SAK Rebuilt - Progress Report 34
In the last progress report (33), I brought the story of the SAK reconstruction in the Alloa area up to date to May 2007 - nearly! The main exception to this, and a notable exception at that, was that I had omitted to return to Alloa West Junction to see if the new footbridge installed there had been opened since my last visit in early April (see Progress Report 30).
So on the evening of 25th May I headed there to have a look...
1. This first view standing at the south side of the line reveals that the
footbridge has indeed been opened, and also that it is an imposing spectacle
when backlit by the evening sunshine!
2. The steps of the footbridge on the south side are on the steep side...
3. ...while the ramp there is very very shallow, and thus very very long!
4. Since I could now walk up the ramp I was able to get a different view of the
underside of the footbridge...
5. ...while at the half-way point of the ramp is an elevated view of the track
westward that is new to me but which ought to be very familiar to any former
signalmen who have worked in the signal-box that once stood here - I am at
about the right height, and only a few yards west of where the box stood
6. Of course the view from the old signalbox included semaphone signals for the
junction that was here, but zooming out reveals that the current view has instead
a new colour light signal, albeit one facing away from me.
7. Now for a view of the rest of the ramp. complete with the span of the bridge
and the SAK curving gently into Alloa under it. It's not my greatest picture,
but it is a nice view.
8. Now the inside view of the bridge deck itself - alas the locals have started
to add some totally unnecessary graffiti, although at least they seem to know
the depot code for Millerhill!
9. Heading down the other side is almost an anti-climax - there's nothing wrong
with this ramp (or this picture of it for that matter!) but thanks to the lay
of the land here access to the new footbridge seems almost too easy!
10. This view from the north side hasn't come out all that well (filming is
always tricky when the sun is low in the sky), but I included it because it
shows that the lineside fencing goes right through under the bridge.
11. Finally it's time to have a good look from the deck of the footbridge
itself. This view is westwards from the north end of the bridge deck, which
will be quite a good angle to film trains from on dull days...
12. ...while on sunny days filming from the other end of the deck is advised,
although perhaps not on a spring evening!
13. Looking eastwards the view into Alloa from the top of the footbridge is
quite good, and won't be seriously affected by sunshine after mid-morning.
14. Having got all the views up on the bridge I could reasonably want, it
was time to go, but here is a complete view of (most of) the finished bridge
complete with bollards to stop cars (!) and completed lineside fencing. Alloa West
Junction Level-Crossing RIP - Long Live Alloa West Junction Footbridge!
The completion of this footbridge, like the opening of the new SAK link road not long before, was something of a milestone in the SAK reconstruction work. And it turns out to be an excellent place to film from as well! Now all I needed was trains to film...
Alas the SAk wasn't THAT near to completion yet, but since every trip out I have made, whether at long or short intervals, reveals something of interest, I can wait! (I'm a Clackmannanshire railway enthusiast - I have LOTS of patience!)
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