SAK Rebuilt - Progress Report 13
New track at Kincardine
In my rather long 'Progress Report 12' I presented pictures of the (considerable) progress I had seen on Friday 27/10/06 between Stirling and Kennet. As mentioned at the end of that report, I made a point of going briefly to Kincardine the next day to finish the job of seeing (& filming) the complete picture of how the reconstruction of the SAK stood at (approximately) the end of October 2006.
So here are a few pictures of what progress had been made on the Kincardine end of the SAK on Saturday 28/10/06.
1. For my trip to Kincardine I chose to start at the place where the SAK
worksite starts, and first up is a picture of the 'active' railway through
the decaying remains of the Kincardine station platform, all of this being
rather more overgrown than it had been only a few months previously
2. Looking the other way shows immediately that tracklaying has started at
this end of the SAK, but with a short 'missing link'. The laying of the
sleepers suggests that this gap is to be closed quite soon [and it needed
to be - see Progress Report 14 for why!].
3. Zooming out only reveals a sweeping curve where there used to be
reception/run-round loops for Kincardine power station, which isn't too
surprising as a less publicised part of the SAK project work was to
form a loop inside the Kincardine Power Station site so that running
round would not need to be done here.
4. I then moved round to the bridges adjacent to the road entrance to
the Kincardine Power Station site, and here is a view of the power
station site itself, with the access track in the foreground having
aquired ballast almost up to the railheads. (More on that below.)
5. I then zoomed in to see what the structures were either side of
the new siding, and, as can be seen here, they turned out to be
temporary platforms, suggesting that some kind of loading or unloading
would be carried out here as part of the project.
6. Looking the other way I discovered that the unlifted part of the access
track into the power station site had aquired a thick layer of ballast all
the way down, possibly just as a quick and easy route to drive machinery
down to where the tracklaying had started. But what of the tracklaying
7. Moving to one of the bridges over the trackbed of the SAK and zooming my
camcorder out revealed that some sort of tracklaying was under way, but that
the new track was not yet connected to the line going into the power station
site and that no track has yet been laid in the direction of Alloa. Rails are
visible in the foreground though, os clearly the intention is to laying track
on the east section of the SAK from this end soon. Curiously one of the original
signal posts is still in place - but for how long!
8. I moved to the third of the three overbridges at Kincardine, and here is
the view looking east from the bridge nearest Alloa showing that rail has
been placed ready down the side of the trackbed.
9. Alas, when I looked in the other direction, it turned out that the rails
didn't go very far! Still the welder had had plenty of time to get all the
necessary rail welded up into long lengths, so it would doubtless only be a
dragging operation with an bulldozer to move the rest into place.
A much shorter Progress Report this time (which some people might find a welcome relief!), but still very interesting as it is clear that tracklaying was about to start at the Kincadine end and work west.
When I filmed the pictures above I thought that hydraulic machines would soon be descending on Kincardine from the western end of the project to assemble track in the same way as they had done there, but that wasn't to be - something very surprising happened instead, and within a matter of days as well! But to find out what, you will need to look at my next progress report!!!
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