Sunday 26 January 2020

Switch prep Boat of Garten - 25th January 2020

Another PWay extra Saturday squeezed in, with extra Train Services planned this year access to the track is likely to be even more difficult (looks like we may be building the switch off - site and craning in) so we took advantage of the good weather. Today's task was to cut to length, scarfe joint 5, fill in all the previous bolt holes in the reclaimed Network Rail timbers from Aviemore refit of March last year.

Roger and Angus got the unenviable job of cutting the plugs using age old method of small blocks of jarra wood (below) beaten with a hammer through a sharpened die of the CORRECT size. They seemed a little large for most of the sleeper holes loll.
Above is of the tight grained very dense Jarrah hardwood.

The old holes were splodged with bitumastic paint then the plugs hammered in and cut off flush, this is to prevent water sitting in the holes and causing rot to the timbers.
the scarfe joints needed to join two timbers together, cut using chainsaw and circular saw, also sleepers cut to length, chainsaw skills come in useful not just for felling trees at the railway.
Georgie touching up the last off the plugs with bitumastic paint and the finished sleepers spaced out ready for the next task.
Productive day, we all went home happy and covered in black paint, literally lol
Many thanks to Mike, Angus, Jim, Roger, Ian & John (who supplied all photos/info)

Sunday 19 January 2020

Spot re-ferruling Boat of Garten Station - 18th January 2020

Another excellent PWay squad turnout to a frosty but sunny Boat of Garten - task
 spot re-ferruling between the Signal Boxes.
 Georgie marked out the ones requiring replacement,
 then remove the chair screws, above the old wooden ferrules still in situ, with the replacements already poised.

Next Angus has the unenviable task of extracting them - some are easier than others!
Followed by Andrew attacking the most obstinate ones, with Georgie on platform cracking the whip on team two!
Looks like they broke the rail!!!! - the new ferrules are gently hammered in.

Then any worn screws replaced with better ones, dipped in creosote by Angus, tapped in by Martin and screwed down by Jim. Three bags of ferrules were consumed during the day and squad still had time to lay out most of the timbers for new switch into Boat of Garten North Yard as mentioned in previous PWay Blog of 11th Dec 2019, John said he was too busy to take a photo! (I will try in a few days) but thanks for all the photos and info.  

Many thanks to volunteers - John, Angus, Martin, Jim, Roger, Andrew, Ian & Fergus for braving the snow flurries and achieving a lot through teamwork.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Ballast Drop Croftnahaven - 11th January 2020

We managed to squeeze in an extra PWay day at short notice but we all wondered if we were wise, as driving up from Inverness it was very wet indeed and the weather forecast was not very promising.
Georgie had the train all ready, even to the extent that the fire in the brakevan was already lit! From Boat of Garten we headed towards our worksite - just beyond Croftnahaven No 2 Level Crossing. I declined the offer of being ballast controller (so I could try to get a photo) above Mike drops ballast on the shoulder successfully,

less so for the four foot drop, the above photo does not convey the mountain of ballast, he blamed the Driver - Georgie, for not going fast enough!
Anyway it took us most of the day to dig out and spread the resultant ballast.
Georgie and Mike disposed of the empty ballast wagon by taking it away to Broomhill.
 Leaving myself, Jim and Angus to first have a cup of tea in the by now roasting brakevan, then cut down the broom bushes and remove some of the mud deposited by tractor wheels over the timbers on the crossing. On Mike & Georgies return, they started to lay out the cattle grid like things, that in theory deter the cattle from straying onto the line when they are herded across the line (this was asked for by the Farmer recently)
Finally loading up the pruned bushes, many thanks to all that turned up and the weather was not too bad after all!

Unlike "this day" 11/01/2004 - Pre carriage maintenance shed, Pre Roy Hamilton carriage storage shed and Pre climate change!
And yesterday was even better weather,
we retrieved many of the old fence posts that Fergus has quietly been spot changing for new ones over time near Broomhill.
And above is his completely new 300 metre length near Fishermans Crossing, with the old having been loaded onto the "flatrol" to be taken away for the scrap merchant.