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.

Posted by: wrha | July 17, 2015

Saturday 11th July

Sorry for a slightly late report on last weekend.

The main job of the day was to move the Fowler a little further down the stock siding, now the electric pw trolley has gone. This was done using the JCB and it now rests well clear of the Mk1 coach, making access to the Mk1 much easier and safer.
The gas fitter was on site and the cooker in the refurbished buffet is now plumbed in and certified. This makes the kitchen area much easier to use and it certainly looks much tidier.
Peter was busy doing some more work on the drainage system which has worked well during some of the recent monsoon conditions we have all been experiencing this summer.
Work continues on the office container with a start being made on the exterior paintwork, whilst the weather was dry. The refurbished blackboard was mounted inside and will see use as the traction department notice board.
Davie taking advantage of the Fowler move has started work on the front end.
All told a busy day with a number of jobs around the site progressing well.


Posted by: wrha | July 15, 2015

Saughtree Friday 10th July

A number of volunteers on duty for the Branch Line Society visit took the opportunity to join them on their visit to Saughtree station on the old Border Counties Railway. There was the chance to have a trip along the running line and into a number of the sidings. It was a very enjoyable little trip which all those who journeyed along found very interesting.

Posted by: wrha | July 12, 2015

The Branch Line Society Visit 10th July 2015

On the Friday morning the railway played host to a visit from the Branch Line Society. Their members had traveled from all over the UK for the visit with one member travelling from as far away as Minehead in Somerset. Their arrival was scheduled for 09:00 so it was an early start for the volunteers on duty. The plan for the visit was to cover as much track as was accessible using RB004, we were also providing food and drinks as they had all been travelling for a good while.

With a good turn out of volunteers and the food collected from the caterers we were all ready as they arrived. The partyof over 50 split into a couple of groups with one party travelling on the train, down to bridge 200 then back along and up to the tunnel end on the main line. They then had a short trip along the completed section of the run round loop. Whilst the first group were on the unit the second group were having some refreshments. The groups then swapped around.

Finally some of the group had a short trip in the permaquip trolley along a short section of track from the end of the platform. The group visited the exhibition and had a good look around the site. The feedback from all the group members was very positive, they were impressed by the exhibition and the hospitality on offer.

I would like to thank Paul Stewart of the Branch Line Society for organizing the trip, Thomas and Ethel Tearooms at Earlston for providing the food and most importantly all the volunteers that turned out early on a Friday morning to make the visit such a success.

Posted by: wrha | July 6, 2015

Saturday and Sunday 4th and 5th of July

Another Saturday of low cloud and occasional rain combined with warm temperatures made the local midge population very happy and the volunteers not so!! The main focus of the day was to get the stock and site ready for the BLS society visit next Friday. We also carried out some work on the permaquip ‘bug’ to prepare her for operating. After being given a successful inspection the ‘bug’ was run up and down the line. This also involved raising the ‘bug’ on the hydraulic ram and rotating it to reverse the direction of travel. Everything worked fine and this looks like a really useful addition to our stock list. One lesson was learnt in the during in the day, don’t press the remote stops by accident whilst rotating the vehicle?!!
Some more ballast was spread beyond bridge 200, but the midges won out here and the exercise was cut short.
The blackboard that Peter has been working on is now complete and just awaits mounting in the new office container.

Sunday was a much more pleasant sunny day with a number of visitors enjoying the exhibition and riding in the unit. The only down side was that the generator appears to have packed up again and will need further work.

Posted by: wrha | June 24, 2015

New arrival at Whitrope

The latest addition to the stock at Whitrope arrived on Monday, a permaquip trolley which has been acquired by the Northumbria Rail boys. The diesel powered trolley will be a useful tool for the pw team and may even provide some shelter for the gang in the unlikely event of rain at Whitrope!

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