SAK Rebuilt - Progress Report 7
A Visit To Alloa & Kennet
After seeing the first of the new trackwork for the SAK being assembled (as shown in the last progress report), it was a bit anti-climatic to find in the following weeks that there was no sign of track actually being laid anywhere on the SAK. However that didn't of course mean that there was nothing interesting to see...
I next went out on the evening of Wednesday 19/7/06 to the Alloa area, and although I didn't expect to see any new track that far east of Cambus I was expecting to see some progress in a number of places. And I did!
1. I first went to
Alloa West Junction where the only signs of progress were a
heap of grey stones and the absence of Alloas last the semaphore
signal post. RIP!
2. Looking the other way the large stacks of steel sleepers
are still very evident - clearly they aren't needed yet!
3. A closer look however revealed that work was going on at
the former site of the signal-box, where holes were being
4. Filming down into one of the holes revealed concrete in it
and I didn't need to be a genius to guess that this was
likely to be for the supports for new footbridge tht was due
to be erected here as part of the SAK project.
5. My next port of call was in the middle of Alloa, where
I wanted to check on the progress in the vicinity of where
the new station was to be built. As can be seen here, there
has been some activity but mainly to create an access onto
the trackbed from the former brewery site.
6. Zooming in a bit more closely at the worksite adjacent
to the Alloa Waggonway bridge I was standing on reveals a
number of lrage concrete pipe sections. The likely use
for these will become apparent in a few pictures time.
7. Pulling back the zoom and looking over the whole of the
former brewery site it is very evident that work has been
going much faster on building a new supermarket than on
the SAK, but to be fair supermarket construction is a much
more commonplace activity in the 21st century than the
reconstruction of disused railway lines!
8. Panning a little further right shows that the worksite
is currently only being used to stack materials. It's a
little hard to imaging looking at this that a station
complete with obligatory car park will soon be built
9. Looking east down the trackbed (with a fair bit of zoom!)
I saw a hole at an unexpected place. I don't know for certain
why it had been dug, but would guess that the chance was being
taken to install services of some sort under the trackbed for
the new supermarket.
10. The real progress on the SAK in the middle of Alloa was to be found by
looking the other way. However, unsurprisingly,it appeared
to be yet more drainage work!
11. However the drainage work was clearly much more extensive
here than I had previous seen being done on the SAK, given
the size of the concrete pipe section in this picture, so perhaps
the SAK drainage is being connected into the local sewer
12. Another view of what was originally the easern end of Alloa station
this time showing an enormous section of concrete pipe section,
although in this case I would think it will be used as part of a
vertical shaft as a cap with a hole for a manhole cover is next to it!
13. Now for a single picture I took looking west from the footbridge at
the back of the former Alloa bus garage. The painted bridge girders,
the repair work on the viaduct, and the new railings added to it are
all evident in this view.
14. Having checked up on railway progress a lot recently I felt it was
high time I checked up on the prgress on the new road being built as
part of the SAK project. I first went to the end furthest from the
railway trackbed, and here is a view looking along the future route of
the new road, without much plant in sight.
15. However swinging my camcorder round reveals that the machines previously
seen doing mining stabilisation work on the eastern half of the SAK
are now working on the site of the new road. All very necessary though
as this part of Clackmannanshire is riddled wth shallow mine workings from
long gone pits.
16. Panning down it can be seen that the stream that ran through the field
that was here has been channelled through a set of pipes, although more
extensive work will need to be done on it to get a reasonably wide road
17. The big find of the evening (in more ways than one!) turned out to be
at the point where the new road will cross the SAK, where I found a fairly
large crawler crane in the colours of the main contractor on the SAK
18. Since it was early evening when I saw the crane it wasn't working,
but it has clearly been put to good use and deserves some downtime!
19. The new SAK road is planned to join the main road east out of Alloa,
known as Clackmannan road, at this point, and as can be seen in this picture,
work was already underway to heap up earth to form part of the raised junction
that will be needed. The piece of road in the foreground will eventually be
buried under the approach road on the Alloa side of the new junction.
20. Turning back toward the railway, this view gies a close up view of the
back of the southern abutment of the new road bridge over the SAK. This
side of the abutment will also be buried, hopefully never to be seen
21. A close up view of the crawler crane now, showing it to be a fairly
modern design and clearly one that is well looked after.
22. Next to both the railway and the new road at this point is the largest
worksite on the eastern SAK (other than Kincardine power station of
course), and there a was a good selection of plant parked up for the
23. The last place I went to that night was the overbridge at Kennet.
I hadn't planned to go there that night but I was curious to find out
why the road was signposted as being closed, and guessed that the SAK
project might be the reason. As you can see, it was!
24. Despite the road close signs there was nothing to stop me going
a little closer for a better look, and my guess is that work has
probably just started on removing the road surface and exposing the
top of the arch of the bridge to check on it's condition and do
any repairs or waterproofing that might be required.
Even as I reached Kennet the light had started to fade (it happens even in July!), so that marked the end of this trip and thus of this progress report.
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