Posted by: wrha | January 27, 2016

Winter progress at Whitrope

This years mild weather has allowed volunteers to progress a number of jobs through the winter months with members up most weekends through December and January.

Below are some images which show a number of the jobs undertaken. If the weather continues as it has this year will see more progress than normal through those usually bleak winter days.

The site should now see regular updates to show current progress and notification of when members will be on site if you want to come along and lend a hand.

Posted by: wrha | November 23, 2015

November Works Weekend

The last works weekend of the year provided an opportunity to lay some more ballast on the main line to the tunnel. The main concern with the mild Autumn we have been having was being too warm whilst shoveling the ballast. We need not have worried, winter weather arrived just in time so that temperature regulation was not an issue.

The team that arrived on the Saturday morning were faced with a neat pile of 20 ton of ballast at the level crossing, freshly decorated with a couple of inches of overnight snow. Not to be deterred they cracked on and started work to lay the ballast, using Jim’s excavator, the Ruston and flat wagon. With the ambient temperature ideal for heavy labour the pw team made great progress and by the end of the day all 20 tons had been laid. This means that the ballasted track is now almost half way from the level crossing towards the tunnel.

Elsewhere on site one of the parcels trolleys has been moved into the exhibition coach for a winter refurbishment. Joe was up working on the plants around the site. New volunteer Malcolm was drafted into the pw team and seemed to enjoy his day, although he may have awaken feeling a little sore on Sunday morning! Welcome to the crew.

Sunday saw a smaller number of volunteers on site, but work was carried out to move materials into the containers. The unit RB004 and the pw bug were winterised ready for the colder weather over the next couple of months.

This was the last works weekend of the year and marks the last event for this year. Work will continue at weekends over the winter, but it will be the New Year before any major programmes are planned. As always thanks to all the volunteers that have been up to Whitrope during the year. It is your hard work and commitment that allows the railway to make such good progress.

Posted by: wrha | November 13, 2015

Whitrope Update

It has unfortunately been a while since I have been able to update events at Whitrope. October saw the end of the running season for another year, one where we have been able to provide a service on every day advertised.

We did have a visit from our patron Lord David Steele and members of his family. He was very impressed with all he saw and thoroughly enjoyed his visit. He hopes to be able to return soon.

We have had a very kind donation of a set of level crossing gates. The gates were donated by John Murray and we are extremely grateful. The gates were delivered to Whitrope by Buccleuch Estates. The gates are from Gilnockie on the Langholm branch. They are therefore an important piece of Waverley heritage and a great addition to our materials collection.

Work has continued on the pointwork at the cross-over and the access point to the stock siding is now connected up to a single throw point lever. This will make shunting operations much easier for the operating staff.

Finally the old toilet shed has been on the move and is currently located in the compound awaiting a new lease of life in the New Year.

Posted by: wrha | November 13, 2015

Waverley Route Steam Specials

Some images taken at Waverley station of one of the very successful steam specials that ran in September and October. Hopefully after such a well patronized running season the specials will run again next year. All the pictures were taken on the 2.1st of September

Posted by: wrha | October 30, 2015

Borders Railway royal opening.

Apologies for the lack of recent updates to the site the the world outside the railway has been somewhat busy over the last few weeks. There is a good deal of news and pictures to catch up with so I will attempt to get the site up to date over the next few days.
The first set of images are from the Royal opening of the Borders Railway. It was great to see such a good turn out of people both along the route and at the ceremony at Tweedbank.

Posted by: wrha | September 2, 2015

Hawick model railway running weekend

Saturday and Sunday saw the railway running a service on both days to link in with the Hawick model railway exhibition. With a bus shuttle running between Hawick and Whitrope over the weekend a good number of visitors took advantage of the service to pop up the hill.

RB004 was running and carried a good number of passengers along our short running line. With teas, coffee and snacks available in the buffet coach all the visitors seemed to thoroughly enjoy their trip. For once the summer the weather was kind to us with both days being dry with reasonable amounts of sunshine.

A number of jobs were also carried out over the weekend with work ongoing on the containers to get them ready for use. This will allow a lot more of our materials to be stored under cover with winter once more on the horizon.

Next weekend sees the opening of the new Borders Railway to Tweedbank and the railway is again running on both Saturday and Sunday, so if you are in the area please pop in.

Posted by: wrha | August 3, 2015

Queen to open Borders Railway

Double celebration as HM marks milestone as monarch & re-opens railway

The Borders Railway will be officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen on the day that she becomes Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Several days of celebrations will be held to mark the start of services on the line in September, kicking off with a Golden Ticket day of community events for those who have served the railway, both old and new, throughout its history.

And the centrepiece of the festival will be a Royal opening on Wednesday, September 9, where the Queen will be joined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to take an historic steam journey along the route with celebrations at either end.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown said:

“It is a great honour for us that Her Majesty has chosen to mark this milestone by leading the celebrations for the opening of the Borders Railway.

“The people of the Borders and Midlothian have waited almost half a century to see the return of their railway and it is fitting that these two such historic events coincide.

“This will be a double celebration and we are also ensuring that the people who have campaigned, worked hard and shown such patience throughout this process are able to play a full part in the celebrations, with a separate day dedicated just to them.”

The news comes with just a month to go until the new railway opens, on time and on budget. It is the longest domestic railway to be built in the UK in over 100 years.

The Queen and Prince Philip will arrive at Waverley Station in Edinburgh to board the train drawn by the steam locomotive Union of South Africa on the morning of Wednesday, September 9, and will travel the route, stopping off at Newtongrange in Midlothian before carrying on to the final stop on the new railway at the Scottish Borders town of Tweedbank.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said:

“We are thrilled that Her Majesty The Queen will open the new Borders Railway on such a special day for the Royal family.

“The Borders Railway will open up Midlothian and the Borders to so many more opportunities including tourism, leisure, work and education, and marking the opening of the line with a Royal visit really is wonderful.

“This will be a truly historical day and we’re honoured to share it with Her Majesty.”

Councillor Graham Garvie, Convener of Scottish Borders Council, said: “The Borders Railway is the most significant project for generations in our region and we are thrilled to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to formally open the railway.

“The fact that this occasion coincides with Her Majesty becoming Britain’s longest serving monarch makes it unique in the history of the Borders.”

Posted by: wrha | July 31, 2015

Mid week work and filming

A number of volunteers were on site mid-week doing various jobs and being filmed by a visiting film crew.

The visit by the Borders Railway film crew was for a forthcoming programme in their series of short features on the rebuilding of the Borders Railway. The programme will feature trips along the line and interviews with a number of volunteers. It was nice that for once this month the weather was fine and they were able to do all the filming they required. The programme will appear on their web site at some point in the near future.

In between filming a number of small jobs were carried out around the site, with the compound now starting to look much smarter as it is further tidied up.

Posted by: wrha | July 26, 2015

Border Union Show and Running Weekend

The railway had a stand at this years Border Union show in Kelso. The show runs on the Friday and Saturday providing the railway a chance to be seen by a wider audience. The weather on both days was somewhat mixed, with pleasant sunshine and heavy showers. Still a good deal of publicity material was given out and a lot of favorable comments were received. Thanks to all the members that crewed the stand and help set up and take down the stand.

On site a number of volunteers were up on Saturday, with services being run in conjunction with the show appearance. Several jobs were ongoing, with further work on the paths at the end of the platform to allow access to the back of the coaches in the bay platform. A small team were working on the Ruston focusing on the paintwork. Ian was up progressing the sealing and painting of the Mk1 buffet, unfortunately not helped by the rain. The office container also witnessed the attention of a small painting team progressing the clean up and painting of the exterior.

With a number of visitors arriving for train rides it proved quiet a busy day.

Posted by: wrha | July 21, 2015

July Track Weekend

With a number of regulars missing due to holidays and other reasons the main task for the weekend was to complete improved access from the platform to the foot-crossing and the far side of the coaches in the bay platform. With the completion of the plumbing in the buffet kitchen the volunteers now need access to the far side of the coaches in the bay platform. It therefore needed the area at the end of the platform improving to provide good even footing.
The crew available over the weekend constructed shuttering during Saturday then used some of the type 1 available in the car park to fill the paths on the Sunday.
Davie as always was working on the Fowler, although the showers that persisted throughout the weekends curtailed the planned painting.
On the Sunday the Ruston was available for footplate rides as the unit was unavailable due to nesting birds.

The railway has a stand at the Borders Union Show in Kelso on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th so pop along to say hello if you are in the area. It is also a full running weekend with trains running on both Saturday and Sunday.

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