One of the last major projects to be undertaken on the Borders Railway project is the road over-bridge at Falahill which will carry the A7 over the new railway. This is a project that has been much debated and has gone through several incarnations before the final plans were approved. The project which straddles the very busy A7 has run smoothly with the minimum of disruption to traffic flows.
A busy couple of days at Whitrope with a number of jobs undertaken. Unfortunately we were not able to get hold of the planned plant for the week due to lack of availability, but there are always plenty of jobs to undertake. The weather over the two days was very hot, so the chance was taken to get top coat paint applied to the Fowler.
The biggest task of the weekend was to get the newly delivered base plate for the signal which is to be located at the end of the platform in position. This was done on the Saturday and fitted perfectly, Jim’s template obviously being spot on. The base now awaits the signal which should hopefully be fitted later this year.
Work progressed on the Fowler over both days with various areas of the locomotive receiving its new livery of Oxford Blue and she is starting to look very smart. Work continue on the engine which is slowly coming back together.
A number of small pw jobs were undertaken and some site maintenance saw some of the fencing taken down to allow access for the bay platform works re-instated. Joe undertook a number of landscaping jobs with the flower beds on the platform looking very nice at the moment.
Ian continued to progress the work in the Mk1 buffet and the new kitchen is starting to come together well.
If the good weather is encouraging you to get out and about why not come up to Whitrope either for a visit to see progress for yourself or even better come along to lend a hand. There are always things to do and you will be made most welcome.
The final section of the Borders Railway is all new construction being on a different alignment to the old Waverley line. It leaves the old trackbed just south of Sherrifhall roundabout, then runs parallel to Millerhill road before cutting across the site of the old Monktonhall colliery. The area used to be a major coal producing zone with the associated huge marshalling yards at Millerhill. It is now all cleared land that has been designated as the site for a major housing and light industry development, which will be served by the new Shawfair station. Some of the Millerhill site is still in use but just a small part of what was a huge freight marshalling complex. The Borders Railway joins the Edinburgh sub line just south of Newcraighall station. This is an area that will soon be unrecognisable when compared with the landscape before the railway arrived. All the roads in the area are being re-aligned and what will be a massive housing development will transform a former derelict industrial landscape into modern commuter belt. This area is where the Borders Railway has completely transformed the surrounding area. It will be interesting to see if this happens at other areas along the route as time goes by.
A weekend of sunshine and showers saw a number of jobs advanced on site.
The paintwork on the Fowler continues to advance with work done inside the cab and on the panels. There was also some work done on the covers until a shower brought a halt to proceedings. The engine is coming back together and hopefully should see quite a bit of progress over the next couple of weeks.
The pw team continues to work on the point-work and completing the rodding runs for the point and locking arrangements.
A few visitors over both days saw the unit make some trips up and down the line.
Next Friday we are again hiring some plant in for a number of days so if anyone wants to pop up to lend a hand please come along. Hopefully we should be able to do a number of groundwork tasks that will allow several jobs to progress over the coming months.
The section of railway from Eskbank to Sherrifhall has a very rural feel with some pleasant scenery, particularly around Glenesk. The main structure in the section is Glenesk viaduct which as a listed structure and is being restored for use in liaison with Historic Scotland. The section ends at what was probably the most complex engineering challenge in the re-build of the railway. This involved building a road over-bridge carrying the A720 Edinburgh city by-pass over the railway. To achieve this the structure had to be built whilst maintaining the traffic flow along the by-pass. This involved constructing a new embankment to temporarily carry the road whilst the bridge was built. The temporary embankment is now being removed upon completion of the new over-bridge. All this has been achieved without any major road problems, surely a massive achievement for BAM the company re-building the railway.
A good turnout today saw a number of jobs undertaken and the good weather also brought out a reasonable number of visitors.
The boys from the 77021 group were up and took all the redundant electrical gear off the ground-frame. A much better day today than yesterday, when an afternoon was spent in the pouring rain working on the point rodding runs.
The damaged fish-plate at the north end of the platform was replaced, then some of the stock was shunted around to move the Northumbria Rail Mk1 into the compound so it will be accessible to work on.
Ian was doing a number of small tasks on the exhibition coach, whilst Bill and Alan were working on the exhibits on the platform.
Thanks to all the user of this blog, the site has just passed half a million views in what is its 5th year.
The section of railway from Newtongrange to Eskbank includes two of the lines iconic structures. The first being Newbattle viaduct a structure which has been incorporated into the logo for the new Borders Railway. The Victorian viaduct is the most imposing structure along the whole of the line and it will be great to see trains running across it once more. The second structure is the new viaduct which carries the railway across Hardengreen roundabout, not as ecstatically pleasing as the old viaduct in my view but still an impressive piece of civil engineering. The railway runs through what is now a suburban landscape exemplified by two new stations in fairly close proximity to each other.
The main job today was to complete the re-instatement of the running line. Some work by a small pw team and the unexpectedly available plant saw the rails replaced and one side clipped up, earlier in the week. This left today’s team to complete gauging, screwing down and clipping up the last rail. Once this had been packed and aligned the Ruston was run back up to the stock siding. The running line is now available again for passengers.
The two coaches in the bay platform were electrically connected up to the generator, allowing light and power through both coaches. In the buffet coach Ian continued work on fitting the recently received kitchen components. Alan was on site manning the exhibition and Mk2 buffet, now spread over two platforms!
Finally Joe was up for the weekend tending to the flower beds on the platform and the numerous other ground-works jobs on his list.