We had a new recruit today, Jack. Jack is a student of civil engineering, and for his first day with us he introduced himself with a large supply of doughnuts, for the priveleged ones some were even covered in chocolate. This young lad will go far, we predict. Welcome, Jack!
While arriving for work at Childswickham, we immediately noticed a JCB carrying sleepers cross the bridge over the road. Bit of a milestone that, isn't it? We are now stacking sleepers in our new unloading area there, ready to lay track over the bridge and on towards Broadway.
While Stevie returns with empty forks, Nigel is bringing up a much larger load from the supply train at Peasebrook.
At the gap we have left, there is heavy traffic. A bit of a ballet, to let everyone through, and end up facing the right way.
For the next run, Nigel dropped off a balance of 3 concrete sleepers, which we will need today on top of the others already there, including a handful of timber sleepers which will support the crossing of rubber pads. We have decided to close the gap.
Leigh, our fishplate specialist, completed the gaps the Wednesday gang had drilled, but left unplated. Some of the rails had moved along in the heat, and the Wednesday gang didn't have the means to move the last pair of rails.
We did - they got a little nudge from Steve.
You'd think this was easy, using the front bucket of the JCB to prod the 1 ton rail along a bit, but it wasn't. The length was already fully clipped up, and every time the JCB let go, the rail sprung back into its previous position. It needed a lot of persuasion.
Finally, Leigh was able to insert the bolts through the fishplate and secure this length. We have the 14 rails dragged off the sleeper wagons a couple of weeks back, and we want to get them all in today and safely plated up, as we intend to move the next load of rail on wagons all the way up here.
New recruit Jack is already doing well, he's even got the fishplate the right way up. Top marks here!
And there you have it - the dumpy bag fell off! We did say 'loosely laid', and so it proved, as the trolley hit a slight difference in height between two rails not yet plated up.
The trolley stopped, but the dumpy bag went on....
We only had Stevie for half a day today, so as a priority we set about laying in the 14 lengths left in the cess. So doing, we laid 7 panels - 126m - using all the rail we had. More is arriving on Monday.
|Come on Steve, we'll never get to Broadway like that!
With 7 lengths of rail laid out in front of him, Leigh spent the afternoon drilling all the holes required, so that we could secure them with fishplates. Every other gap of course will be a weld.
So what is left at Skew bridge? Yesterday 9 piles of 20 sleepers remained sorted and stacked. A few smaller piles of odd ones are in the middle, and two stacks of rejects also exist. We will sift through these to see if any can, after all, be used at Broadway north, near the head shunt.
Why the search through the rejects? Because all the others have gone! Unbelievable, but we have taken them all. This area used to contain around 7000 second hand concrete sleepers, and almost all have been used on the Broadway extension, taking the line to the Childswickham road.
We think 7000 sleepers is a lot, but in May a freight train from Belgium to Italy suffered a broken axle near the French border in one of the two last wagons of 25, which derailed but remained attached to the train. They bumped along behind for 13km, damaging 21.700 concrete sleepers in their wake. Now that is a lot of sleepers! (Source: Infrabel)
Finally, a little appeal. We have been looking to manufacture replica door plates for Broadway station, in keeping with the 1904 period. In order to suit the pre-grouping style, they need to have a chamfered edge, not a straight one (which came later). We already have several replicas in store, eg Stationmaster, Booking Office, Tickets, Waiting room and others. With patience and ingenuity you can make up your set.
Earlier this week, we were very lucky to be able to borrow this one from a local museum. The original cast iron plate will be taken to a small foundry to have an aluminium replica made.
REFRESHMENTS or BUFFET
Does anyone have one of these that we could borrow? Any offers gratefully received by
breva2011 (at) hotmail.co.uk.