Sunday 19 November 2023

Jacker Packing - 18th November 2023

As anticipated a large squad assembled at Boat of Garten on Saturday, in rather damp but milder weather, 

our P'Way train took the Squad to the worksite at the Aviemore end of Kinchurdy straight, preceded by the Jacker Packer,

which John Sinclair our Plant Manager has been doing a long term re-build on, he was fortunately on site for a couple of teething problems - loose ignition lead and fuses and

Ian managed to operate the machine the whole day, Fergus being its attendant, with Mike and Martin manually packing the inevitable missed sleepers due to the joints and Georgie levelling & sighting.

Peter (left) Angus (right) still smiling - so before they and John started tidying 300 yards of ballast, using the trolley to shift surpluses to where it was required reported to be a "Loooooong hard wet day".

Andrew and Kevin were given a track spanner each and told to proceed on foot to Aviemore, tightening any loose fishplates enroute, allegedly last seen on the road trying to thumb a lift back to Boat!

As the light started to fade, job successfully complete and the train propelled back to Boat with the Jacker Packer following - no foot crossing harmed on this occasion!  

Thanks to Georgie, Peter, Ian, Martin, Fergus, Angus, Kevin, Andrew & Mike and John who kindly supplied info/photos/video. 

Sunday 12 November 2023

Miscellaneous Mid October - 11th November 2023

Mid October saw some off-track activity by Fergus, in the form of strengthening a considerable length of our boundary fence behind Broomhill Station House to beyond the Station Cottages, by initially strenuously hammering in new posts manually with his mell.    

Fortunately the local Farmer took pity on him and quickly supplied the proper tool for the job and in no time at all, the pair of them had the posts flying in!
Many thanks to both.  

Meanwhile the ballast tidying yet again continued on the Kinchurdy Relay, by chance the first footplate crew threw off some not inconsiderable lumps of coal, which required more of David's muscle power before it could be turned into heat in the lineside hut - it burned very well - enquiries suggested it was Columbian. 

Mid week this week saw the above two ballast hoppers emptied under Georgie's direction at the Aviemore end of Kinchurdy Relay, also we threw off 80 fishplates 

and then ploughed using the Shark.

Saturday 11th saw a good sized squad meet at Boat of Garten. We took own PWay train to site for Mess facilities, as no service trains running, 

the main task was to replace the old fishplates, with the new stronger "skirted" ones, with the aim to reduce the number of breakages and oil them

this was rapidly completed with the aid of the battery wrench and a boot! When the entire 40+ length was done, much to the Squad's angst - Georgie asked for "a bit of ballast tidying boys", by 3pm the train slowly trundled back to Boat, Squad picking up all the old fishplates and returning them to their cars.
Many thanks to Georgie, Mike, Ian, Fergus, Andrew and the new chap from Helmsdale & John whom supplied the info.