The Fowler continues to ring to the sound of needle gun and angle grinder, while copious primer and paint is applied to those areas previously stripped. Surface preparation of the bed plate is now well advanced, and reconstruction of the pipe and cable conduit runs should start shortly. Andy Laing removed the compressor (which was more work than just three words would suggest) and took it home for a strip it down and test. Tom Stoddart carried on painting the inside of the cab, and has smartened up the dashboard immeasurably.
Up at the station, work commenced on building further sections of wall to complete the bay platform. The first length runs behind, and parallel with, the main platform ramp, acting as a retaining wall to allow the bay platform to be built to full height throughout. The foundation trench was dug out on Saturday using the mini- digger, followed by mixing and pouring the concrete on Sunday with another of Tony’s toys, a tractor mounted mixer. All the necessary blocks were also moved up from the stockpile and stacked ready, but the block- laying itself will need to wait until we have sufficient funds to proceed.
The last few posts for the driveway fencing were dug and concreted into place. Attention will now turn to wiring- up, with the plan to complete this project in advance of the open weekend. Yet more previously cut trees and bushes were dragged down off the slopes in the summit cutting on Sunday afternoon, all ready for a good bonfire in June.
And finally….. WRHA has its first working signal, following the acquisition of a pair of redundant position light ground signals. These use 110V bulbs, and were being replaced on the national network with modern fibre optic examples. Andy Laing has scraped together enough bulbs to get one signal working off the 110V generator, and has rigged up a control box which allows the correct danger and clear aspects to be shown at the flick of a switch. Rumours that work will shortly start on the new Ninestanes Rigg signalling centre are, however, a tad premature.