Saturday 11 September 2021

The final renovation of the North Signal Box at Boat of Garten

 The final renovation of the North Signal Box at Boat of Garten – 6th to 8th September

By Colin Frost


Once again we were lucky with the weather, and with the scaffold removed, we set about completing the outstanding workincluding a final coat of undercoat on the north and west walls, rubbing down and undercoating the two windows on the east side and cleaning down the wriggly tin roof of the store.

Looking down on the store roof


The following day the top coat of ‘pollen’ was applied to the north and west walls and the two windows were finished in ‘Banana dream 6.  The final broken pane of glass was replaced in the door and then the wriggly tin roof required attention. Due to the uneven ground surrounding the store and the way that it falls away in two directions, this was a bit of a challenge. But a coat of red tile paint was successfully applied without too many dramas.  


The finished of store

On day three all the remaining areas were painted in ‘saddle brown’, mainly the frames around the windowsand a final few touch ups were also completed.


Broken windows replaced 

All the wood off-cuts that had been lying on the ground at the rear of the box was collected and dumped, where possible the paint scrapings and swarf were swept up and all the old paint kettles and brushes were also skipped. 


Back all clean and clear of vegetation 

Along the way we have also cut back the overgrown foliage from the bushes and trees that partially obscured the footpath from the station.The work on the box is now complete, so our thanks go to the other team members that have helped Ray and I over the past weeks – a great job done.


The completed North cabin

Team this week Colin Frost and Ray Kenyon



September S&T Report.

 September S&T Report,

By Robert Law,

Yet another mouth has passed with more work been completed around the railway within the S&T department. Some time has been spent at Aviemore Speyside box, trying to improve the wight on the points into the carriage shed and the engine shed. With the carriage shed points it was found that there was an in balance of the rodding between the signal box and the A end of the points. With a new closure cut and bolted into the rodding run. This has greatly improved the wight of the point. Hopefully keeping our signallers happy. 

Newly restored 5025 passing Boat of Garten North box

At Boat of Garten North cabin the new points and signals are all working very well with only a few minor adjustments been required as everything beds in. The scaffolding is down around the signal box with just a few little bit still requiring attention with the building but there should be a separate report shortly about that.

Boat of Garten North box almost completed.

With the project on hold at Boat of Garten North box, until the location cases arrive. Attention has moved onto the long awaited Key token machines between Boat of Garten and Aviemore Speyside. Over the years the work has been on and off with this project. The large jobs that have been done over the years, is the repairs to the pole route between Boat and Aviemore. There is still lots to be done to the pole route. With at least 3 poles requiring  replacement, trees needing cleared from underneath the wires. Plus lots of cross members on the poles require replacement. Considering the vast majority of the poles date back to the 1950’s and earlier (it is believed), we can not complain to much. Before lock down began a new cable was run from the end of the pole route at Aviemore to Speyside box. Completing the connection between the two signal boxes. 

One of the poles that needed to be repaired 
Speyside KT machine 

The machine themselves are Tyers number  9 machines. Both machines in there recent past have been to uni part rail to be professionally overhauled. The locks have been reconfigured to an A lock, (the type of keys that we will be using). The machines are now in place at Aviemore and Boat of Garten. They have been tested by the installer, although are still requiring to be independently tested to prove that installation has been done correctly. We are waiting on personnel bodies for this task. The keys you can see sitting in the machine are not the key that will be used once the machines are in use. They are for test purposes only.

Broomhill loop GF

Included within the introduction of the key token machines between Boat of Garten and Aviemore. The section Token key and locking requires to be changed between Boat of Garten and Broomhill. The Broomhill section token will become the token that opens up Boat of Garten Signal boxes. Resulting in the locks requiring replacement and a new section key being created. Hear you can see the trial fitting of the new lock on Broomhill loop GF.  The original one is back on until such time that we are ready to do the change over.

Dalfaber LC.

Work is progressing very well and very fast. The scheme plan and the ground plans have been created and presented to the developers. At this point in time the plans are with the ORR and the Highland Council to be commented on and hopefully approved. Detailed draws for the level crossing are now been worked on. This is a very large time consuming job and requires the full attention of the professional members within our railways team. Below is part, of what is outlined. They are Not the finish or approved drawing and are subject to change. They are just an illustration of what work is been put in by the Railways professional members, that are not seen on the railway every weekend. Although are busy working away at home for the good of the railway. 
Part of the scheme plan

Part of the scheme plan 

Part of line side diagrams 

With the diagrams to help you understand them green is coming out, black is what will not be changed and red is what is to go in. That is all there is for this mouth, if you would like to get involved and help out with tasks within our S&T department or on the railway in other departments. Please get in touch with us through the railways website. We are always looking for help. From cleaning, tidying, oiling, greasing and preforming maintenance tasks. Also helping out with installation projects, there is lots going on just now!