Today was the day we dealt with the Warflat with the 160 sleepers.
More than half of the sleepers brought in have already been unloaded with the telehandler shuttle. It is standing on the end of the former head shunt - here is the exact beginning of the new rail laid.
Here is the telehandler, driven by Alan, carefully picking off another load of sleepers. I hope you've got 8 there Alan, because 7 is an uneven load and needs an extra lift with the frame at the railhead.
Just before lunch time, the guys were on the third new length. You can see the rail head approaching the start of the curve to Little Buckland. A pair of new rails has just been dragged up, ready for installation.
In the foreground, the undrilled rail ends are being clamped together, ready for welding.
Readers are reminded that the track is only partially clipped up at this stage, until the welds have been made and the track stretched.
Some of the rails were stored in the centre of the track, and were dragged down carefully to the railhead.
Although we use a set of frames to space the sleepers, there is still a final adjustment that is required, which is done by crowbar as in the picture. In particular, we need to avoid that the joint is on a sleeper, as is the case here. That sleeper needs to move along a bit.
Here is a sleeper that was overlooked by the quality control at the selection stage, but rejected on site.
Can you see why?
Answer at the bottom of the page :-)
And now it's time for Mrs. B's famous cake, only 50p for unlimited helpings. I managed three.....
A Rhubarb filling today, if I'm not mistaken. Yummy it was too.
Nigel has been told to wait his turn.
Here is Neil in full sleeper juggling mode.
It takes a bit of experience to know just where to put the end of the bar and your boot, so that the concrete sleeper creeps forward the number of inches required, shouted at you from a rail's length away.
Behind him is the Cotswold edge. Beautiful, isn't it? Count yourselves lucky, dear readers, that you can't smell with this blog (we do our best, but...) because the field behind had just been sprayed with pig manure. Didn't we know it too.
The clouds massing in the distance bode little good.
On the left you can see that the clearance gang have moved forward along here. They have almost reached that telegraph pole.
Then came a pretty substantial shower, nearby Dumbleton Hill was almost invisible with the rain. A number of us sheltered behind the JCB, and one of us - ahem - even climbed inside. Cosy here, Steve's world.
|This morning you laughed at my umbrella, but you're not laughing now !|
The last picture of the day. Here is the new rail head, and looking into the curve leading to Little Buckland. We could have finished this panel, except for two sleepers that were a bit off.
Oh yes, so what was wrong with the one in the picture? Did you spot it?
One of the loops was a bit bent. The RH one, it leans inwards.
Takes a keen eye, but spotting it at this stage avoids a lot of unnecessary work later on, once it's bedded in under the rail.
The next track lay date isn't known yet, but might be in say 2 - 3 weeks. More concrete sleepers have to be unearthed from the undergrowth and loaded, then the train moved northwards, in between running normal trains and essential maintenance. But it shouldn't be too long now.