Work on the Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway’s half-mile extension from Glengonnar Halt to Wanlockhead, has been delayed by poor weather throughout the first quarter of 2018.

Now project leader, society chairman, Alan Mackie, has been forced to redesign the drainage on the new section of line. This follows serious flooding of the cutting in January and the effects of snowfalls on the Lowther Hills which saw the cutting and Wanlockhead station site unreachable for several weeks.

Alan said: “We made good progress after we started work in August last year, but, since the start of 2018, we have been hampered by the weather and I had to redesign the drainage we planned so that it can cope with severe weather of the sort we’ve had. We’re also now operating the railway every weekend, so volunteers have gone back to running the line, and we’re very much on the lookout for anyone who would like to join us to help with the digging as we’re keen to meet our target of trains arriving in Wanlockhead by 2020.”

But it’s not all bad news in the Lowther Hills, for Clyde, the railway’s 1975-built, Hunslet diesel workhorse, is likely to return to service soon, following specialist repairs to her hydraulic gearbox and manufacture of new drive shaft sprockets.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming her back into service enormously,” said Alan. “Clyde is our stalwart locomotive and we need her back in action.”