We split into two gangs, one starting from the south, the other from the pulling point at Laverton bridge.
It would be nice to meet somewhere in the middle, but at the start it was slow work, before we found our rhythm.
This rhythm was achieved by breaking into little sub gangs, each with their own purpose.
Here Tony is preparing the biscuits and clips, while Mike no longer has to bend down each time, and can remain standing while he hammers in the clips from above.
Did we remember to bring the Pan Pullers? Yes.
Did we remember to bring a few spare Pandrol clips? Er, no.
Never mind, we can get them at lunch time.
Steve gives the Pan puller a big heave, while a service DMU sneaks up from behind, on the running section, which ends at the stop board beyond the gang.
|Look behind you, Bert !|
We got regular visits fom the DMU, but we gradually worked our way away from it.
In this picture we have already done several lengths, fully clipped up.
A lunch followed of sausage and chips, rounded off with an Italian Pandoro cake, which was surprisingly good, given that it was left over from Christmas.
Newly strengthened, we attacked a pile of SHC clips found on a rotten pallet in the undergrowth. With this, the depleted stillage on the Landie was filled up again. A few sacks of 'biscuits' thrown on top completed our trawl for more supplies.
Note that in this picture we are on a slight curve. This was the site of the first turnout of the former Laverton loop (you can still see some parts of the turnout in the distance). Because of the double curve in this 500m stressed section, the rail had moved sideways slightly within the sleeper bed. This meant that there was a wide gap on one side for the 'biscuit', and no gap on the other side.
(patents pending)Yes, it's our very own bit of kit, designed to give a bar that little bit of fulcrum close to the foot of the rail, so that even a 500m rail under tension can be levered over enough to quickly push in a 'biscuit'.
|Waiting for the man...|
Looking the other way, the southern gang is furiously inserting clips, using the materials John has already laid out.
We're now some way from the stop board, which is rather satisfying. We gave ourselves an unofficial little target, which was the insulated block joint, about half way along this 500m section.
Then, along comes a team and stresses the rail. This now moves along a bit. Darn !
The sleeper now has to be dug out again, and moved 6 inches to the right.
Another visit from the DMU, now in the distance. It's just moving off again (cough).
By Friday, the 350m stretch had had its edges dug out and tidied, and the trackbed levelled. A lot of earth and spent ballast from the edges was ferried away, inter alia to make a new approach road to the embankment at Childswickham.
Watch this space !