The Landie is still off sick with clutch problems, which a helping of hydraulic oil did not manage to cure.
Here is Dave, breakfast mug of tea still tightly clasped, busy extracting the clutch master cylinder. He didn't let go of that mug!
A short piece of fake track was set up, on which the motorised Geismar chair screw machine could be installed.
On the K&ESR railway, this was known as the 'knurdler', although there must be a more professional term for it.
Cast iron chairs in the foreground have been fitted with ferrules (the yellow plastic sleeves you can see)
Out by the entrance to the yard the new supplies of both concrete and hardwood sleepers have been unloaded, and the Telehandler here was dispatched to fetch supplies for the chair fixing crew. The use of the Telehandler turned out to be a tad optimistic, as progress was slow and only one such stack was required in the morning. No doubt things accelerated during the day.
Luckily, in a wide pallate of volunteers you have a good chance of finding some one with the skills required, and we are very lucky to be able to make use of the skills of Peter, a retired engineer.
The two shed roads were measured for height from a fixed point, and the different results noted down.
Here Peter is translating this onto a sort of graph, which shows the undulations of the track (which the large, bogied diesel locos that come in and out here don't like very much).
|Hey, this isn't ballast, it's a rock!|
While most of the issues could be solved by jacking and packing, one area, close to the current apron, was too high on the Malvern side.
Too high is bad news. It is very difficult to lower track, once in place. Our plan was to loosen the concrete sleepers, dig out the adjacent crib, move them across, and then dig out the bed underneath, before moving the sleepers back into their original positions.
The best laid plans of mice and men.... Clive finds the reason one area was higher than the rest - it lay on a row of rocks.
His colleagues were only too willing to point out to him the way forward - dig out the rocks!
The rocks were attacked with a Kango hammer and a crow bar to break them up.
The plan to move the sleepers sideways also ran into a spot of difficulty. Four sleepers were bullhead on chairs (fine) but four more, before the apron started, were modern blocks, supporting flat bottom rail with high tech fastclips.
Unfortunately our low tech tools were not suited to getting them off. No one had ever done it before, so we were reduced to digging out the bed from underneath each sleeper.
A green coloured fastclip can be seen in the foreground. No doubt there is a special tool for this, but we don't have it... too modern for us, we're a railway museum you know.
At the end of the day we were a bit at the end of our tether, but were pleased to be able to say that we had successfully dropped this rail down to its correct level. It now needs a fair bit of fresh ballast to fill the gaps again, and allow us to pack it properly with railway ballast, rather than with rocks and dirt.
Shed road No. 6 was also being worked on, by a joint group of PWay and loco dept members.
Here the track laid last week is being professionally packed with a kango hammer. The PWay dept working on road No.10 were so impressed by this machine that they 'borrowed' it for the rest of the day. Brazen cheek, but that's how you get things done.
Although the track laid last week was plated up, we were not happy with the heights between the differently worn rails, so an expedition was sent to Winchcombe to find some 'lifters'.
Three good lifters were found, and duly installed to achieve a nice smooth running rail, before everything is concreted in for good.
The old straight fishplate is still good for use as a hammer to get the bolts through.
After replacing some fish plates and completing the packing inside the shed, the tamper was fired up and it slowly worked its way up the approach road, watched by a member of the loco dept.
We then retired to the Flag & Whistle' for a closing cup of tea and a natter.
Quote of the day:
''Paul (Maitre d'), how are your lessons at charm school progressing?''
'' ***$$@'** !!!!! ''