Ever had problems starting your car in the cold? Well, it's the same with the motorised sleeper drills and nut runners (A.k.a 'Animals')
This one wouldn't start at all. Steve has got the sparkplug out; the others are peering anxiously to see if it is wet or not. That will give you a hint to what is wrong.
Finally we got one going, and here is Mike with the drilling gang, drilling holes in the replaced timbers to tie down the whole thing nice and tight (and preferrably to gauge too)
As these machines are heavy, there is a change of operator at intervals, and here it's Paul's turn on the drill, while Neil waits to follow up with the nut runner to secure the bolts.
By the end of the day (and we are talking nearly 5pm now, since the evenings are getting longer) the drilling team had done every one of the holes on the turnout, perhaps as many as 200 holes drilled.
Here is a section of the turnout, with the yellow and orange colours denoting the shavings from holes drilled in different kinds of wooden sleeper.
As we were only a small team, it was sometimes the case of one person in charge of two lifting bars. We can handle that.
You can always learn something in the PWay game, there are many tricks and neat solutions.
How do you move a whole pile of Pan keys without a wheelbarrow?
Andy shows us how - make a daisy chain of them. OK, OK, no need to look so smug.
The track still needs a bit of 'tweaking', but we are getting nearer the day we can let a ballast train drop a load in here.
This means that the previously covered catch pit, opened and cleaned, has had to be covered again. Moving the running line back to where it should be is a huge job, and would also require the purchase of quite a bit of additional ballast to gain extra height required.
As the three sleepers involved had to rest on something, we reinstated the original arrangement where they rested on ballast supported by 5 rail cut offs. At least we can run trains again now.
Nigel has stepped way back and is eyeing up one of the running rails, before giving instructions to heave the heavy pointwork over by an inch this way or that. Of course the final adjustment will be done by the tamper when it returns at the end of the month.
A short while later the team addressed the loop line, which had a curve in it that was rather too generous. This bit was rather easier, esp with more people on bars to help. In fact we actually overshot at one point, and had to tweak it back the other way.
Thanks a million
The milestone mentioned in the title is that we have reached a MILLION !
A million pounds on the share appeal, thanks to your great and hugely appreciated support. We have £250.000 still to find, but after crossing the million mark, the end really looks achievable now. Remember that £1.25m is only for the minimum to get us to Broadway, so do help us get there in fine style.
Another, more modest milestone is that this family of blogs has been blessed with a MILLION page views. The interest you have shown in our activities shows that we must be doing something right. We do hope, as the blogs are free and we have not yielded to the temptation to allow ads on them, that sometimes you will reach for your chequebook and reward us with a share purchase or gift to the trust.
So where have you clicked the most? Here is a little summary of your interest shown, over the lifetime to date, in each of the blogs in this group:
Extension Blog: 414.000 views
Hayles Abbey Herald: 50.000 views
Building Services Bulletin: 111.000 views
Bridges Blog: 161.000 views
CRC2 Blog: 271.000 views.
Grand total as of yesterday: 1.007.000 page views. Wow!
You did it, dear reader, so give yourself a richly deserved pat on the back. And thank you for supporting the GWR, see you again shortly with the next post.