Saturday 19 March 2016

Dismanteling starts

Now that the running season has started, the Pway team is able to revert to the task in hand, laying track to Broadway!

The next task is to dismantle the loop at Laverton, and take it to Broadway. During this morning, the team started unclipping and took out the first few yards of rail.

The fishplates were removed, leaving a pair of rails on the sleepers, just enough for a rail trolley to roll over them.

In the background is the PWay train with the rest of the newly purchased stock of rail last year, which will go in here, replacing older rail laid on a temporary basis.

Why no Pway gang members visible? Well, they couldn't resist the lure of a cooked dinner in the PWay mess coach at Winchcombe, so went back to base for lunch.

Yours truly had a hot - almost too hot - dinner by the fire being built here by the clearance gang. They are working along the Malvern side of the embankment along Laverton loop. The extension from here on is now fully cleared by a joint effort between volunteers, and a contractor with a flail.

The PWay gang was soon back from lunch and attacked the remaining clips with vigour. The SHC clips, especially those with a fish tail, proved quite resistant to extraction. The 'biscuits' were prised out on hands and knees and scraping away at the ballast and brambles.

Meanwhile, normal services continue, but stop short of the loop. Here you can see the DMU that has arrived at the repositioned stop board, having come from Toddington.

At the northern end of the loop, rails and then concrete sleepers were being lifted and stacked along the former headshunt. The trolley is bringing clips, pads and biscuits for further use at Broadway. They were manhandled on to the Landie for safe keeping at Winchcombe.

The intention is to start at the far end of Broadway station with the headshunt and northernmost point, with a siding next to it. This and the loop will give the appearance of double track. When and how they will be taken to Broadway has not yet been decided.

On the to-do list is also the bit between the Laverton loop headshunt, and the start of new rail near the curve in the background. The bit in the middle is temporary track only, and has to come out again and be replaced by main line quality rail.

RIP your blogger's camera, defeated by the PWay dust. It made a little crunching noise in the lens, having ingested a particle of granite. A new one will have to be organised before the next posting.


  1. Jo,
    Welcome back. Have a happy and relaxing Easter,

    Rod Italy

  2. Hi, during the construction I noticed the line crossing the formation from the up line to the down line as it progresses to Broadway, is there any reason for this, are there problems with that when there's drain chambers in the six foot ?

  3. A common reason for swapping a single track from side to side of a double track formation is to provide better visibility by keeping the track to the outside of curves. Don't know if that's the reason here - the line to Broadway is pretty straight.

    It's also common practice to shove a single track towards the centre of a double formation to maximise clearances. This was done on the Cotswold line and between Kemble and Swindon when those lines were singled, which gave Network Rail an extra job when the lines were re-doubled. They had to realign the existing track before putting in the new one.

    In general, trackbed drains are only found in the centre of the formation in stations, where the platforms mean they can't be placed in the cess. Out in the wilds, drains are at the outer edges of the formation only. This cross-section shows a typical arrangement (although the overhead masts are shown with suspiciously shallow foundations - the ones now going in on the GW main line sit on unfeasibly deep piling):

    1. Thanks, Michael.
      You put it very well. If I remember tomorrow, I will put the question about the alignment.
      Looks like it's going to be a wet one!

    2. The track runs on the up line, and sometimes on the down, according to the most suitable ground conditions in the area. It will enter Broadway along the down line.
      Hope that answers your question.