Sunday 17 October 2021

Re-Timbering concludes at Boat of Garten - 13th & 16th October 2021

With the loss of Mike's phone he also lost his photos, so I took the one below recently and now include the anecdote that Mike kindly previously supplied -

   Above "as highlighted in yellow by Georgie that the crossover rails added in 1943/44 are rolled in USA as 95 lb per yard bullhead rails at a place called STEELTON in 1941 before USA entered the war in she says 45 foot lengths as Liberty ships could not take 60 foot rails & using rollers supplied from UK as USA only did flat bottom rail."

An ad hoc midweek day was arranged at short notice and a surprising number were able and willing - including a new volunteer Peter (left) think he enjoyed the experience of timber renewal at Boat of Garten in perfect working weather.    

Georgie holds the correct gauge with a rail jack as Andrew drills, so that it can be permanently fixed in place.  

Alas only the one train today to give us an excuse for a break! - One of the many of recent welcome visits of the Royal Scotsman heading for Dundee on this occasion.

Many thanks to Georgie, Mike, Andrew, Roddy, Iain and Peter.


Yesterday saw another great turnout in cool dry weather.

Above shows a scarf joint, expertly cut by John using his chainsaw before installation,

considerable amount of digging required for this now 24 foot timber, I suspect coordinated teamwork required in getting it in situ

as close as possible to five rail joints

and finally the scarfed joint from above.

A new Stihl petrol chair screw/sleeper drill trialed by Ian above, seems to have speeded things up as the last of the remaining six timbers were changed, leaving time for a bit of lineside clearance to finish off the current work at Boat.

Thanks to Georgie, Mike, Ian, Fergus, Michael, Sam, Bob and especially John for providing photos/info

But the unsung Hero of the day was Track Inspector Les, who reported a double broken fishplate (which Georgie promptly attended to)

 Les was promised double time and a day in lieu as a Volunteer!

Monday 11 October 2021

Miscellaneous & "Line Inspection" - up to 9th October 2021

Mid September saw Georgie, Mike, David, Bob, Iain and eventually Michael, who slept in - make good progress in changing six timbers, South of the South Signalbox at Boat of Garten. Photos were taken but alas Mike's mobile phone went amiss (never to be seen again) - hence no timeous blog posting.

The next time P'way met up was one of our at one time annual "Line Inspections" from the comfort of the London Midland Scottish Inspection Saloon with some light refreshments to hand! Above photo was about the only decent one (and no the track isn't bumpy!) showing a few of the current and past P'Way Gang in attendance - of note is Roger being the best dressed as ever, but being in his 82nd or is it 83rd year? he has decided to take things a bit easier and has retired to the platform at Aviemore - we thanked him for his contribution and wish him well for the future. 

Light luncheon was paid for by our "P'Way Boss" Georgie, many thanks to her and the Catering Dept, John the Chef & Diarmid especially, The Watkinson Trust and The Strathspey Railway Company. (We provided Mike with an alibi for the wayward golf ball that broke one of the windows further back the train)

Mid Week 6th October saw Georgie and Bob assisted by Rob Law (Signals & Telegraph Dept)

change a mere two timbers!

 But in typical S&T fashion Rob claimed they are "the two hardest ones"!

Leaving the long, heavy 20 foot timber and 6 others to the Weekend squad of Georgie, David, Michael, Fergus and Mike.

 Assisted by John and Ian, after they had finished putting the final underbridge railings on the Croftnahaven Cattle creep, hopefully concluding that special project at The Office of Rail & Road's behest.

Thanks to all that participated in the work (and play) and for the contributions to this blog, photos came from me,Rob,Mike & John.