Thursday 27 October 2022

Progress on three fronts - 27th October 2022

Saturday 22nd October not a P'Way day, the opportunity was taken to rediscover the old platelayers cottages from the encroaching vegetation at Broomhill.    


and after Ian, Kevin, Les and David used an assortment of tools and manpower to clear the site. Thanks to all and Ian for info/photos.
The forthcoming Dalfaber Level Crossing upgrade is more than just a major Signalling and Telegraph (S&T) project,  to date delivered  P'Way materials include -  

Hardwood sleepers with Pan11 baseplates already attached,

hollow steel sleeper/cable duct,

specially coated rail, in an attempt to slow the corrosion caused by Highland Council's winter de-icing of roads,

rails with glued insulated joints - which thanks to Chris Doig recently Incorporated Engineer of the Permanent Way Institution "SHOULD be installed completely in accordance with the Standard" as he supplied the definitive drawing to our S&T Director.
Today our sole task was drilling sleepers for this Winters big relay of track on "Kinchurdy Straight" using the late Hamish Mackay's robust/trusty template.

Fortuitously Georgie was on hand and used the Colmar to easily place the sleepers on the batons we placed out (although most were upside down! - we use the "heartwood up"  theorem - open to debate I am sure!) 

Anyway after lunch we dug out the generator and the bigger slower generator drill to double our production. Sleepers with markings of two X's enclosed with a circle are to be used at joints and ones with a single X are to be installed on the either end curves.
In total eighty were drilled today with plenty left to do, thanks to Mike Roddy and Georgie. 


Saturday 15 October 2022

Recent On & Off Track progress - Week Ending 15th October 2022

Off Track to start, the Signalbox at Aviemore is receiving a much needed external refurbishment and repaint more detailed (accurate) accounts can be found on

What won't be found is a photo of the stalwart main volunteers that have of recent years refurbished/painted Boat of Garten :- Signalbox, Station & North Cabin and many other projects - on the left (keeping warm and maybe giving orders!) Colin Frost and Ray Kenyon (multi tasking doing a bit of re-glazing). The Strathspey Railway Directors have promised them a lunch on the train as an expression of their gratitude. Colin has thanked his friends from Ellon and the small part that the P'way squad managed to contribute.   

Even more photogenically elusive is the professional painter Murray Duncan, who has recently painted Broomhill Station House to his usual very high standard. Photo from Mike Tough who led at short notice a mid-week squad - spreading the re-cycled locomotive ash on both cesses near Fishermans' Crossing, Martin and Iain, like Mike maybe found muscles they never knew they had the following day! Thanks to all. 

Today's start was delayed due to heavy rain and spot re-sleepering concluded near Boat of Garten Down Distant Signal (just visible above the extremely bright headlamp - must have better burning paraffin than coal these days!!!) some half dozen sleepers were pulled through and re-drilled to prolong their life and some re-ferreling was done. An early finish was gained as Georgie was satisfied with progress and she had to go and deal with another Royal Scotsman charter train arrival.  
Thanks to Mike, Martin, Ian, Peter and Fergus who still had the energy to join us after his Aviemore - Boat of Garten Track Inspection.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Civil Engineers Fleet expands - September & early October 2022

September saw continuing spot re-sleepering beyond Kinchurdy Bridge

large squads and good weather were much appreciated.

Bruce using one of his many arboreal hand tools to good effect. 

Saturday 17th was the PWay squad Annual "Line Inspection" with Georgie kindly paying for our soup and sandwiches (absorbing some of the alcohol!). Earlier David Childs showed us the excellent oo scale model railway layout of Boat of Garten. Thanks to all. 

Mike inspecting two surprise additions to the Engineers Fleet - 1950's era "Medfit" wagons which were acquired from the Churnet Valley Railway  

and this week two out the six "Sea Urchins" being unloaded having been purchased from the Wensleydale Railway. Stationmaster Walters advises - Shildon built in 1979 possibly the youngest vehicles on the Railway. (thanks to R.Law photo)

The following day a P'Way train was quickly squeezed into Aviemore on a busy day,

with three service trains, light loco and the Royal Scotsman. The wagons were examined by the Carriage & Wagon department and Georgie already has them now fuller with spoil from the proposed running shed site.