The 20 tonnes of ballast delivered recently have been spread on the three new panels we built in February, and these will now be roughly packed and levelled- up to be ready for rolling stock deliveries later in the year. A start has been made on the first four wooden sleepered panels of the “Up” line north of the level crossing: in the fullness of time these will form part of our run round loop, but in the meantime will facilitate shunting of our rolling stock collection and also provide a headshunt for the new siding into our compound.
The Ruston has had a fuel filter change courtesy of Duncan, and the engine is now reported as running much better. The loco has emerged from winter hibernation and is available for traffic. Its first planned use is on Easter Weekend, 7th & 8th April, when it will be offering footplate rides again, with the opportunity to take the controls under supervision (see www.borderunionrailway.co.uk for further details and other operating dates).
The Fowler’s power unit has been fully disconnected once more and is ready for removal to permit replacement of the cracked liner. It looks like we’ve found a suitable workshop facility where the repairs can be undertaken, so we expect to do the lift sooner rather than later.
Relics from the Route
Ongoing vegetation clearance has exposed an original (NBR??) milepost just south of Stow. This is milepost 27, and comprises an oval cast iron plate fixed to a short length of bullhead rail. The post is now in the care of the Association, and once cleaned up will be displayed in our heritage centre at Whitrope.