Yesterday, Mike Tough did the Boat of Garten to Aviemore weekly Line Inspection and I was tasked with cleaning/oiling the slidechairs on all the switches at Aviemore.
Above is Bill Johnson, whom I pressganged into assisting me, after he had the pleasure of winning the Volunteer of the Year award in November 2017 - for all his dedication and hard work over the years as the Strathspey Railway Association Membership Secretary. He chose to take a return footplate ride as his prize, which he thoroughly enjoyed - I am not so sure the same could be said about oiling points, his high viz was a tad less pristine by the time we finished.
Above one of the switches lifted over our fence, in the last PWay Blog and the Big Yellow Machines all poised for action, yesterday.
Davie Dow is a tall chap indeed, here he is looking North towards Inverness today. Spey Lodge and him! shadowing the single track Highland Main Line (HML)
And looking South from the same lofty position during the first of a series of 31 hour "Engineers Possessions" closing HML Inverness - Perth, with the Caledonian Sleeper and freight services diverted via Aberdeen and the rest Rail Replacement Bus.
"Old" track cut up into short lengths and discarded, old ballast removed into rail wagons on an old siding in distance, with fresh ballast levelled out
and as the sun goes down progress - new concrete sleepers perfectly aligned, presumably by machine, the wee yellow machine above is a McCulloch Rail Mover - allows the rail to be lifted in without using large machines or 360s.
cutting the rail possibly to join up with existing one?
I am indebted to Davie Dow for todays photos, the captions I made up!