Posted by: wrha | April 20, 2014

Works Days 2014 part 3

Tuesday and Wednesday saw more work on both the actual bay and the approach. The hill side was cut back further and a start made on establishing a solid foundation on the approach to bay platform. Further work was done along the bay to deepen the ditch and the platform area was filled with spoil, this is now ready for compacting, levelling and top dressing. The digger went off hire on Wednesday, so for the moment the work on the bay will be stopped.

Friday Iain Mac did a survey of the running line to make sure it is safe for the forthcoming  running season, pleasingly it was in good order, just some minor points that need to be addressed. These will be worked on over the next couple of weeks so that we are ready for running in May.

Saturday and a glorious day at Whitrope saw a good turn out of volunteers. Davie and Tom were working on the Fowler, using the opportunity to advance the paintwork, Davie working on the outside of the cab and Tom the cab floor. Some more work was carried out on the engine which is slowly starting to come back together. Alan and Bill continue to work on the exhibition coach and the displays are now nearly completed. The Ruston was run up and then had an oil change, so she is now ready for the new season. Joe continues to work on the drains around the level crossing, progressing the inspection point on the south side of the crossing.

The plan over the next couple of weeks is to re-hire the digger to allow the ground-works for the bay to be completed.  Once the dates are finalised in the next few days a notice will go on the site as we will any help people can give to complete the next phase.


Posted by: wrha | April 17, 2014

Easter Opening times at Heritage Centre

Please note that due to the road closure of the Newcastleton – Hawick road B6399 until the end of April it has been decided not to formally open the heritage centre until May. Therefore although there will be volunteers on site over Easter and through April the centre will not be opening, nor any trains running. We apologize for any inconvenient but feel it is the best option as the diversion route makes getting to the centre difficult.

Posted by: wrha | April 14, 2014

Works Days 2014 part 2

Thursday and Friday saw further work on the approach area to the bay with various drains laid. The whole area is very soft and is going to require a lot of hard core to provide a stable foundation. Baz and Dave also did some more work on RB004. A fantastic effort over the week by all concerned with steady progress being made. Jim was up on the Friday and both the Mk1 buffet and the exhibition coach are now all wired for 240 volts.

Saturday saw a good turn of volunteers and a number of tasks were undertaken. A large amount of hardcore was laid in part of the approach to the bay to provide a stable base for the digger and dumper to operate from. Davie continued his campaign ‘to paint it black’ certainly regarding the frames on the Fowler anyway! Bill and Alan continued work on the exhibition coach and things are now starting to take shape. Ian was working on the roof of the Mk1 buffet, repairing a couple of leaks. Although the day itself was very grey and dank lunch was enjoyed in the dazzling brightness of the fully working lights of the Mk1 buffet (sunglasses now required!!)

Sunday saw the digger on top of the hill pulling back some of the over burden. The ground was saturated so progress was slowed somewhat by the digger quite often disappearing into the mud. Still a huge amount of earth was shifted and the area at the top of the excavation now looks much more stable. Further progress was also made on a number of other tasks across the site.

Monday and Jim in the digger was working on the bay platform excavating the ditch and compacting the base to provide a stable foundation. Once again the sea of mud seemed to swallow whatever hardcore was thrown at and cried and out for more. By the end of the day a much deeper ditch had been established and the base of the bay was beginning to stabilize.

The next few days should see further progress in the bay and with some luck a start will be made on laying the actual foundation layers ready for track. A huge amount has been achieved and once again a huge thank you to all the volunteers who have given so much time to make it all happen.

Posted by: wrha | April 9, 2014

Works days 2014

An update on progress at Whitrope part way through the first week of the work days.

Monday saw atrocious conditions with driving rain all day. With the digger on site a start was made on removing some of the spoil off the area that will give access to the bay platform. The day also saw several deliveries of stone for use in the bay.
Baz and Dave were on site all day with support from Andy Laing and steady progress was made.

Tuesday dawned a bright day and the same team again made steady progress with removing spoil from the area. The amount of water present in the excavation area after Monday’s rain made the working area fairly difficult. Some surveying work was done to ensure that all the levels are correct and preparation work was done on RB004 ready for the new season.

Baz and Dave were joined by Jim on Wednesday and another reasonable day saw further progress made, with a large amount of spoil removed and a start on some of the drains which should hopefully help reduce the amount of water on the excavation site.

So on the whole great progress has been made so far, although the area still appears like a sea of mud. The next few days should see more tangible progress.
A great effort so far for our first real week long works session with thanks to all the volunteers that have been able to be on site allowing such good progress to be made.


Posted by: wrha | April 6, 2014

Saturday 5th April

A dank and grey day up at Whitrope, brightened somewhat by a procession of vintage cars on a rally that passed the site. A number of tasks were progressed, with Alan and Bill working on the coaches to have the exhibition and buffet coach ready for the new season. Davie was working on various bits of the Fowler that could be needle-gunned then taken indoors to paint. Rod and Duncan worked on the engine and the head was assembled and put back on the engine. Baz and Dave were also on site and got the last three copers in place. We now have a complete platform with copers running to the bottom of the ramp.

Further works are being undertaken during the coming week to progress the bay platform, so if you are free come along as any help would be greatly appreciated.

I will provide some up-dates of the work as it progresses over the next week.

Posted by: wrha | April 2, 2014

Freightliner to Brunthill

Whilst all talk of reopening at the moment concerns the northern end of the Waverley Route, down at the Carlisle end it’s often forgotten that the line still exists and is used, from Kingmoor to Stainton reversing loop and over the West Coast Main Line to Brunthill.

A recent Brunthill trip working was captured by Dave Smith as it passed over bridge 261. These workings are quite rare so to get some photos of one is something special. The loco is in fact propelling the Cargos back to Stainton, though it does look like it’s taking a northbound Class 6 to Millerhill!




Photos copyright David Smith.

Posted by: wrha | March 31, 2014

Saturday 29th March

A busy few days at Whitrope with the earth works for the bay platform underway. Jim, Alan and Bill were on hand to keep an eye on progress as the bank was cut back to allow access for the coaches to the bay. There is still a great deal to do but there will be a number of working days in April (see events page) which should hopefully see the majority of the ground works for the bay completed.
On Saturday there was a good turn out of members with a variety of jobs done. The pw team inserted two concrete sleepers on the north side of the crossing to balance out across the rail joint. Further work was done on the Fowler with Davie continuing to progress the frames and bodywork. The engine was aligned is now ready for the coupling to be bolted and the mountings fully secured. Joe was on site and progressing with a number of groundwork tasks.
Note as stated in last weeks report the road from Hawick is currently shut and diversions are in place.

Posted by: wrha | March 23, 2014

Saturday 22nd March

Sorry for the lack of recent updates have been somewhat busy away from the railway. Things at Whitrope have been progressing well through February and March with progress made on a number of fronts. Baz and Dave have progressed the bay platform wall and the brick course is now complete and the last three coping stones for the platform are ready to be laid. Progress has been made with the point rodding runs to allow the cross-over to be operated from the ground-frame, hopefully a couple more months and this job will be complete.

Today we had Mike from Lift ‘n’ Shift on site on site, principally to drop the engine back in the Fowler. Whilst he was available we moved the brown container down to the compound were it will be a much more conveniently located to support working on the Fowler. The blue container was also re-located on the previous site of the brown container to help free up the area of the turning circle. Lastly some concrete sleepers were placed up near the level crossing to prepare for some forthcoming pw work.

There is plenty going on up the hill and we have quite a bit planned over the next couple of weeks which should have a large impact on the site.

Please note that the road from Hawick to Newcastleton B6399 is closed for the next 6 weeks so people will need take the diversion via the Bonchester Bridge road A6088
if coming to Whitrope from the north.

Posted by: wrha | February 5, 2014

Borders Railway Project: Borthwick Bank to Gorebridge

This stretch of line is very rural before Gorebridge is reached. The line is fairly heavily engineered with large embankments and deep cuttings. The railway is undergoing a vast amount of civil engineering, but it is in the more subtle form that really will not stand out once the railway is open, as opposed to some of the bridges and tunnels on the other sections. The photographs were taken after some of the recent very heavy rain, so the newly installed drainage is getting a thorough work out.

Posted by: wrha | February 2, 2014

Sunday 2nd February

A small group up the hill today. Joe was up for the weekend although on Saturday the weather won out and no outside work was done. Today was better and he was out planting trees and bulbs around the site. A couple of small maintenance jobs were done on the Fowler and Ruston. Davie as normal had his needle gun out and today he had one of the sand-boxes off the Fowler in his sights. This was all stripped back and primer applied by the end of the day.
Alan and Bill were also up in the afternoon doing a couple of tasks.

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