Friday 23 June 2017

Train Watering points Aviemore Station - 21st 22nd June 2017

At Aviemore the existing unsightly water pipes and fittings are to be removed from the fence as many are perished by sunlight and are faulty. To achieve this a long 220 metre trench had to be dug to a depth of approximately 300 millimeters - not doable by hand! - this is where Neil Howie came to the rescue, with his own Wee Digger - just perfect for the confined space available.  
Above Neil expertly digs away, while Mike and Bruce investigate possible S&T ducting obstacles and hand dig as necessary.
    Jim Clark praying or maybe plumbing! with Royal Scotsman as backdrop, our Class 31 had hauled it from Boat of Garten with it being a 10 coach train.
The Class 66 sat at the Shed and then propelled it out and then headed North later in the morning ... note newly laid water pipes in trench awaiting standpipe connections and backfilling.

  Without Neil Howie and his digger this job would not have been done so quickly and so cheaply ..above Neil heading home to Lochcarron with BIG thanks from Strathspey Railway Company for his help.
This work will ease frost problems in winter in that system can be drained down and it will remove the pipes from the risks associated with being outside.

10 new standpipes are fitted, plus 3 for coach washing with hozelock couplings and the materials needed were funded by Strathspey Railway Association who are also funding water pipe improvements in Boat of Garten Station where vulnerable loft pipes are being put inside.
Thanks to Mike for info and photos. 

Monday 19 June 2017

Tree cutting & Fishplates - 17&18th June 2017

Recently the Strathspey Railway Association paid for four members of the PWay squad to go on a four day chainsaw course :-
 "Day1 composes of workshop time, ppe/health & safety awareness, chainsaw maintainance/sharpening, risk assessments, environmental considerations. 
Day 2 in the woods, fuelling and cold starting procedure,operator positioning, practising on pre felled logs the following ,cross cutting,felling cuts, boreing cuts.
Day 3 in the woods, surveying work site, and breaking in/brashing live trees (removing lower branches to gain access to trunk for felling, as above) then felling live trees with a hinge cut, de-limbing and sectioning into logs
Day 4 in the woods -mostly same as day 3, then learnt a few extra  get out of jail cuts, eg hung up trees, limited access cuts, unstable and leaning trees.
Overall the course was very hard physically but we learnt a lot and will take forward the good practices into the pway squads tree and brush removal"
Glad to report all were certified competent (I think some just need Certified!) Anyway Congratulations to (above left to right) Jim, John, Neil and Ian and thanks to the appropriately named John Wood for info and photos.
 Meanwhile the planned weekend PWay work of fishplate oiling continues towards Aviemore.

Above the Saturday's squad take a well earned rest in the heat. Photo from Bruce Buswell (next time maybe photoshop out Mike's legs!)
And the Sunday squad do the same. Over the weekend in excess of a mile and a quarter was completed thanks to Roger, Mike, Ian on the Saturday and on the Sunday Fergus, Iain and special mention must go to Andy and Bruce for turning out on both.
Our recently re-painted class 27 hauls the return working of the Sunday Diner Train near milepost 86 and 1/4, maybe fishplate oiling miles from anywhere has its advantages after all, although it was a long walk back to our cars at the end of the day.

Sunday 4 June 2017

A Fishy start to FishPlate Oiling - 4th June 2017

 Thursday I decided to make a start on Fishplate oiling, I coerced my friend Roddy into coming along. As an incentive, we did Level Crossing naming on the Dulnain Extension first.
Then got down to the task in hand, transpires Andy and Roger had found all the tools and cleaned them and Georgie had put the Tracklube out at the full mileposts but left none in the Tool Van! I decided to drive to Fishermans crossing and pick up a tin of Tracklube, as it was very close to the road. By the end of the day the Up Loop line at Boat of Garten was complete. Above unexpected arrival of 828 on last service train, surprises Roddy (and myself)
On Saturday the Down and Up Loops had been completed by Andy MacClintock, Angus and Kevin. On Sunday Kevin above - not "The .... Scotsman" - hails from Leicestershire where he works for PWay on Big Railway, anyway he suggested using the skates and trolley to aid our progress on the single line towards Aviemore.
Close to the Home Signal - a Fish that never made the Plate! (it didn't jump out of the Spey that's for sure) Even Andrew the "Lineside Forager" turned his nose up at it. 
A disappointingly blurred "Scotsman" departs Boat of Garten, maybe I should get a new camera, as my good one got destroyed by PWay wet weather.
 Service train passes Kevin, by end of the day we are almost 1 mile out of Boat, Thanks to Kevin, Andys - MacCracken & MacLintock and Stuart who turned up 10 minutes before we finished! But never mind Stuart only 10 miles approx to go, plenty of time to join us next time?