Saturday 21 December 2019

UWCs and re-ferruling - 20/21 - December 2019

Yesterday saw myself and Roddy start a "temporary" fix for the sighting posts (previously mentioned) in connection with the visibility splays at our User Worked Crossings (UWCs), as most are some 920 feet from the crossing, they were very difficult to see.
The intension is they will be painted white in the better weather, in the interim we have recycled the back of out of date Big Railway plastic poster timetables.
By tightly wrapping them around the post and using roofing felt nails to secure, as above, only time will tell how long they survive the ravages of our Highland climate.....
Today saw a really impressive number of PWay Volunteers - the avoidance of Christmas Shopping may have had something to do with it! 

Our task was to re-ferrule the life expired wooden ferrules that have rotted away and replace worn sleeper screws. Georgie marked them up, we removed the screws using one of our petrol driven Bances, got out the old ferrules inserted new plastic ones, lightly hammered in then screwed them down again with the other Bance.
Even though John, centre above, bought new hardened steel pins to hold the chuck heads on, they broke very quickly indeed and we reverted to another person manoeuvring the chuck from screw to screw - until Jim got some fence wire which lasted longer!
Photo Mike - Some passing traffic didn't stop our progress
fortunately Santa did! - as there was a bitingly cold wind and it was back breaking work but really good progress was made thanks to Georgie - supplying all the appropriate tools, Roger, Mike, Angus, Ian, John, Les, Jim and special mention to Andrew - whom at very short notice did the Track Inspection from Boat of Garten before joining us.

Friday 13 December 2019

Digging and more Digging! Boat of Garten - 11th December 2019

Mid week produced a welcome massive squad of eight, Georgie tasked Angus and I to obtain and put up the Temporary Speed Restriction (TSR) Boards required for the proposed switch into Boat of Garten North Yard,
unfortunately we could not source a 10 mph board for the above Warning Board but sharp eyed Drivers should be able to spot the 10 at the Commencement Board though!
Plumber Jim was mildly critical of their plumbness, I retorted that they lean into the prevailing wind so that they don't blow over! 
 Once we had finished that Angus and I joined the main squad, in a continuation from last Saturday, of digging out the ballast to the bottom of the sleepers.
Admiring job done, right up to the North end of the Boat of Garten bridge, in the background at the 88 3/4 mile post can be seen the Termination Board of the speed restriction and on the obverse is the 10 mph Commencement Board for Up trains heading towards Aviemore.   
As we had daylight still available Georgie told us to remove the excess ballast from the four foot (between rails) and build up the shoulders further down the line. The photos do not do the inclement weather justice as there was a biting wind and snow showers (my camera does not like any form of precipitation) but many thanks to Graeme, Martin, Andrew, Fergus, Mike, Angus and Jim for braving the elements and the hard labour.

Sunday 8 December 2019

Sleeper renewal and switch prep at Boat of Garten - 7 December 2019

Report and photos from John -
"This Saturdays pway squad update, 8 life expired sleepers changed in front of the North signal cabin at Boat of Garten completed by lunchtime,


The afternoon was spent digging out ballast for the new points install at the south end of boat road bridge, 15 beds dug out before it started to get dark and the inclement weather took its toll and the squads spirit became life expired!!
Thanks to Georgie, Fergus, Mike, Jim " not that Clark" and Ian " transport manager" for their care and consideration/abuse as it was my first day back on the squad after my Op."