SAK Rebuilt - Progress Report 31

Meet 'Robert McAlpine'!

On April 10th 2007, a week after I filmed the material from which I captured the pictures in the previous progress report, I was driving along Causewayhead Road in Stirling and found myself passing a parked tamper. Naturally I doubled back, parked my car in a side street, and got out my camcorder to get it on film...

1. This first view of the tamper is taken from the other side of the road, as the side street I had parked in was on that side. However this view doesn't show much detail...


2. I crossed the road to get right up to the fence for a better view. The tamper was stopped, but it was crewed and it's engine was running.


3. Naturally (since it was me filming!) the next view is of the line in the other direction, which unsurprising is looking very well tamped indeed. Not only has concrete troughing been laid down the side here, but some cabling has been put in it already.


4. I walked along to get a close view of the tamper, and although the 'Alloa' end of it isn't all that exciting...


5. ...but the part I was standing next to has some of the tamping machinery underneath...


6. ...and swinging the camcorder further round shows the largest parts of the tamping machinery that dig under the sleepers to lift them and pack ballast underneath. The small wheels won't be supporting the tamper or the machinery - they look more like they are used for measuring the precise height and alignment of the section of track being worked on to give the tamper feedback about what it is doing.


7. Viewing the machinery from another angle doesn't help a lot in understanding it, but in this picture the window inside the tamper used for an operator to watch the machinery in action and stop the tamping if something goes wrong can be seen.


8. As it turned out I had only just got there in time to film the tamper up close, as it soon moved off. It wasn't tamping as it went, so I would guess it was doing some measuring to work out how much more tamping will be needed on this section. I have included this picture of it moving off as it's name, Robert McAlpine, can easily be seen.


9. Without moving a step I was able to get the whole tamper back into the viewfinder as it moved away from me. I managed to get a view without the fence in the way by holding the camcorder up high and using the LED screen as a viewfinder!


10. The last view is perhaps the prettiest of this set, as the tamper caught the sunlight nicely as it trundled steadily round towards the Forth Viaduct.


I didn't stay to see if the tamper went completely out of sight as I had seen it while on my way somewhere and even the short stop I had made was all the time I could spare, but that didn't matter much as I had got as close a look at it as I am ever likely to get!

As has so often been the case, it was several weeks before I filmed any futher progress on the SAK reconstruction, but that just meant that there was more to see. As always, if you want to find out what had changed in Alloa by early May you will have to visit my next progress report!


Click Here To Go To 'SAK Progress Report 32'


Click Here To Return To Jeff's SAK Pages - SAK Rebuilt!


These pages are owned and maintained by Jeffray Wotherspoon. The storage space for these pages is provided by the University Of Stirling, but it is in no way responsible for the contents of these pages. Please email me at if you have any questions, comments, problems etc.