October Update

At the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 6th November James gave an update on the progress with the three track circuits.  It seems appropriate to reproduce the report as it gives a good indication of just how hard the members have been working and the magnitude of what still needs to be done.

Circuit ‘C’ 7¼” only.

  • There has been tremendous progress on this circuit in 2017.
  • Apart from the internal road crossing it is now continuous from the east tunnel mouth, through the station and right back round to the west curve.
  • The final stage is to roll and lay Comrie rail from the tunnel to the west junction, and finalise the west curve.
  • Finishing work to do on the bridge and tunnel portals to make them more architecturally attractive rather than utilitarian.
  • By Spring 2018 it should be operable as a circuit.

Picture on the left shows the west curve looking to the tunnel and the point still to complete.

Picture on the right is a panoramic view of the 7¼” circuit (‘C’) west curve

 

Circuits ‘A’ and ‘B’

  • The 5”/3½” Circuit ‘A’ Track formation is in place, apart from the northern section which will cross the lower ground. This requires the design and construction of the bridge.
  • The 7¼”/5” Circuit ‘B’ track formation is in place with the rails rolled ready to extend it round the east curve.
  • Most of the south ‘straight’ is ballasted and the circuit ‘B’ 7¼”/5” panels are built for this section. The panels for circuit ‘A’ have been uplifted from Newliston and are stored on site
  • This will give over 600 feet of 5” ready to run.

Picture left shows the south ‘straight’ with circuits ‘A’, ‘B’ & ‘C’ in place.

Picture on the right is a panoramic view of the bridge locations for the 5”/3½” Circuit ‘A’ Track

 

Priorities over the coming months

  • Completing circuit ‘C’.
  • Building the main junction north of the bothy.
  • Concreting the second road crossing over circuits ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ (five tracks) which will give access to the central road across the site.
  • Building the 5”/3½” circuit bridge and embankment extensions.
  • Building the first elements of the steaming lies.

Picture on the left is the site of the second road crossing over circuits ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ (five tracks) looking North.

Picture on the right is of the site of the second road crossing over circuits ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ (five tracks) looking East and towards the exit for the steaming lies.  points are under construction.

 

Summary

  • Circuit ‘C’ completion is close.
  • Large part of first 5” circuit progressing well
  • Bridges and steaming lies to tackle soon
  • Junctions are working out OK
  • All looking pretty good
  • Good team with ever increasing track skills

Photo on the left is of Circuit ‘C’ looking East from the station illustrating the rail joints now meticulously aligned ready to run.

Photo on the right is of the 5″ / 3½” Circuit ‘A’ West embankment leading up to the ‘Gap’….

 

The other project that needs to be carefully planned in 2018 is the final dismantling of the site at Newliston.  After removal of all the track and infrastructure the land needs to be restored to the ‘as was’ state.

Consideration needs to be given to the available labour.  If this work falls on the same teams then inevitably it will slow down the development at Almondell.