Tuesday 29 November 2022

November S&T Report.

 Unfortunately things are moving so fast by the time this is published it will most likely be out of date. There is currently two large projects been tackled, with a few small jobs been completed as well. Follow the story of what is going on. Starting at Boat of Garten.

With the completion of the lead off table at Boat of Garten South cabin, the works trains are now able to depart using the signals once again. Hear we have our class 37 heading to Aviemore before returning with more spoil form the Aviemore running shed project.

Apart from requiring a clean up and the cranks needing a paint. This is the completed lead off table at Boat of Garten South. With all the points and all the signals, now reconnected. Plus the new FPL rodding in for the to be installed FPLs on the up line. Which will allow us to make the up line bi-directional.

Not very signalling related but with the testing of the finished lead off table. The works train had arrived from Aviemore and was needing to run round its train and shunt it into the yard. Which allowed for the testing of all the signals to be completed. With great delight everything worked as designed. Plus the pull of some levers definitely feels lighter than what is remembered.

Moving on to Dalfaber all the concrete way beams have been installed, the track level has been raised and packed to the new required height. Which was completed by the 21st of November. With all that been completed work could then start on the installation of the road deck. Construction of the road deck starts from the middle and works out with each part been bolted together as you can see been done in this picture.

A view of the almost completed road deck. With just the end clamps left to install.

On the 23rd of November SSE arrived as planned. With this the power cubical was connected to the national grid bringing power to crossing 

Off site, within our storage compound. It was decided it was a good idea to have a trial fitting of the post to wig wag boards (road lights) and audible warning unit. Which all fitted together as expected.

Back on site at the crossing the pre-cast foundations for each pedestal was put into place, with the aid of our own road railer machine. 

Last weekend the possession of the line was lifted for the weekend, to allow the railways Santa trains to pass. The road traffic was controlled by the road light that have been on site since the work began. The train was under instructions to approach at caution, expecting to stop and only continue after receiving a green flag from the level crossings attendant who had turned all road light to red.
Last one for Dalfaber. The temporary location cases that been loaned to use from external sources have been installed which will power and control the level crossing until the delayed REB is supplied from Unipart in February. This will be installed before the main running season begins.

Moving on to Aviemore Speyside. Our signallers have shown a great amount of care for our little cabin. The floor has been painted, levers painted and polished. It’s great to see the cabin been adopted and looked after by operations. Allowing us to concentrate on other jobs. Thank you.

Albeit it was in October. The disc for coming out of the carriage shed has been replaced.  With what is the ex Crianlarich down sidings disc. 

Last one for Aviemore Speyside. The signalling scheme is completed for the time being. With the installation of the last shunt signal. Controlling movements out of the shed area and over our own Speyside UWC. 

That’s you all up to date. If you have time to help us out and volunteer, please get in contact through the website.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Dalfaber Monday of week 3

At the end of play on Monday night we are into the third week of the Dalfaber project. With more visible signs of the New Crossing becoming evident around the site. Yesterday saw the first concert been poured on the site. This was for the YO Road Traffic Lights Signal base. With the same batch of concrete the foundation for the Electrical Supply cubical (SSE meter cabinet) was made. As the day was coming to an end the foundation concrete for the edge beams to the new level crossing deck on the North side of the Road were also laid. 

First of the concrete been poured for the road lights.

Power cubical been set up.

Foundations for the power cubical been laid.

Top been cleaned off.

Foundations of the edge beams been laid

External renovation of the Speyside Signal Box at Aviemore

 External renovation of the Speyside Signal Box at Aviemore over 11 & 12th November.

By Colin Frost

A request had been made for a damaged step on the staircase to be repairedso with the old step removed, a convenient plank of timber was found, this was cut to size, slotted into place and securely screwed home.

The forth support for under the veranda was also there to be installed, so with the original post removed a hole was dug, concrete mixed, and pored and left to set.  Then the new post was cut to size and secured in place.

The newly fabricated staircase, which is presently stored under cover, is to be fitted next spring, so we took measurements of the timber that will be needed for the job when we return.

By Jim Hardy and Colin Frost.

Saturday 12 November 2022

Boat of Garten South project

Along with all the work been done at Dalfaber. Work is also progressing at Boat of Garten South.  The lead off table at Boat South has been in poor condition for some time. With cranks and pulley wheels becoming un-secure, leading to excessive movement and signal equipment not working as it should. Now is the time to correct these issues, as there is very few trains running so minimal effect will be felt by the rest of the railway..

The old table striped down ready for the work to begin.

Georgie and the Road railer making light work at removing the old table.

Think, how much work and time this would have taken without this machine. Two persons and one hour the old table was out.

The hole cleaned out, levelled out and dug to the correct depth.

This work was mostly done using the machine and its bucket. Then just a little work with the shovels at the end to take out the lumps.
The new table that was built month before, carefully been lifted into position.

With a little bit of work new table in the correct position. Set to the right height. Plus as level as can be hoped for.

Replacement components looked out, cleaned and prepared for fitting.

New cranks with rodding starting to be reconnected. Still lots to do but progressing well.

Under the frame new vertical cranks have been install. With 17 points moving to 20 and the new FPLs will be on 19.

This is only the beginning of this work! With lots still to be done. Interlocking changes plus the installation of a new lattice signal post on the Up line still to come!

Dalfaber report for mid week night shift 9th November

New Rails and sleepers through the Crossing Deck Area installed on Wednesday Nightshift together with Under Road ducts for Signalling and power cables.

New rails and sleepers installed, still to be raised to new height.

Cable ducts installed during the day shift.

Manhole chambers installed Thursday and concreted in Thursday Nightshift meaning we now have a continuous underground duct under the Track and under the Road.

New cable chamber connecting the duct.

New Rubber Deck Panels have arrived in our Yard and the VR video showing how to install can be viewed in the following link

New strain units now delivered ready to be installed. When the time is right.

Dalfaber weekend work 2nd November

After last week's P Way night shift the Contractor's focus has been on completing the North side footway which has seen steady progress.

north side pavement under construction.

Purple duct is being installed for new Highland Council funded streetlighting which part of the project.

Back filling with the Councils street lighting conduit installed.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, SR staff installed the new Down Direction Advance Warning Board at approx. 84 Miles 130yards which is around 335 metres from the crossing and is part of our scope to deliver.

New advance warning board installed. Old one still to be taken down.

On Tuesday 8th November, the new Equipment Room to house the Level Crossing control circuitry was inspected at the Unipart Rail Signalling Installation facility in Gresty Road, Crewe. The building, having only recently arrived from the manufacturer in County Tyrone, fully met the Strathspey specification which was agreed back in May. 

New REB ready to be fitted out at Unipart.

Friday 4 November 2022

Dalfaber night shift

Overall, a successful night shift with the planned work of achieving new sleepers spaced to receive the new deck panels on the North side of the deck.

Concrete deck panels removed over entire deck area and the ducts for the undertrack crossing installed. North side edge beams also removed.

Road traffic running over a combination of compacted fill and steel plate on the South side.

Dayshift work today progressing with new kerbs and footway on the North side.

And so the night shift begins.

Old deck getting cut to aid the lifting out.

Old road deck coming out

Old rails removed and new cable conduit been installed.

Conduit installed and being back filled.

Curb stones getting installed.

End of the night steel sheets down and back filled for the day work will continue again tonight.

Dalfaber new works day 2

 Day 2 at Dalfaber has not been without its challenges.....

The good news is that the Contractor does not need to dig a new drain across the road, because the uphill gully on the North side is already connected to a sewer- the bad news is that this Surface Water Sewer on the North side of the crossing is not recorded on Scottish Water Records and it was not picked up at survey stage. 

Also,  the sewer is conflicting with the proposed bases positions for the New Road Traffic Light (RTL) and the Barrier Machine base.

There is also a water main running parallel which was also not picked up at survey and is also not on Scottish Water Records....

Using the Suction Excavator the 11kV cable which goes under the track on the North Side has been exposed and gently repositioned to be clear of the base for the RTL.

Suction Excavator moving to the South Side tomorrow.

All excavations protected by Heras Fencing so no risk of Joe public falling down a hole.....

Site looks like a WW1 battlefield....

Trackwork and LX deck removal starts tomorrow nightwith complete Road Closure 20.00h till 07.00h.

Old road light stump being removed.

Lots of hazards to be avoided.

That look of “one less underpass to dig.”

Suction  excavator at work.

Dalfaber level crossing works

Monday 31st October.

 A selection of pictures from earlier today.

Old Crossing disconnected and recoveries underway. All poles now down on the North side and all tree stumps removed in the adjacent Amenity area. 
Construction of new pavement on North side of road progressing.
Several Ballast Trains passed through the Worksite in connection with the Lighting Up Shed spoil removal works....
Traffic Management appears to be working well within minimal delay to road traffic and bus services. That could change if the Council restart Traffic Management at the Grampian Road Dalfaber Drive Junction......
No accidents or injuries. Contractors staff on site 7am to 7 

Old materials been removed carefully, so can be recycled elsewhere on the railway.

Land clearance ready for new foot-way to be created.

Area for the REB being cleared. 

Ballast train running through crossing with traffic lights stopping traffic, crossing has been disconnected.