Saturday 20 June 2020

Mid-Week & first COVID 19 Weekend - 17 & 20 June 2020

Spot the difference -
 Both taken from inside Boat of Garten North Signal Cabin a few days apart (using a zoom lens) unfortunately no sun on Wednesday though.
Mike and Georgie met Boss of Nethy Steel Ltd, who hope to recommence the construction of the shed imminently. Later myself and Mike managed to cut back the vegetation that would soon obscure the back of the exit signal from the seemingly officially named
"Permanent Way Depot" - aka "Morley's".
After Lunch it had dried up sufficiently for Mike to continue the never ending weedkilling, hand spraying around the South yards and myself to tackle more bushes and trees (with a bushman's saw). Hopefully will be able to see the new Down Starter Signal, once the arm is attached and I attempted to increase sighting of the Up Home Signals, Oh and Georgie has now removed the 10 mph Temporary Speed Restriction!

 True to their word Nethy Steel got the roof cladding on by close of play on Friday, thanks to Robert Walters for the photo.
Saturday was a long time in coming for many of us - hence the great turnout - sensibly socially distanced over plenty of worksites. On arrival Ian was cutting the grass again on approach road to the rendezvous point - Boat of Garten Station Car Park.
The Weed Killing Train poised ready to go for the 3rd attempt at getting to the River Dulnain!
John looking for divine intervention at the prospect of turning a load of mis-sized planks of wood into a Road/Rail Vehicle Access Point (RRVAP) firstly finishing off the down shoulder of Siding, Lauren casually looks on, awaiting instructions.
Andrew (with the Boris hair do) shows Kevin (newbie) the ropes on fishplate oiling all the new joints. Rob Law (S&T Dept) encouraging Angus (seconded/conscripted for the day) to dig faster!

Dave Green gingerly takes the train past the RRVAP worksite,
and accelerates away - apparently Mike, Ian and John Sinclair only had 2 or was it 3 calamities to contend with whilst spraying,
Mike subsequently sent this photo to prove they made it! (or for us to admire his bridge) 
With the Siding complete, more packing wood was required for the wooden sleepers on the Mainline, Graeme having just packed some ballast under the first timber.
Having been fishplate oiling in the morning, Kevin still has cream trousers and even more amazing is he is still smiling after helping Georgie, Andrew and myself scavenge small amounts of excess ballast, in the mid Summer heat, for packing under the new RRVAP.
Thanks to all mentioned (hope I haven't missed anyone?) Roger paid us a very brief visit and still cannot believe the progress Georgie has made.  

Saturday 13 June 2020

Yellow Machine & Weeds get a repreive! - late May & 12th June 2020

Our intrepid Station Master reports  "Don't Panic!
 We are not about to demolish the Island Platform Waiting Room.
Before Georgie took a well deserved short break from work (end of May) we agreed she should leave the Colmar jib on the platform near a power supply, so that I could use a heat gun to remove the old branding. Took 90 minutes just to remove one label and some paintwork came with it! Horrible job" - which he regrets ever mentioning but he has a spray can of JCB yellow to speed things up...…"

Finally the twice postponed annual weedkilling train got underway yesterday - the class 08 Shunter driven by Georgie, hauled the fully fitted train from Boat of Garten to Aviemore, with the operators Mike, Ian and Martin getting PPE'd up on the brake van.
Cool calm dry weather - perfect for spraying - meant slow plain sailing on the propelling movement on return, above approaching the splendid lattice Down Distant signal for Boat of Garten
and the grand co-acting Down Section signal, of note is Martin's unscathed spraying boom, less said about Mike's the better!
Someone had the bright idea of filling up the thousand litre tank quickly from the steam locomotive water tank above.

After this the guys washed their hands (for more than 20 seconds) and luncheon was had sitting in the sun on the platform.

The intension was to spray all the way to the River Dulnain but on the descent to Milton Bridge some of the spray nozzles clogged up with what looked like grass - stop pump - stop train and get down, unscrew and clean them out, this kept on occurring until the overbridge at Tullochgorum at which point the decision to go back to Boat was made, to further investigate.
Above shows the problem in the almost empty plastic tank - moss? our only conclusion was that there must be a birds nest in large water tower - Mike checked it out but no trace.
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to flush out the tank - scenes akin to Laurel & Hardy ensued, when the we used the power of the fire pump.
To be continued..... another day.