Saturday 2nd. The bracing salt laden air and the weather at Methil have not helped the guards van structure. All the brake linkages were seized with rust; these were freed off and the brakes now work via the hand wheel inside the van. The rigging will require stripping and overhaul at some point in the future though, before regular use. The van had been used as a storage area at Methil for various items, so the Ruston 48DS was coupled to the van and pulled around opposite Northumbria Rail’s brake carriage and the re-usable items transferred to a new home inside it. The guards van was then positioned alongside the platform for easy access to allow final cleaning out.
Saturday 9th. A rather wet day! The branches and logs from a previous work day felling were cleared to one side, off the work area, to allow us to see the two 60 ft lengths of rail. These were coupled to the Ruston by shackles and chains and pulled into the “four-foot” of the running line out of the way for the moment to allow the area to be cleared and sub-base to be put down before the sleepers and rail are put in place.
Future work for July: It is planned to prepare the area near the tunnel for track work so we will need to dispose of cut scrub and such like. The area also needs attention to the drainage ditches. The brake van needs some tidying up and attention to the body work (including modifications to the balcony doors) before it can be used regularly.
Below are several images from the North British Railway Study Group’s recent visit to Whitrope.