Saturday 21 March 2020

"The Big Lift" - Switch into Morley's - 20/21st March 2020

Friday was the Spring Equinox and the sun shone dawn till dusk.
Ian, John, Martin, Jim, Angus and John & Georgie all assembled to study the lifting plan & briefing for "The Big Lift"
Previously dug-out plain line prepares to be lifted by our own, very recently load tested, 12 tonne rail crane.
Higher than normal lift required to clear the underbridge at Boat of Garten
Crane parked up on the bridge

Left Martin to Mind the Gap!
He was eventually told of an alfresco gourmet lunch, provided by John (via Munro's Nurseries on the Black Isle) back in Boat of Garten yard.

 Switch fishplated up, Crossing approaching - finished at 1715.
On Saturday - Mike & Lauren, additionally assisted Friday's Gang, in slewing, measure shovel packing (MSP) the high rail, followed by cross-levelling the low rail (curve cant applied) then whole turnout MSP'd, with a ballast drop to finish off.   

 Our own Station Master at Boat of Garten - Mr Walters commented "as an ex-British Rail Permanent Way Engineer, I would like to congratulate the PWay Dept on a superbly executed piece of S&C design, procurement, assembly and installation. We would have been delighted back in the 1970’s if we had achieved that level of quality in that time with so small a workforce."
Well done indeed to all - especially John for supplying the photos/info (and scones!)

Friday 20 March 2020

Boat of Garten North Yard (Morley's) - 15/19 March 2020

On Sunday, In true Strathspey style it was discovered that the Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) on/off pad built the day before was 3/4 of an inch too high above the railhead !
so in miserable weather, it was re-packed, notched, drilled and screwed for a second time by Ian, John with Georgie closely supervising and leading.  
Job done (hopefully!) unfortunately John's car broke enroute home meaning a late Sunday supper. Thanks to John photos/info.
 In the background can be spotted the arrival of the steel for the replacement Shed that was accidentally destroyed by fire last Summer.

Originally solely paid for by the late John Morley (same colour boiler suit as RRV) above, I am in orange atop a rather wobbly scaffolding - different era as far as health and safety!   

By yesterday the local firm Nethy Steel Ltd had quickly erected Morley's Mark 2!
Thanks to Mike who took both photos all be it 16 years apart.

Monday 16 March 2020

Significant S&T progress and PWay teamwork - 13/14 March 2020

Friday saw Robert from the Signal & Telegraph Department (S&T) start his work on the new switch -  
"sole plate drilled and shoe mounted. On the first day." Little did he know next stage would turn into a multiple marathon, assisted I believe by a multi-tasking (as ever) Georgie.
  "Second day, lock stretcher welded up in Aviemore Engine Shed by Ben. Trial fitted. Packing adjusted a dozen times until measurement in spec. Was a sod of a job. Put together, measure, not  right, take apart, adjust packing, put back to together. Measure. Still not right. Try again!


Once correct everything tightened up bolt offered up measurements taken, lock stretcher cut. Bolt offered up, bit of filing. Good tight fit. Stretcher bars fitted.
  Lid on. Tidy up and home for a beer or two"
(I suspect the photos don't match up to the narrative but hay-ho it is the PWay Blog!) But many thanks to Robert for the work, photos and words.
Meanwhile on Saturday the rest of the PWay squad get to grips building the Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) access pad, on the still to be connected siding.
Job almost done.
And onto the slightly more technical next task

drilling the holes in the existing mainline rails, so that the new S&C can be fishplated up.
Currently temporarily clamped as can be seen above in background.
Back to the manual labour of hand shovelling the remaining ballast out of the above wagons. Many thanks to Ian, Roger, Andrew, Fergus, Martin (and John & Mike for supplying photos/info)


Sunday 8 March 2020

Switch Work half-day and full day Sunday - 7th & 8th March 2020

After another pesky meeting interfering with PWay Weekend (all be it, the Strathspey Railway pre-season get together, well attended with around 80 there) work commenced after lunch, with Ian, Martin & Mike plus Andrew started fixing down the high rail which had been set earlier by Georgie ..Roger joined us as did Georgie a little later, she had got detained after the meeting.
Then the low rail switch & the crossing were set & fixed down as was the cut to length plain rail all could be lifted in now Georgie says 
Signalling & Telegraph department (S&T) arrived to assess the point locking gear needed & stretcher bars all to fitted before the turnout is positioned good progress, above photo  
 Finance Director checking the newly purchased switches for value for money & maybe thinking about returning to PWay work...…
Thanks to Mike for all info & photos.
And Sunday's squad of Georgie, Iain, Fergus and Andrew who provided info and photos
 a lunchtime shot from Sunday with the curved closure and stock rails in place but still to be aligned, gauged and pinned down - which we managed in the afternoon bar a couple of special chairs and dumpies which Georgie has still to source.

Iain sensibly wearing hard hat in case Andrew dropped his camera!


Sunday 1 March 2020

New switch Boat of Garten - 29th February 2020

The squad's worksite was at a slightly different location, as the brand new pair of switches, had been delivered to Boat of Garten Yard, where the Switches and Crossings (S&C) will be carefully assembled, before being partially dismantled and craned to its final position 300yds further North.   

The timbers had to be more accurately lined up by Andrew above
before Down side of switch placed onto the timbers, in miserable sleety/rain, lined up perfectly on each timber and one screw inserted, to hold in position.
Of note is the year of casting and LTE stands for London Transport Executive? Certainly Georgie said that only the London Underground has new bullhead switches built in UK.
Mike and Gavin were sent to measure the "offsets" of the existing Mainline profile, as it is on a slight curve, which we need to replicate exactly for obvious reasons!
Then positioning the "Crossing" (Ian's foot leaning on it) in correct place.
Usual high-tech bit of string (Hallade wire apparently) in use and it was very fortuitous that Gavin at far end of rail above, chose this weekend to Volunteer as by profession he is a S&C Design Engineer (although I guess he has never worked with bullhead rail before?) he did say he "gained fantastic knowledge and on the job skills" after the hard long day. 

Georgie casts her eye over new B8? switch and the noticeably curved profile.
Many thanks to Roger, Ian, Andrew, Georgie and John, Mike, Gavin who all supplied the photos.