Arriving at Toddington we were met by this tent... where the frames of 76077 stood last week.
A very neat arrangement, that tent will contain the dust generated by the mobile sandblaster.
Wish we could take a peep inside.
Ah! The door is ajar, and two boilersuits had the same idea. We peered inside.
Work is really starting on the Standard 4, see for yourself.
Apparently the shotblasting will be completed by the end of the week already. Fast work!
|Hello, Mum ???|
It would have been useful to take out the disused GWR level crossing post while they were at it, but it seems the post was fixed to a very large lump of concrete, so no can do.
After tea and doughnuts (sadly now spaced out one bag per table, so no repeat of last week's animal like scrum) we divided into three teams. One went to Winchcombe to plate up 30 hardwood sleepers with Pan 11 base plates for use when we replace the track over Gotherington Skew bridge, currently being worked on. Another team of two took a generator on the red Transit to Broadway and then worked south, cutting off occasional bolts that stuck vertically out of the sleepers in an unfriendly manner. The last, and biggest team went to Peasebrook.
|What do you mean, you want a lightweight bar, made of Aluminium I suppose?|
The Landie was started up next to its pile of snow at Toddington (yes, it's still there, but now looking somewhat shrunken and dirty), and, passing via the site safe at Broadway, we drove it with all the tools down the trackbed to where the gang had assembled.
This picture gives you an idea of the exposed situation of the embankment at Peasbrook. There was a stiff breeze, and with an air temperature of only 3 degrees C, the windchill factor was painfully felt. Never mind that it was sunny, it was still freezing out there.
After a while there was a distant toot, and one of those 'non running' trains appeared round the Little Buckland bend.
It was the class 73 with the first of two ballast drops for the Broadway end of our extension.
It trundled by gingerly, on its way to Pry Lane, where the previous ballast drop had ended several weeks ago, and which was also the place up to which the line is currently tamped.
Here we see the second train parked at the end of the first drop, so that the doors can be opened and the plough wound down. The Broadway goods shed is in the distance.
The train then slowly reversed towards Broadway, leaving fresh, damp ballast in its wake. You can see a video of this second drop here:
|Reversing slowly up to the Childswickham Road bridge.|
Lee is working the fifth hopper doors here, while Andy on the ground is directing Neil in the loco, so that the train stops when the final wagon has completed its discharge, and the plough has heaved a proportion of the content over the rails.
In the foreground you can see that initially the ballast just drops between the rails and stays there; the shark coupled to the front of the loco then completes the manoeuvre by heaving the surplus ballast over the rails.
|Got another Dogfish full, see.|
A pow-wow is held. Lee has a trump card up his sleeve (all magicians have this), which is the sixth Dogfish, which he didn't open. Now it comes into play, as we give the last, insufficient stretch a little top up, and then the quantity dropped looks right.
Work on repairing the bridge is said to be well on schedule, so we hope that further ballast drops right into, and beyond the station, will resume soon.
The bottom of the stairs will be supported by two newel posts in the form of ball topped gate posts of the era, for which we have a pattern. Their foundation holes will be dug (on the far right of the picture) once the first three holes have been filled with concrete, to avoid thin walls between them and the subsequent risk of collapse.
While we don't currently have any funds to actually build the canopy overhang, it is now clear that we have an agreed design at last, and one that will achieve very nearly a full length canopy overhang (6m out of the original 7m). That's an excellent compromise, and it will look right. The circulating area under it, illuminated by a double row of Victorian style glazing and a large replica hexagonal lamp, will be the cherry on the cake at this end of the station.