Sunday 20 March 2016

Switches & Crossings Maintenance - 19&20th March 2016

What are Switches and Crossings? I hear you ask.
Above a very simplified diagram.
Put simply they guide trains from one track to another, commonly known as points. The Maintenance of them is basically loosening all the nuts and bolts, oiling and re-tightening them, this stops them seizing and ensures they are all tight.

The opportunity was taken to oil all the fishplates, as there are that many, as well as the slide chairs at the switches at the same time 

In the distance an army of Orange could be seen coming our way to assist, alas no, they were Photographers, photographing our train they had hired for the weekend, which did a number run pasts, so they could get the perfect shot.
Over the weekend seven sets of points were completed from the Home Signal in distance above to the Signal Box, which is a lot of nuts and bolts, some easier than others!
 Thanks to Ian, Norman, Andrew, Neil, Mike, Angus, plus Georgie and Stuart.
46512 makes an unexpected appearance just as we were getting ready to start on the Sunday, it was the Photographic Charter again.

Friday 18 March 2016

Coal Bench Aviemore concreting - 18th March 2016

This morning was taken up with positioning the remaining sleepers, levelling and compacting the base and putting in the reinforcing steel mesh to the correct depth. 
Above Fergus admires our handy work just before an early Lunch, not quite finished Lunch when Ritchies of Aviemore arrived spot on time.
Spreading the concrete with shovels was hard work but fortunately there were many willing hands.
Screeding relatively easy here (not so sure if Ian agreed)
Slightly more challenging here, although Victor the Builder came along with his rake, made it look easy. John at this end of screed and definitely Stuarts better side facing the camera!

Opportunity to try and clear some of the scrap wood and stack suitable wood on pallets, for lighting up the Steam Locomotive, which is turning on the turntable through the heat haze, for a Photographic Charter Train tomorrow.
Job nearly done, plastic tape was used to cordon off any unintentional trespassers!
Thanks to all that helped today- Ian, Mike, John, Fergus, Victor and Jim Clark checking up on progress. A small squad would have struggled, even though I still suspect many aching muscles tomorrow and thanks to the Strathspey Railway Association for funding the 10 cubic metres of concrete. 



Thursday 17 March 2016

Coal Bench Aviemore - 11th&12th March 2016

Having consulted the in-house Members' Magazine Strathspey Express to try and recall when we poured the concrete for the Coal Bench floor at Aviemore, amazed to discover it was November 2013, anyway it has been an outstanding job since then to lay a concrete apron to the platform edge and now also extend the back wall, which I think was a more recent decision.

 The steel beams were originally acquired second hand for the proposed Carriage Shed mezzanine floor but apparently surplus and now seem to fit the bill almost perfectly (anyone got rusty paint!)

The not fit for purpose concrete sleepers are re-used for permanent shuttering.
John Wood hammering in a peg, to prevent any sleeper movement during the pouring of the concrete, scheduled to be soon.
Thanks to the many who helped (out of sight from Stuart Vaughan's camera)

Sunday 6 March 2016

Pan 11 Near Broomhill - 5th March 2016

First train of the day approaches worksite.

Having very recently been donated 20 "Pan 11" baseplates by Network Rail, we put them to good use on the sharp curve coming out of Broomhill (believed to be tightest between Aviemore and Forres) A couple of years ago we used them on the outside high rail of the curve at the joints, to prevent any long term gauge widening of the track. This time we used them approximately every fourth sleeper in between, as below, having removed the elastic spikes, base plates, re-drilled and screwed down.

Stuart using the "Pan puller" not the usual worker/watcher ratio honest!
Clip onto the red Pandrol Clip
and pull
(one job where using a bigger hammer wont work)
Job done,
 until Georgie says "tidy up the ballast a bit Boys" couple of hours later 
We were Done in!
And last Train of the day pulling away from Broomhill.