The day started with a downpour, as we sat in the mess coach debating recent board events over tea. From time to time we stuck an arm out of the window, and - you need to be lucky in war - the rain stopped just as we were getting up to move out.
Here is the gang, arriving in force at Broadway with 3 vehicles.
Coming through !
We spread ourselves into a number of smaller gangs, so that we could progress the work at different levels.
In the foreground a first length of 24 sleepers has been laid and is waiting for the pair of rails on the left to be lifted in.
On the left a sub-gang is clipping up the length laid in last week.
Laying the sleepers progressed at a pleasing pace, but sometimes we had to stop and dig out ballast from underneath them, as they ended up high on small ridges.
Steve levelled all this carefully, but these ridges had a habit of reappearing, due to vehicular traffic up and down.
The nips were just right for this job.
At lunch time the loop road had passed underneath the footbridge and was near the northern end of the station building, with the rail laying team not far behind.
The orange coloured rail lying in the six foot is the new rail destined for the platform road. You have to position this in advance.
John was in charge of fairy cakes today. He cast a critical eye over them, and over the amount of money in the honesty box in the foreground.
Did you pay? How many fairy cakes is that you've had?
''More? Did you say 'more' ?????''
(making us feel like Oliver Twist)
The new rail in the through road is ex steel mill and therefore undrilled.
Leigh here sets to work preparing the newly rail to receive its fishplates.
Further along the loop road the sleeper laying gang, delayed by a few last fairy cakes, found that Alan had not wasted any time waiting, and begun to stack up high the chaired up sleepers he was fetching.
A feeling of foreboding came over the three sleepers layers...
Now past the station building and approaching the signal box, the sleeper laying team on the loop road had to pause to let Steve through with the next pair of rails. It's busy here.
The dappled sunlight hits the trusses and arched ridge purlins on the canopy. The end wall, disguising the last room (a kitchen on the drawings) is now clearer after the temporary 1970s BR location cupboard was removed. Several others still remain on site. Will they also be removed?
More rail is dragged through by Steve, this time SH bullhead.
The sleeper laying team is right in front of the signal box now, having laid out one of the two roads almost through the station site.
The through road is way behind now. Although the intention was to move the roads along in tandem, in practice the presence of the JCB (as here) hindered the Telehandler in bringing more sleepers to platform 1, so we concentrated on the loop instead, bringing it out far ahead at the end of the day.
The three sleeper layers were on full time duty pulling the heavy chaired Jarrah sleepers off the Telehandler forks, so a small team followed on behind to straighten out the somewhat irregular result.
A few moments later Steve was ready to lift in the two SH rails he had just brought in.
Our total laid today was a respectable 8 panels, or 16 rails laid in. We were very happy with that.
Steve was undeterred, and just cut them off with the disk cutter. No problem.
These are required to open the 'second front' at Childswickham on Wednesday, when the other gang will resume laying north. We want to get all the track in by the end of the year.
The Telehandler here is just making a 180 degree turn, in order to go back into its stable at Winchcombe at the end of the day. Its driver has just taken on the responsibility for the Broadway station fit out, and we fully expect that in future our Hi Viz safety gear will sport a compulsory tartan design, instead of just plain orange. We must move along with the times.
A last view from the other end. It's starting to get dark now.
The loop road seems to stretch right through the station, but it needs three more pairs of rails to catch up with the end of the sleepers laid.
On Monday we will continue with ballasting by the goods shed, and the remaining bund near the old signal box will be removed and dropped behind platform 1 at the southern end of the building.
News on the Broadway station cafe.
The cafe, for which the station building was laid out with dining room and kitchen, has just been dropped from the plans in a surprise move. Instead, the space will become a souvenir shop, with a coffee machine.
This picture of a similar cafe at NYMR Pickering station shows what it was intended to look like, a very close resemblance. Fireplace, wainscotting, Victorian wall and ceiling lights.
The wall space will be now be fitted with shelving, and the kitchen will become a store room.
Concerns about staffing the intended cafe have led to this last minute change of plan, we were able to ascertain.