Posted by: wrha | April 23, 2015

Track Weekend – Sunday

The Sunday was a much cooler days with showers in the morning.

Further work was done north of the crossing with more of the run-round line gauged and screwed down. With completion of the current work on the drain alongside the bay platform, the sleepers for the access track were put roughly back into position. The rails will be replaced at a later date.

At the far end of the site more ballast drops were carried out as we start to bring the track on the far side of bridge 200 up to usable condition.

Elsewhere the team were busy in the coaches and Davie had the needle gun out working on the Fowler.

Overall a very successful weekend with a number of significant jobs either completed or advanced.

Posted by: wrha | April 20, 2015

Track Weekend – Saturday

Saturday was a glorious day up at Whitrope with wall to wall sunshine and lunch taken outside on the platform to take advantage of the warm weather before the midges appear.

Again there were a number of tasks on the agenda. The first being the fitting of the recently donated facing point lock. This will allow us to run over the point-work with passengers at some point in the future, so a large stride forward in our plans. Fitting the lock was quite a tricky job as it requires careful packing to ensure that the point locks correctly in both positions. After a bit of head scratching and a number of combinations we got there in the end and the facing point lock operated successfully from the ground-frame.

Dropping some of Friday’s ballast on the main running line north of the crossing was another job on the list. This was the first outing for our very own track ballaster the ‘shrimp’. A product of the Tony Cormack workshop the ‘shrimp’ fits on the back of a tractor and allows controlled ballast drops. With two hoppers in operation one being filled whilst one was in use, then the two of them are swapped around and the process begins again. The operation went really well, and those of us that have done this job with wheel-barrows can vouch for their worth!

Inside the coaches the exhibition is starting to take shape and the Mk1 buffet is now receiving coats of paint. Up in the car park Joe was busy remounting the car park gate which had been blown of its hinges during one of the winter storms. Davie continued to weld up the base of the signal, although the welder was being a little temperamental.

Overall a good day that advanced plans for the new season and achieved a number of jobs on our longer term aims list.

Posted by: wrha | April 19, 2015

Track Weekend – Friday

The start of of a very busy track weekend, with a large number of tasks to complete, aimed at ensuring the site will be ready for the new season. Early morning Tony and Mike, from ‘Lift and Shift’ collected two containers we have acquired from Network Rail. Once they arrived on site the containers were dropped off and then the main job of the day. The signal was lift into position at the end of the platform. Pleasingly the signal fitted perfectly on it’s housing and now looks splendid in it’s new location. A delivery of ballast arrived, which will be used over the rest of the weekend.
Mean while inside work progressed in the two coaches, with painting on-going and the exhibition starting to take shape.

Posted by: wrha | April 15, 2015

Mid-week update Wednesday 15th April

Various jobs are ongoing this week. Work is progressing in the coaches to get them ready for the new season. Elsewhere on site a number of areas are being cleared for some storage containers that are due for delivery on Friday. These will provide improved office space and more storage around the site, allowing more materials to be stored inside.

This weekend is a track weekend, running from Friday through to Sunday with a number of tasks planned, including putting the first signal in place on the site, which will be quite a milestone. If you are available come along you will be made most welcome.

Posted by: wrha | April 13, 2015

Tweedbank update

The terminus of the new railway at Tweedbank is progressing well, with the signal equipment now installed. A vast expanse of car park is appearing alongside the station, which must be designed to accommodate a large number of travelers from the surrounding area. The large station building is progressing and looks as though it will have room to offer the travelling public good facilities. Further down the line the ‘black path’ has been re-instated across the River Tweed bridge, again linking Galashiels with Tweedbank. The pair occupy the old track-bed across the bridge, putting you in very close proximity to the passing trains. The whole area is now surrounded by the modern high mesh fence, which does little to improve the photogenic properties of the scene.

Posted by: wrha | April 8, 2015

Mid-week update, Wednesday 8th April

A quick update on work at Whitrope over the last few days.
Alan and Bill are working away to prepare the exhibition coach for the new season. All the exhibition boards are being repainted in a green, which hopefully closely matches North British green. Once the boards are complete the exhibition will start to come back together.
Ian has been working away in the buffet coach, and is working hard to prepare the coach for our visitors.
Jim has been able to repair the starter motor on the JCB returning it working order.
Off-site Tony has been able to repair the issue with Delilah’s engine and she is now back up and running.
Chris has started work inside the old Mk1 coach painting one section of the roof, vastly improving the look in that area.
Finally the last of the current batch of aggregate has been laid along the back of the coaches in the bay platform. We need another small batch to complete the job.

There is plenty going on and a number of volunteers putting in a great deal of time and effort to prepare the site for the up-coming season.

Posted by: wrha | April 4, 2015

Works Week – Friday

Friday started off very grey and damp, but thankfully improved as the day went on. To complete the full set of mechanical issues the JCB failed to start and has got an issue with the starter motor. The starter will have to come off for repairs, but that is a job for another day. The main job of the day was to start back filling the trench with the pipe laid as far as possible, until we have sumps for the two ends.
The dumper was loaded using Tony’s digger and the aggregate was spread by the team using number one shovel power. Once the length along the access to the bay was completed attention shifted to back-filling the stretch along the back of the coaches. These involved wheel-barrowing loads of aggregate along, an ever increasing distance. By the end of the day a good percentage of the bay had been completed. Leaving a very tired but satisfied team to make their way home.
The jobs left over from the planned works, re-profiling the path down to the station, plus drilling and securing the lever frame will be completed at the next track weekend.
Thanks to the volunteers who have contributed this week and overcome a number of mechanical issues, that have slowed the job down somewhat.

Posted by: wrha | April 2, 2015

Works Week – Wednesday and Thursday

A couple of days where some mechanical issues with the plant has caused some frustration, although the job has advanced. Broken exhausts, flat tyres, different sized wheel hubs and a total lose of compression on Delilah has thrown up various challenges over the last couple of days. We have also had some problems with Tony’s excavator, if nothing else it has shown how versatile the volunteers on site are with each problem thrown up being addressed and the job still advanced.
The drainage ditch is nearing completion and the actual drainage line is slowly extending. The back-filling with the newly delivered aggregate, should soon be underway.
Hopefully tomorrow the volunteers should see the light at the end of the tunnel for what has been another large project which has been undertaken with the usual positive drive and determination.

Posted by: wrha | March 31, 2015

Works Week – Tuesday

A second day of sunny spells and blustery snow showers saw steady progress on the drainage project.
With the catch pit in place at the end of the platform it was possible to establish the levels for laying the pipe. Whilst Tony worked on excavating the trench away from the platform, the area from the catch pit back was tidied up by hand. This allowed the new pipe to be laid and the levels sorted along the length of the bay platform.
Work also progressed on the exhibition as Alan continues to prepare for the upcoming season. Jim had the JCB in action down the far end of the site tiding up the area behind the blue container.

Posted by: wrha | March 30, 2015

Work Week 2015 – Monday

The first major task of this works week is to lay a piped drain alongside the bay platform and the access track-work. With a variety of plant either on-site or available good progress was made today. Tony had his little digger at work with the two dumpers running the spoil up to the car park for a job later in the week looking to improve the access path to the platform from the car-park. Whilst the weather held things advanced quite well, with work finally being called to a halt about 5pm when fairly heavy snow set it.
The job will continue tomorrow, hopefully in slightly better weather.

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