Wednesday 15 November 2017

Along the goods shed

Wednesday's gang was out in force today, with a key question posed at the start of the day to sort out those not up to speed - where was the mess coach?

Anticipating eagerly our tea and biscuits this morning, and an invigorating pep talk from Dave, we screeched to a stop outside the mess coach - that wasn't the mess coach. It had transformed into a chocolate and cream Mk 1. Huh? A surprise repaint? An upgrade for the PWay gang?
No such luck. Our coach had been secretly moved to elsewhere.

Elsewhere turned out to be behind the loco shed. Fine for views of Dinmore being steamed up, not so good for walking the heavy lifting bar from the goods wagon over 4 tracks and a fence to find the nearest point where you could park the Landie.
Oh well. It's an innitiative test.

We heaved the lifting bar into the Landie, followed by a heavy basket full of its 8 chains. Then off to Broadway goods shed to allow the JCB to lift in the last 80 or so concrete sleepers on site.

We were beaten to Broadway by Andy and Paul who, undeterred by an absent lifting bar, set out to lift in the 80 sleepers using just a simple chain, one at a time. They were well set when we arrived, having done almost half already.
No matter, take back the lifting bar, heave it back over the fence and the 4 tracks into the goods wagon, then go to Winchcombe and get supplies.
Yes, sir !

A good rummage round the GUV at Winchcombe produced 8 sets of temporary fishplates and their clamps. We then filled the rest of the load space with PanLock keys in sacks. These were stored in a dumpy bag on the ground. When we had finally emptied the dumpy bag, Doug in the Telehandler kindly offered to lift the entire dumpy bag on the Landie for us. Great idea, but about 15 minutes too late.

The rest of the gang at Winchcombe were fitting wooden sleepers with Pan 11 base plates, while Doug in the Telehandler was busy reloading the extension train which had been parked here for us.
Lots of logistics to think about. We still need more concrete sleepers at Broadway, to complete the lay by the goods shed.

We took the Landie to Broadway, loaded with the fishplates and clamps, as well as a generous supply of Panlock keys for bullhead rail on wooden sleepers..
At Broadway the station gang and PWay gang were within sight of each other. Only 100 yards perhaps now separate the two ballast beds, as you can see in this picture. In the distance about 80 sleepers are being laid out for today, all that remained on site.
The vast pile of ballast scraping from in between the Broadway platforms has now come full circle, as almost all of it was dumpered from the car park back into the platform area, where it is an ideal and cheap infill. Here the Broadway gang are adding a final layer on to platform 1, which has settled somewhat from when it was first back filled several years ago.

Having off loaded the PanLocks by the platform railhead - where another PWay gang was keying up Saturday's work - we took the rest of our cargo to the southern rail head, so that the loose rails laid a week ago could be plated up. This is a temporary arrangement, as the rails here still have to be drilled, or welded up, alternatively.

Meanwhile, the laying gang today were coming to the end of the 80 sleepers left to lay. Here Paul is holding off one of the final sleepers, while Andy measures the exact distance required from the fence.
Paul reminded us gleefully that the sleepers had now reached the goods shed itself - it's true !

The dear old Landie was then asked to do yet another journey down the line, this time to fetch the rail saw, so that the rail ends arrived here could be sawn off square. As we are working on a curve, the outside rail slowly overtakes the inside one, hence a periodic adjustment.
After the ends were of equal length, the first rail length today was lifted in.

As dusk started to fall Andy and his gang were just lifting in the last of 3 pairs of rails laid today. The rails too have now reached the goods shed. We still have enough prepared ballast bed for another days laying here, before we reach the general area of the southern turnout.

After we took the tools back to Toddington, a member of the loco dept. pointed out to us that the GWR yard lamp had now been stripped and painted. It was in the shed.

Here it is. Sorry about the colour, but it is seen here in the evening, under orange arc lamps inside the shed. It is painted light and dark stone, with the raised pattern specially picked out.

Now to plant it by the water tower.


  1. Hi Jo, thanks for the update. What was the outcome of the problem around the catchpits? Have the sleepers been trimmed? That's what it looks like in the webcam image.

  2. Hi Jo, in addition to expressing my gratitude for another interesting post, I would also like to give recognition to the speed with which you prepare them. The time between the finish of activities and the ability of distant viewers to see them online is often short. Given the amount of accompanying text, the pictures to be downloaded then assembled into a post for your eager audience, I doff my hat to you. Much appreciated, thank you. Richard

    1. I echo Richard's comments. I guess Jo, that you are a touch typist and I suspect you have a pretty quick broadband connection to upload the photos so quickly!

    2. You have no idea!
      I live in rural Gloucestershire, miles from the nearest telephone exchange, and the second to last house in a long line from it. It doesn't get any slower than that. Fibreband is not even pencilled in for my area.
      Only yesterday I tried to upload 10 'early GWSR' photographs to Flickr, only to fail with an intermittent connection.
      And I'm afraid I am no touch typist either, all done with two fingers and a lot of corrections afterwards.
      I also edit a lot of the photographs before posting, so it's a slow job all round.
      But still very enjoyable, and nice to have feedback. Thanks, guys!

    3. We always anticipate the blogs, thank you.

    4. Richard, thank you.
      I come home, shower, prepare the photographs, upload them, cup of tea while I wait, write the blog, move to the living room with a log burner and half bottle of wine.
      If you guys make a donation or come and visit the railway as a result, who could ask for more?

  3. Thanks Jo
    Can't wait to see the PWay train in the platforms!

  4. Excellent photography as usual. one small niggle. I noticed in your text when referring to cutting the rails off level. the outer rail, having further to travel will always be overtaken by the inside rail not the reverse as you stated. I thought I would mention it in case it was test to see if we were awake and taking notice! Regards, Paul.

  5. Another great report and pictures Jo. Well done for getting them out so quick, great progress here, and it will not be long, as said before, that the mess Coach will be up at Broadway siding so that Matre 'D Paul can keep you all well fed! Well done the GWsR Orange Army...
    Paul & Marion.

  6. yes another great effort from the Orangemen its gonna be great. Don trump bit of humour 😎

  7. When the Landie goes back and forth to Winchcombe to collect tools etc, does it ever go on the rails? Thanks Aaron. Well done on the achievement so far!

    1. I've only ever seen it done once. It's a lot of bother, and of course you need possession.
      Easier to trundle down the B4632.