Thursday 7 July 2016

More canopy work

At Toddington the construction of the new Broadway replica canopy is making good progress. Since our last visit, a second length of intermediate purlin has been made up.

It is parked on a trolley by the loco disposal pit, ready for the admiring glances from the lucky few behind our largest locomotive, P&O. Note how the purlin is held together by strips on one side, and angle on the other. This second piece was assembled rather more quickly than the first, in only a day and a half. The canopy consists of several identical compartments. Manufacturing the first item always takes a little longer as you gain familiarity with the structure and process, and the second of the series then becomes a lot quicker and easier to make. It is the intention to assemble one complete compartment first, with the exception of the connecting central arch. These will be made last of all.

We now have two fascia board lengths, three rafters and two central purlins.
Back in the loco workshop, construction has started on the truss, the largest piece. The vertical strut on the left is where the middle of the truss will be. The structure has been placed on one of the fascia boards, as the floor in the workshop (the former goods shed) is not sufficiently even.

In the picture below (inverted for comparison purposes) you can see where the truss will fit:

The central arch, to be made later, curves away to the left. At Toddington, the steel canopy rests on stone blocks let into the top of the solid walls, but at Broadway the canopy will sit on a steel frame hidden inside the walls, as we now need a double skin wall for insulation purposes. Notice also how part of the canopy is covered in corrugated iron, and part is glazed, which gives it a very airy feeling.

The E Finch, Chepstow worksplates have now been lettered, and handed over to the builders of the footbridge and canopy.

We were asked if one worksplate should be mounted upside down, but declined, as that was a peculiarity to Toddington!

A last look at the yard in front of the loco shed shows good progress also with the relaying of the unloading road. The turnout is back in, and the unloading road has been reconnected. Aligning, levelling, ballasting and packing are still to follow; also the relaying of No. 6 shed road, where the inside is still being prepared for a final area of concrete floor. We are almost ready to receive an order for more rail.


  1. Wonderful progress on the canopy work for Broadway. You could take orders from other railways, but why deny them the joy of building their own? Gwili could certainly benefit from some genuine GWR work at Abergwili. Regards, Paul.

  2. I thought the makers plate was upside down at one end as the girder used was reversible and could be used either way? Therefore the maker allowed for gwr using it the wrong way? Graham