Friday 7 November 2014

Rail unloading

The first delivery of 40 rails has now been taken to Laverton and unloaded on site. This enables the bogie flat used to be returned to Toddington, ready for the second half of the total shipment. This is expected in a fortnight.

In the first picture we can see approx. 20 rails unloaded the previous day lying in the four foot, with the still half loaded bogie flat in the background. Right in the distance you can see a hopper wagon PWay train parked on Laverton loop. On the right is the embankment partially cleared. It's quite high in this area, and certainly long. In fact the majority of the line between Laverton and Broadway is on an embankment, which is why the 5 'Bridges to Broadway' are all underneath.
The JCB takes the weight.

Carefully draw the rail off the wagon - see how flexible it can be.

Gently allow the end to drop on to a tyre, to avoid damage to the sleepers.
In these three pictures, you can see how the rail was unloaded, using a JCB. The skill demonstrated by our contractor Steve never ceases to amaze, which is why some of us refer to him as 'Stevie Wonder'. He has done this many times before, and knows the railway better than most. After all these compliments, we hope his hat still fits!
The start of clearance beyond the railhead

A jawful of undergrowth.
Once the unloading had been completed, Steve returned to the job in hand, which was to clear the trackbed of surface greenery and contaminated ballast. In the foreground Nigel and Dave stand by the actual rail head itself. This section was laid to works train standard only when the loop was built, and will be re-visited to reach the required running line standard in due course. It represents a length of approximately 300m. The new rails, still to be laid, represent a length of 800m, so Little Buckland bridge will be reached after approximately an initial 1100m of extension. What the rail head looked like a year ago you can see in this picture below:
Laverton headshunt in 2013.
All this greenery is being taken away by the JCB and a PWay track gang along the top, and by our clearance dept. along the sides.
The view towards the extension

In this view, we are looking from the bogie flat towards the railhead, which is located where the JCB is standing. The last few yards still have to be cleared of grass. Beyond the JCB lies a further straight stretch, followed by a long curve to the right which leads to a straight commencing at Little Buckland bridge, the current target for track laying.

If you stand at Little Buckland, you can just about make out Broadway goods shed in the distance! Current thinking is that we will reach this in three lots of track laying, of which the first is in the process of preparation. It's a bit over 2 miles in all.

We have often said the the cost of reaching Broadway is £1.5m, divided into three items:

£500k for the bridges
£500k for the track, and
£500k for the station.

Item one is now funded, and almost complete too.  The funds for the rest are not yet in place, although the brilliant 10% surplus from the EIS share issue gave it a good start. Our GWR Trust is also busy fund raising, and the railway itself, after recovering from the Chicken Curve slip, is now also in the black and generating a certain surplus. However, this cannot all be directed at the one project (the extension) as there are many other competing priorities, such as the development of Winchcombe yard for dry carriage storage etc. Next year the funding picture will get clearer.

In the meantime, a number of readers have written in with suggestions for a map, one of which ought to be useable. It will need a bit of trial and error with MS Paint. Many thanks for your offers of help, and indeed interest! While we wait, the map in the link on the right is pretty good already, for those not familiar with the area.

The next posting should be possible when the first lot of concrete sleepers is brought on site. We already have what we need, but they need taking out of storage, sorting out, loading etc. This might take a couple of weeks.


  1. Great Stuff. Also good pics on Nigel Black's PWD Flickr site.

    Here's a link to one of the photos in November's album.

    Hope that's OK Jo.

  2. RE the break down of costs to three main bits - As you've said, bridges have been sorted (Hooray!). 500K for the track- how much of this has already been ordered, and does that include signalling/do we have all of that already (I know we've got the frame). Also, how much of the 500K for the building has been done? Given that the platforms are basically finished and the signal box is well advanced, is 500K what there is left, or total that has and will be spent?

    Great stuff, fantatstic to see so much progress towards the extension :D

    1. Alex, these have always been ball park figures, you mustn't look for too much detail.
      I guess its about 3000m of track in a straight line, plus points and all the double track for the loops to be added at Broadway.
      Of this, 800m has been purchased just now.
      £500k was a ball park figure for the buildings. Some of this has already been spent, on the SB and on a supply of special facing bricks for box and station.
      There's still a debate about the station roof - GWR like Toddington, or a modern freelance design like CRC... so we don't know an exact cost yet.

    2. Fair enough, either way, just so glad that things are happening apace. I'd vote for a gwr roof like Toddington not knowing the advantages/disadvantages (aside I guess from more expensive traditional?) but Broadway station is look great from the outside when finished, really look the part, and a proper roof would suit it better IMO. Not something you can easily change later either!

    3. Can we get the HIA roof which is identical to original Broadway station?

      NR keep threatening to bulldoze HIA or convert to a 2 storey office block to rent....

    4. Unless you have hard and fast contacts, it is very difficult dealing with NR.

  3. This is a fascinating blog with a great pioneering feeling behind it. Keep the information and pictures coming.

  4. A quick map knocked up using Google maps, linked to some of your pictures hope that is OK -

    1. Thanks Tim
      Very Helpful for us Arm chair supporter`s !!

      Thanks Again