th Oct to
connect up and commission it. (hiding Jim's pipework!)
All that the plant now needs is enclosed with a frost proof box & suitably able helpers needed soon to do this.


Sunday 4 October 2015

Decking The Dulnain Bridge - 3rd & 4th October 2015

Before the Winter weather comes, the opportunity was taken to finally deck the Dulnain Rail Bridge properly, using the kindly donated Douglas Fir timber from the BSW sawmill at Boat of Garten, that was used as a temporary safety deck, away back in February 2014.

John Wood lent us his mitre saw and it was invaluable in squaring the previous temporary boards and cutting them to exact length, before screwing down onto the bespoke cut & notched bearers. The power came from the large generator in the Brake Guard Van (BG) fortunately the weather was at least dry.
Usual Worker to Watcher ratio! Neil Howie trying to make up for it, by taking a paint brush for a walk whilst simultaneously load testing the Up Walkway. 2/3rds of the cess walkway completed on the Saturday.
Depleted squad on the Sunday, greeted by a cool 1 degree C but fine dry and sunny later, all worked very hard to almost complete the job (few hundred screws still to screw down)
Some statistics - 140 boards - 4.2m x 75mm x 150mm of treated timber and in excess of 600 fixings, so far. 
Some of you may get a closer look on the 7th November when the DMU is hopefully running on to the bridge as part of the Strathspey Railway Association AGM day.
The Saturday gang.
Thanks again to John Wood for photos and info.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Re-placing Baseplates - Broomhill - 19th September 2015

Smaller squad than usual, due to the Strathspey Railway Company Annual General Meeting brought beautiful late Summer weather, I was envious!
Here Angus, Stuart and Andy before they do battle removing elastic spikes, from the normal baseplates, to replace them with the L C type, every third one on high rail and both sides at the joints. In an effort to prevent any gauge widening issues in the future.
An L C baseplate closest to joint, from this Blog exactly one year ago!
A welcome break as 46512 "runs round". In total about 600 feet was completed with the old baseplates being re-used, to replace the broken ones (over exuberant use of the hammer during attempted spike removal) during our major re-sleepering exercise of recent times.
Thanks to John Wood for photos and info. 

Sunday 6 September 2015

Re-sleepering continues - 5th & 6th September 2015

A decent squad of 8 continued un-spiking, changing and repacking sleepers yesterday
Above left, Andy McClintock and Neil Howie crouching (arm anonymous!)
The field opposite a new calf was born, will leave the video nasty out! Thanks to John Wood for info and photo. In all about 30 sleepers were readied for today's gauging, drilling and ballasting.
Today was Andy McClintock's Birthday (a young 78!) so we gave him a relatively easy job, above and fed him with cake in the afternoon.
Not many cows today, although plenty of trains gave us a welcome break as it was roasting, here the class 31 hauls the service train back from Broomhill as
"The Strathspey Clansman" Sunday Lunch Dining Train (which I believe was fully booked) had the pleasure of Steam haulage as usual.
Got to mention Bruce Buswell who hails from "East Somerset Railway" extreme right, who did a grand job boxing in the sleepers with ballast and Kevin Morris (walking away from camera) from Big Railway PWay in the Leicester area. Your presence much appreciated,  thank you Guys and safe journeys all the way home. 
And one final train, to try and catch us out was a special actually heading to Broomhill to collect passengers from "Motor Mania" in Grantown on Spey. In all I guess maybe 30 sleepers were completed but emphasis was on quality not quantity!