Sunday 10 December 2017

Snow Clearing - 9th December 2017

Once Storm Caroline had subsided a single Locomotive ("Light Engine") was utilised for a Line Proving run between Aviemore and Broomhill late on Friday, with Georgie applying a special de-icing lube to the slide chairs on the switches that were essential to the running of the Weekend Santa services.  
Mike Tough arrived Saturday morning to find 6 inches of fresh and still falling snow. He started clearing it from the platform at Boat of Garten Station and was glad to be joined by Dave Inglis above
and then fortunately a North York Moors Railway squad arrived, led by Davie MacNicol, his Son and friend all working hard above.
Meanwhile some 4 &1/4 miles away at Broomhill Station, looks like Colin Stirling had an easier time of it, with less of the white stuff to contend with but with Graham Sutherland "assisting" who knows......
Just one part of the usually unseen effort required to run Winter Steam services. 
Thanks to Mike for Info and Boat of Garten photos, Graham for Broomhill one.

Sunday 3 December 2017

Digging out near "The Summit" - 2nd December 2017

Plan A for yesterday was to have been replacing the Timbers on Spey Lodge Level Crossing at Aviemore but as said Timbers had not arrived timeously....
onto long term plan B - replacing sleepers that Georgie decreed were life expired, as she disappeared over the "Summit" horizon feverishly marking the dead ones with a white spot, leaving the small squad of Fergus (foreground), Roger and John (all no doubt, praying for snow to obliterate the dots!)
to start "digging out" the ballast all round and to the base of the marked sleepers as above

and for a bit of variety, two together means the whole "bed" between them must be almost completely cleared of ballast, I guess here the sleepers will be pulled away from the camera, when extraction time comes.  


Here Roger takes an all too infrequent break as the "Santa Express" climbs from Aviemore

and passes, and we still don't see his perfectly knotted tie! In total a credible 45 sleepers were dug out, fortunately by 2.45pm light was going fast and as the Gang were knackered an early finish was allowed!
Many thanks to all, especially John Wood for photos and info.
It has been a couple of years since we have been able to afford to do any major spot         re-sleepering, hence the mere 292 identified this time to be replaced!
With new sleepers costing approximately £20 each, not an inconsiderable sum being invested in the long term maintenance of the Line. Fortunately split over two Winters and if the thought of all this exercise is too much for you, feel free to reach from your armchair to hit the donate button on this Blog, as I am sure we will manage to break some tools along the way!