Sunday 26 February 2023

Lampitt Rail & Dalfaber Level Crossing - week ending 25th february 2023

Mike Tough reports - Last week Lampitt Rail Services Ltd were contracted in, to continue our re-sleepering effort on the Kinchurdy Straight between 87 1/2 & 3/4 mile posts. 

Reputedly 105 were changed on the first day! 

On completion, a total of 270 were done and with Georgies assistance the old ones (above right) removed from site,  

ballast dropped and spread and there was even time left for Georgie to get them to do some Measured Shovel Packing (MSP) at Boat of Garten Station! see Lampitt Rail Facebook page from where I borrowed the first two photos (above one taken by Mike from back of moving P'Way train yesterday). Many thanks to them as it would have taken Volunteers many many back breaking Weekends to get to this stage.


Again Mike reports - Yesterday that he, David, Fergus & Michael met at Boat and joined Georgie"s P'Way train headed for the yet to be formally commissioned new Dalfaber Level Crossing. Now that the proper specialist fishplates had arrived ( below looks like worn bullhead to new flatbottom rail) the temporary clamps were removed, rail joints drilled eventually after a faulty drill delayed matters.

Having lifted the track either side of the crossing to carry out MSP, Georgie drove the train over, whilst Signalling & Telegraph team on site supervised road movements, to squeeze the track down before all headed home after another fruitful but tiring day.
Thanks to all involved

Monday 20 February 2023

MSP 92 MP - 18th February 2023

Saturday saw an unwelcome overnight fall of snow at Boat of Garten, where we met and the train was readied and shunted from PWay Depot onto the mainline heading for milepost 92

fortunately less snow on the ground nearer Broomhill but a bone chilling mist (can't have everything!) 

Primary task was Measured Shovel Packing (MSP) but Mike spotted a minor off-track issue with a culvert being partially blocked, so this was cleared and the drainage improved. 

Georgie had noticed a elongated dip in the track at this location and it was confirmed using the sighting boards, after a lot of digging out of ballast in many alternate beds we were ready for a break in the warmth of the Brakevan! By Lunch task completed and Georgie wanted the dipped joints in the area attended to, more sporadic digging required! Michael graduated to the measuring can and Mike with the special MSP shovel above.

Thanks to Mike, Fergus, Andrew, Michael and Iain & David who collected 100+ redundant chair screws that were to be used securing the oil pipe along the line (the brackets are less urgent still to be seen as per top photo)  

Sunday 12 February 2023

Broomhill Cess & Boat maintenance - week ending 11th February 2023

Midweek saw us without Georgie, task set for us was to neatly spread the dropped ash in the cesses 92 1/2 milepost near Broomhill.

We first of all had to go to Boat of Garten to find the grapes, the toolvan was bereft of them except one very heavy one above, other dilapidated ones were got and when we arrived Broomhill Mike found a small rake.   

Task was completed quite rapidly and lunch was had in Broomhill Porters room as it was decidedly windy.

The plan was to lop lineside vegetation Milton Level Crossing but guessed all the decent tools were in the brakevan, presumably at Aviemore!! Angus fitted a new blade to to a handsaw and others found older/blunter implements. We walked from our PWay Depot and in the end cleared the down embankment and round to Milton Bridge as above.

Thanks to Angus, Mike and Roddy (latter two photos)

Mike reports - Yesterday saw a small but very capable squad meet at Boat of Garten expecting to be whisked away to milepost 92 for Measured Shovel Packing, alas no locomotive was available, so Georgie's plan B swung into operation -

  "renewing a few ferrules and screws" near Boat South signalbox. Georgie had got a load of M screws when she was South during the week. Mike removed screws, possibly David and Kevin did battle with old ferrules and above foreground John screwed them down using wrench.

In the process flattening six batteries and a mere 450! screws, meant for four very tired volunteers. The redundant material tidied into piles then thrown in the clamshell bucket and taken to the recycling skip.
Thanks to all mentioned (Mike for info/photos) 

Saturday 4 February 2023

Jacking & Packing Kinchurdy - 3rd February 2023

 Friday 3rd February saw small squad head out to Kinchurdy with Ian operating the recently repaired Jacker Packer to lift track and pack (as below and repeat many times!) - to facilitate the renewing of sleepers.

Alas sleepers either side of the joints still needed hand packing, 

ably done by Mike and Andrew above (who is not rolling a joint, I trust!) anyway the 87 & one half mile post was reached without incident, as asked for by Georgie, who was loading a spoil train at Aviemore.
Thanks to Ian, Andrew and Mike who supplied info/photo/clip.
No PWay progress Saturday 4th as a carriage was partly delivered by contractors.