Monday 28 February 2022

Extra Weekday squeezed in - 28th February 2022

 As I haven't pulled my weight of recent due to my shift work pattern, I fancied a nice easy day at the Railway whilst Georgie was away, to my pleasant surprise not only did we have a new recruit but seven other regulars responded to the call to arms email - meeting at Broomhill.

Bob, Roddy and me were given the easier task of changing every third baseplate with "Pan 11", no idea why named as such, so Googled, amazed to find and be distracted by photos from our own blog from 2016! So none the wiser.....

 Simply put, out with old 

in with new, repeat.... many times

We always give the new starts the nice easy jobs -

 Kevin having coerced Les into coming along, shows him the joys of elastic spike removal

although please be aware Les, Kevin's "Sharapova" grunts are optional!

Some need some gentle persuasion, to break their rusted in grip, no baseplates harmed, on this occasion.

The rest of the squad were changing sleepers and lightly packing them.

After Lunch Kevin and Les gladly joined myself and Fergus heading North of Broomhill to Mid Curr No 2 Level Crossing, to put in cattle guards, which Georgie had dropped off sometime ago, to deter four legged encroachments along the line.

at the same time, the crossing was made safer for rail traffic

by digging out the flangeway.

  Meanwhile the rest of the squad had fun measuring and measuring again after tie bars used to tighten the guage and then drilling and screwing down quite a few sleepers. 

 In all, hopefully a successful day and many thanks to Mike, Roddy, Angus, Andrew, Fergus, Bob and especially Les whom may return before Kevin.

Saturday 19 February 2022

Snow and Milton tree/lineside clearance - 19 February 2022

Plan B swung into operation after yesterdays white stuff, rendezvous was changed to Boat of Garten Station.

Where the Station Master was grateful of our shovelling skills, in clearing a short section of platform as only a short train was running

.Some lineside clearance was carried out at the behest of the organisers of a forthcoming photo charter.

Once Georgie had cleared the points of snow at Aviemore to release the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) from the shed onto the mainline, she joined the squad at the next worksite, just off shot from above clip and mentioned/photo in previous blog -


the split wind damaged tree near Milton No 2 level crossing

John above and Ian soon expertly felled them without touching any electrical wires

and looks as if Fergus' fence was unscathed too! The brash was laid down and Martin first in there for some firewood!

Thanks to Georgie, Mike, Michael, Martin and John & Ian for Info/photos, on what turned out to be a cool gloriously sunny day.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Broomhill re-sleepering & Milton tree - 12th February 2022

Large squad assembled at Broomhill Saturday 12th, which Georgie organsied into three teams :- changing sleepers, changing ferrules and changing baseplates from from spike to a type called Pan 11 and undertaking the associated gauging and fixing work.  

After Lunch the weather turned liquid, even though still managed to change 21 sleepers and heaps of baseplates & ferrules, work to be continued.....

Report of "sheep on the line at Milton" - John and Fergus were dispatched to herd them off

and to check fence lines to see how the incursion occurred, in doing so came across this storm damaged tree which is closer to power lines than we would like, this unplanned work also to be continued.....

Thanks to Ian (also photo/info) Iain, David, Bob, Kevin, Fergus, John (also photo/info) Angus, Martin & Georgie who was pleased with the progress made.


Thursday 10 February 2022

Digging out near Broomhill - 5th February 2022

 Despite the forecasted bad weather a huge squad still assembled at Broomhill Station, with the next longterm worksite just around the corner. 

The curve is reputed to be the tightest on the old Highland mainline North of Aviemore and apparently in days gone by the trains rattled round at the full line speed of 60 miles per hour.
Georgie's plan is to hold the gauge much better than currently possible. Commencing with spot re-sleepering - Above Bob, Fergus and Andrew make a start on digging out, a massive 37 were dug.

The weather was pretty awful with heavy rain and Mike didn't want to risk getting his phone wet (or lost again!) hence photo in the Porters Room at Broomhill being the only mess facilities available on this occasion - Kevin dragged along for the second time his mate Iain almost hiding behind his large flask but still smiling.
 John, Mike, Angus, Georgie and others had fun trying to remove the dreaded elastic spikes - of which more in the future I am sure!
Thanks to all that braved the elements and Mike/John for photos & info.

With all the recent storms affecting rail routes in the Highlands a route proving locomotive was run and fortunately this was the worst that occurred so far, near Kinchurdy underbridge yesterday.
Thanks to Rob Law (S&T) for photo and tidying up the debris with Georgie.