Wednesday 1 July 2015

Nearing the end

A good day today, as the dumping and ballasting activity inched its way up the trackbed, and finally came to a halt near Little Buckland bridge.

Here is the last roll of Terram, which ran out just before the bridge, first thing in the morning. It's another hot day, up to 30 degrees, but with thunderstorms looming. The rails we have in stock should reach to just over the bridge in fact.

Before we start the dumping on Terram, Steve needed an extra three loads down by the beginning of the curve, where his laser guided measurements had detected a low spot. The overnight ballast lorries have now (on instruction) emptied their loads a little way into stage two of the extension, where a stockpile will be made. This will be used later to pack the newly laid track on stage 1.

Looking the other way, the curve continues towards bridge 4 at Peasebrook Farm, and then a straight line towards Broadway. It's all pretty level and clear around here, ready for the next jump.

Steve was working at the railhead end, putting some final touches on to the initial prepared length, which currently stretches up to the trees at the start of the curve. After putting three extra loads into a low spot in the middle, Steve was finally satisfied and we gave it a go with the roller. This has got to be the smoothest surface ever for track laying!

We have enough FB sleepers on site for an initial 5 panels. More are available elsewhere along the line, but the PWay train at Laverton will be isolated for 5 - 6 weeks while contractors sort out the small slip, and repair the culvert in the same area. The contractors are now expected to start on Monday. So there will be an initial burst of track laying, and then a pause.

Steve had the Laser receptor attached to the JCB again, and this really works quite well. Here you see him backing away from the railhead with a final pass. The roller has been shunted to one side to give the theodolite an uninterupted field.

While we were doing this at one end of the site, Adam and Tom were working at the other end. The sheet rolled out in the first picture is here being covered in ballast, with the pilasters of Little Buckland bridge just visible behind. Nearly there! The sky has now darkened and a thunderstorm drifted along the Cotswold Edge, and a bolt of lightening was seen to strike a field adjacent to the line! It remained hot and humid.

One of the last dumps of the day. Little Buckland has been reached, just two more dumps are needed.

This picture was taken from the same position as yesterday's on the bridge- the ballast dumping is almost completed. Tomorrow should be a wind up day, with no work here on Friday (could change, we are flexible!).
Steve has roughly levelled out most of the new ballast round the curve, but the area in the picture still needs fine tuning.

Another update should be possible tomorrow.


  1. Great progress on the preparation for track laying to Broadway, one question, is Broadway still there as it seems to have disappeared from all blogs. We keep getting info that a blog will soon begin but it has made less appearances than Lord Lucan. Please give an update, even if its a few pictures, Keep up the great work Graham H

  2. Toddington Ted1 July 2015 at 20:20

    Broadway is still there as far as I know and it would be rather worrying if it wasn't and all this work was for nothing!

    There is indeed a separate Broadway Blog - The next Chapter, and the folks are being briefed on how to run it, at least that's what we've been told.

    Actually I agree that progress on Broadway Station could be covered elsewhere, such as on the GWSR website and the GWR Boardroom Blog but doesn't seem to be.

    Surely someone who lives locally could post some updated photos on Bottombook or something. (They couldn't and stop calling me Shirley.)

    Sorry, must be the heat y'know. Whilst on the subject of heat, full marks to the folks doing the work on the track extension; its usually arctic conditions that seem to prevail!

  3. Em.............laser sighting equipment to find the correct level of the ballet being laid, a straight line ok, I understand, but around a corner????

    1. As I understand it, the laser level is to keep the surface level of the ballast constant rather than the direction the trackbed is going.

  4. Thanks Shirley, sorry I mean Ted for the reassurance that Broadway is still there, hopefully some info soon, Graham H

  5. Is Broadway still there? I used to be able to view it from California, sad days now!

    Dave P.

  6. Broadway updates are urgently needed. Where is Vic (Lucan !) ?
    Surely it should be possible to write a quick log of activity, without pictures if necessary, to keep us informed ?


  7. I agree, a Broadway Blog is needed. I followed it regularly, especially the pieces on the footbridge, as I knew it from being a BR engineer when it was at Henley-in-Arden.

  8. Jo an informative blog as always which illustrates that a lot of hard work is still required to advance the railway to Broadway . Three consecutive days of volunteering in this heat which is probably in breach of some obscure EEC DIrective - now that is commitment .Keep up the good work and tell the story to our supporters .

    The Rain Wimp

  9. Great updates of the extension things are moving on But do miss the progress reports at Broadway especially the Signal Box.