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 dug.


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 here!


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 system?


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 over it.


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 project.


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 again...


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 night.


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.


Click Here To Go To 'SAK Progress Report 8'


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


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