Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Autumn S&T Report

Autumn S&T report.

By Robert Law

Well it’s been a while and there is a few things to bring you all up to date with. There has been lot’s of small jobs done by various people. 

Boat yard on a late evening visit.

The big one has been the removal of the trees that were growing into the telegraph pole wires at the back of the Boat yard. The Burch trees will be recycled and should be keeping someone’s home warm this winter.

Our P-way department has been doing some points timber replacement around the Boat of Garten station area. This was requiring S&T presence for one day with the timber under the sole plate of 8 points at Boat South was requiring replacement. This resulted in use having to preform an FPL test after the timber had been replaced. Which it failed! Steps were taken to make the necessary adjustments to correct it. Which then had a knock on affect to the signal detection, which also required adjustment to get both the main line and shunt signals working again. By the shift end, everything was back in and working ready for the Royal Scotsman later that afternoon.

Work in progress replacing the timber.

The completed job, good for another 20 years.

The main work of the last 2 mouths has been getting the key token machines ready for use. This involved making some locking alterations to the Boat of Garten, Broomhill section. The signal Boxes at Boat of Garten are now switched in and out with the Boat - Broomhill section token instead of the Boat - Aviemore section token.

The new section tokens.

Having a look at the now “old” boat - Broomhill section key you can easily work out were it had come from. In around 2001 Nairn was re-signalled to what it is today. Most of the redundant equipment ended up at Boat of Garten, including the shunt key and locks used to release the GF at Nairn. Allowing trains into the sidings off of the up platform.

The “old” section token 

The locks at Broomhill have been changed with the locks that use to be in use at Aviemore about 6 years ago when this project was first started. You can see looking at the new keys that they are a different shape to the original. This has been done on purpose not by mistake! To make a clear difference between the old and new. Hopefully reducing confusion with drivers as they get use to the changes.

The changing of the locks.

Anyone fancy doing some painting? Both new locks fitted to the ground frames at Broomhill but a bit of painting would not go a miss.

Aviemore station GF 

Just a reminder of the locks that are fitted at Aviemore, the annex’s type lock was fitted a few years back now. The second is the shunt key that is released by Speyside box when the box is switched in and the train is in section with the section key. Allowing shunting to be carried out when the Scotsman arrives off the main line. 

Boat and Aviemore token machines 

In the middle of the night when the railway is closed and most people are not around. The professional S&T were around doing some independent testing for the Strathspey Railway. Checking that all was correct with the installation of our key token machines. Which they were quite happy with, just a slight earth issue coming from the batteries at Aviemore but well within tolerances. The key token machines have now been made available for our operations department to start training on them. Once the railways Rule Book has been updated to cover there operation, hopefully we can bring them into use!

Boat Up distant signal

On top of all this, work has started getting the railway signalling ready for the winter season train running. We currently have two battery lit signals on the railway. Both being distant signals, this one the Up distant at Boat and the Up distant at Aviemore. Both batteries have been changed and should be good for the next 3 mouth’s. All other signal lights have been checked and their signal sighting checked. No point having signals if the driver can not see them. Signal wire runs have been checked and slackened off as required with the colder weather. It’s only when you start writing things down that you realise how much work has actually been done.

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