SAK Rebuilt - Progress Report 32
Signs Of The Times?
By early May 2007, apart from a quick stop to film a tamper at the Stirling end of the SAK (see Progress Report 31), I hadn't been able to go and see (and film!) the progress of the reconstruction for a whole month! So in the evening of Tuesday 8th May I set out for Alloa to see whether much had changed in the vicinity of the new station.
1. On this occasion I parked near the Station bridge, and thus the first
picture is of the Waggonway bridge. However framed by the arch of the
bridge is something much much newer - a signal post at the end of the
platform! (More on that later!)
2. Looking down at the point where the platfrom siding diverges reveals that it
has aquired a point motor and it's accompanying rodding, plus what looks like
a control box for it up against the wall. All very necessary as Alloa East
Junction signalbox is long gone from here and the whole SAK will be controlled
3. Looking westward from the Station Bridge shows not only evidence of tidying up
and landscaping, but another signal post, in this case to control eastbound train
movements to or past the new station. The efforts being made to tidy up and
landscape along the side of the trackbed are noteworthy - the SAK looks set to be
the neatest stretch of line in Scotland, if nothing else!
4. Zooming right in reveals more clearly that the new signal is still being
assembled, as most of it is empty space! However a colour light shunt signal
seems to have been mounted at the bottom of the frame. The control boxes and
the 'grid' in the middle of the track have been put in place as well so
clearly much effort has gone into S&T work in the last month or so.
5. I walked round to get to the Waggonway bridge, but paused on the way up to
point the camcorder away from the SAK. However I had a reason, as this picture
shows fresh tarmac on part of the access road, with the substantial works to
build a roundabout in the middle of the Alloa Ring Road to allow cars to reach
the station easily from both directions.
6. Swinging round reveals that the tarmac goes all the way into the new car
park but is not yet completed, which accounts for all the parked plant and
machinery still being here.
7. I walked further up the Waggonway embankment to get a different view, and the
result is that I saw a greater expanse of tarmac, and more parked plant!
8. Turning (quite literally) to the new station, this view shows that the
platform edging is currently being put in place and will soon be finished,
while the area to the back of the platform is still being used to store
large amounts of building materials. The new signal at the platform end
can be seen at the bottom of the picture, but it is hard to pick out the
details of it from this angle.
9. Zooming in on the far end of the platform reveals a third signal post, but
in this case it seems to be complete. No sign yet of the little grid in the
middle of the track, but doubtless it will appear soon.
10. Time (at last) for a close up view of the new signal at the end of the
platform that will control the departure of Glasgow-bound passenger trains.
It also looks finished, although putting the signals in place is only a small
part of the enormous amount of work involved in a modern power signalling
system, and hence it will be some time before it will be showing a light.
11. Lastly, I turned my attention to the Waggonway bridge itself, as I hadn't
previously filmed one aspect of it's recent repair - it had had two of the
corner coping stones of its parapet replaced - a very neat job. here is a
view of the one on the north end of the west side...
12. ...and here is the one at the south end of the east side. It's nice to see
this fine bridge being looked after properly!
Excellent progress to be seen on this trip out, with work being done on the new platform the car park well on the way to being surfaced, and my first sight of signals in Alloa for many years! What would I find next time I had the time to go looking...
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