JCB To The Rescue!

By September 2002 it was time move the railway rolling-stock we owned (26040, the KL100 crane, the Standard Brake-van, and the MCV) out of Methil Power Station to the lorry yard we currently store everything else at. All the (many) problems bar one had been solved - there wasn't a sufficiently long area of track at the power station that had tarmac, paving, or ballast up to the height of the rails for the giant low-loader to sit on to line up end-on for loading. There was only one answer - send in the JCB!


1. In this first picture MSC103T is seen here driving down the power station site on the Saturday before the rolling stock was due to move.


2. 26040 sits waiting to be 'rescued', with the KL100 rail-crane also visible on the right of the picture. Our'rescue plan' was very simple. On a previous visit we had noticed heaps of what looked like old railway ballast acceptably close to the level-crossing at the south end of the power station site. We therefore obtained permission from Scottish Power to use this to fill in around the track on either side of the level-crossing until a long enough piece of 'hard standing' had been created for the low-loader to use. All we needed was a machine capable of shifting ballast and the like by the ton...


3. ...which of course meant using our JCB! Rather than attack the heaps straight away, we started by digging out an over-generous infill of ballast right next to the track we wanted to fill in, thus saving us some time & effort. Not that Alistair needs an excuse quite as good as this to get digging with the back bucket! Meanwhile, 26040 still sits patiently in the background.


4. After we had dug out surplus ballast, we headed for the 'ballast' heaps and found that they weren't all ballast! They were actually a mixture of ballast, other stones, and the remains of some discarded loads of the waste coal that the power station used to burn before it closed. However it was still suitable for our needs, even although it was jet black, so we used it anyway! The JCB is seen here driving down the other side of the sidings with some of it.


5. I didn't get much chance to take pictures as I spent most of the time either shoveling ballast (albeit black in colour) into any remaining gaps or in driving the JCB myself. (Which I can do, even if I don't have any pictures handy to prove it!) By the late afternoon we had finished filling in on one side of the level-crossing, and wanted to fill in a few yards on the other side to give the low-loader plenty of room to maneuver. we were running low on the 'black stuff', so we used some modest -sized heaps of small stones we found for this. The job proved so quick and easy that I only remembered to take a picture after we finished!


6. By the time we finished, it with the large area of black infill clearly visible in the foreground, Alistair sets off past 26040 to go out of the power station and 'back to base'. Our plans for the move of the rolling stock had been well and truly 'rescued'!



Now where did you get here from???

Did you get here from the Heading West! feature? 

Or were you taking a look at my pages about MSC103T ?


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