Saturday 25 February 2017

Improvements to Roy Hamilton Carriage Shed - 25&26 February 2017

  The first job was to dig a trench (easier said than done) and bury the mains water pipe, so that it does not freeze and watering of the Kitchen Coaches can be done in all conditions on "Road 6" in The Roy Hamilton Carriage Storage Shed.
As preparation/cleaning up of the Dining Train is done at this location it means the sink effluent goes onto the track at the same place, building up over time.
The solution comes from an unexpected source - the tops of two double sided cattle feeding troughs! ("Graham Sutherland has his uses") Strategically positioned on a slight slope, with holes drilled in them
to drain away the dirty water.
Another improvement at the back of the Shed, was hoisted into position today using our Road Rail Machine, having been purchased at reasonable cost from a Plant Hire firm in Portlethen is?????
In passing the Down and Up Platform renovations at Boat of Garten have been competed by Georgie and Vic the Builder. 

A Male and Female toilet, for use by the Catering Staff, once they have been plumbed in and probably eventually electrically wired into the mains. 
I presume the Womens' are on the right because they always are, RIGHT that is!
Thanks over the Weekend go to Colin Frost, Ray Keynon, Neil and Dan Coultier, (part of the Ellon Gang) Georgie, Mike Tough, Jim Clark the Plumber and Ken Donaldson for collecting them with a trailer. 


Saturday 18 February 2017

Track Slewing Lackgie - 18th february 2017

Todays task was "a bit of slewing" according to Georgie!
As the section to be slewed included Lackgie Level Crossing, the majority of the timbers had to be temporarily lifted as below. 

The next task was to dig out the sleeper ends, so as the ballast would not impede the intended lateral movement of the track. In total 16 x 60 foot lengths of rail were slewed, which nearly killed John as the slewing jack is a very heavy indeed, Jim was on the lifting jack and allegedly worked just as hard (no photos though!)
Fortunately today was the first weekend service running of the DMU - Diesel Multiple Unit  or "Vintage Panoramic Railcar" in marketing speak, anyway it gave all a short break whilst it approached and passed. The rest of the squad packed the ballast at the opposite end of the sleeper ends that had been dug out, to prevent the track from springing back to its original alignment and back filling and tidying the dug out ends, all under the watchful eye of Georgie.

Busy scene here reinstating the timbers

and then ballasting all around them, lets hope the rainbow landed in the till at
Broomhill Station.

Of course as there was such a big squad, the job finished early and Georgie decides that a bit of tidying up of ballast is always in order!
Thanks to Georgie, Andy, Angus, Andrew, Jim, John, Martin, Rodger, with Mike and Ian joining in the afternoon after their Strathspey Railway Association Board meeting. 
Thanks again to John for photos and information.

Sunday 12 February 2017

Aviemore Turntable Well Fencing - 11th February 2017

More of the white stuff didn't deter John Wood and Ian Stanworth heading down the road to Aviemore, to complete the palisade fencing round the new Turntable Well.
Once the frozen ground broken, two new fence posts dug out quite easily and posts installed with the aid of three bags of "Postcrete" then approximately 30 metres of level railing attached
and then Ian found a new love for John's gas powered nailgun, some 400 nails later the slats were all attached.
Personally I am glad to see that some of the original slats were reused, as Angus and myself spent ages trying to get them off whole, sometime ago. No doubt a small painting job is required but will be saved for the better weather.
Thanks to John for the photos and info. 

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Boat of Garten Down Platform repair - 7th February 2017

Finally after being apparently postponed for some 4 years, a start was made on renewing part of the facing of the Down Platform at Boat of Garten that has been slowly crumbling. Sunday saw Andrew MacCracken and "Action Man McClintock" with the aid of Georgie on the Road Rail JCB, lift the heavy coping stones out of the way on the affected length.
This was the worksite that greeted us yesterday morning but the first job was to fix the sticking door into the Porter's Room, which was done by Jim and Mike quite quickly.
 Difficult to see from this photo but at some point in the long history of the platform it was raised, unfortunately using red sandstone, which over time has started to crumble and now threatening the clearance gauge for passing trains. 
Jim proving he does work - sometimes!  The porous sandstone can be seen more clearly dumped in the "Grampus" Wagon.
Hopefully Vic the Builder will be able to use the original solid granite as a base, notice the sloping ramp stones at this end of the to be repaired section, possibly meaning that's as far as the original 1863 platform went?
Thanks to Georgie, Mike, Roddy and Jim for braving the not forecast wintery weather.

Saturday 4 February 2017

More concrete sleeper replacement 85-85&1/4 milepost - 4th February 2017

Amazingly this was the last PWay Work Weekend before November without any service trains on the line and a big squad was requested and the Gang didn't disappoint!  Meeting at Boat of Garten on a bitterly cold, wet morning for our own PWay Train to the worksite.
Our first task to warm us up was digging out round the pre-marked sleepers (above Angus and "Action Man" Andy), so they can be easily extracted by the Road Rail machine, or so we thought!

Georgie did mention that a "couple" had to be removed by manpower, as can be seen from above. The Road Rail machine jib is not long enough, so a rope was supplied and Jim in between the rails is supervising the Tug 'o' War.
Where the cutting hampered the extraction special sleeper tongs were provided to lift the 1/4 ton or so sleeper, and of course all to be repeated to get the replacement in, once the compacted bed had been broken up and skimmed.
In total 4 out of the 9 replaced had to be done this way - not quite a "couple"! 
It was mentioned that it must be 30 years since Georgie last changed concrete sleepers by hand and now we know why!

A welcome sight was the last of the defective sleepers being loaded onto the Flatrol wagon before we piled into the lovely warm Messvan to convey us back to Boat of Garten.