Heading West! - Day 2

By the morning of 25th September 2002, we had been fairly lucky in that not only had the low-loader turned up a day early, but 26040 had been successfully moved on the Tuesday. Alas when we arrived at Methil Power Station on Wednesday morning we discovered that our luck seemed to have run out, as the hydraulic pump on the lorry had broken down. Our railway rolling stock was apparently going nowhere!


1. Our railway rolling stock, seen here waiting patiently in the morning sunshine of 25th September.


2. Another view of the KL100 crane, the ex-BR standard brake-van and the MCV waiting at the power station. A spare part for the broken pump was however being sent - from near Birmingham! (I think.) However the crew of the low-loader weren't planning to just sit and admire the view...


3. Even without a working winch, the tractor unit sent with the low-loader was extremely powerful, and so with all due precautions, it was able with the aid of the pulley to tow our stock up onto the low-loader. The first items was the KL100 rail-crane, which is seen here almost completely loaded on. I don't have any pictures of it lower down on the ramp because I was helping to make sure that it did not ground, always a potential problem given the depth of the buffer beams!


4. Next to go on was the brake-van. Having measured carefully, the crew of the low-loader found they could get both the KL100 crane and the brake-van on together, which was helpful as they were to share the same track at Methil West, thus minimising the work involved in unloading them.


5. The brake-van is towed toward the foot of the ramp by the tractor unit. This was the simple bit, although the heavy-duty rope used had to be changed for a shorter one a couple of times. One of the other ropes is lying in the foreground.


6. Onto the ramp, with one of the haulage company people checking to see that all is well. (Which it was!)


7. Fully loaded. I wonder if this low-loader has ever had such an interesting load? Hard to guess, but it would take a lot to beat this one for oddity value!


8. A view from the other side of the KL100 and the brake-van on the low-loader. Alas things ground to a halt at this point as the tractor-unit could not pick up or move the low-loader until the hydraulic pump was repaired, using a spare part that would have been speeding up the M6 when I took this picture!


9. While we were waiting, we went back round to the yard we use at Methil West to have a look at 26040 before going off to lunch, so here is one of the pictures I took of it in its new home. As you might guess, much restoration work is going to be needed to put it back into running order after nearly a decade.


10. Another view of 26040 at Methil West that I took on Wednesday 25th September. Visible on the left is the Coles crane, and on the right our Rapier Crane, which are parked conveniently in case they are needed to assist the unloading (they weren't).


11. Yet another view of 26040, this time a little closer and showing the broken windows and poor state of the paintwork more clearly. Nothing we can't deal with though!


12. later on in the afternoon we got a phone call to tell us that the tractor unit was repaired and that the move was back on. Although we set off back to the Power Station quite quickly, we were only just in time to see the KL100 and the brake-van being reversed out of the power station just as efficiently as before.


13. The second load ready to set out for Methil West. This load was, thanks to the lower half of the crane jib, fairly tall, but we had made sure long before booking the low-loader that there were no phone or other wires across the road anywhere along the route.


14. Methil West again, and the low-loader lines up end-on to the second track we had laid. It had rained during the afternoon, leaving wet ground and a dull day.


15. Ready to unload! I don't, alas, have any usable pictures from the rest of Day 2, as the batteries in my digital camera went flat soon after I took this, but I've also got camcorder footage so perhaps I can extend this feature sometime! Anyway the unloading of the KL100 and the brake-van went quite smoothly (they rolled most of the way and the tractor unit then pushed them into place), as did the final run to fetch the MCV mineral wagon from the power station, which got unloaded in darkness. Job done!



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