First, an apology.
On Saturday your blogger was happily ensconced in his study writing the day's post when the door opened and, mid blog, Mrs. Blogger reminded him that there was a pressing social engagement that evening. Missing that would earn a frown, possibly even a stern tut. Oh-oh. The post therefore had to be parked, not to be resumed until the Sunday morning.
The consequences were not long to arrive - complaints were numerous on Wednesday morning. By being punctual and regular, you make a rod for your own back. Must try harder...
Back to this morning then, and we settled down in the mess coach with those three important things in life:
A hot cup of tea, a doughnut, and some nice reading material. Go for it, Rick ! Enjoy. Oh, the anticipation of it.
We split into two teams. One to Winchcombe with the Telehandler, sorting out second hand sleepers, the other to Broadway, to shovel ballast, and empty any passing ballast trains.
|Are you the low season train for Winchcombe by any chance?|
As we had half an hour to spare, we did a quick detour to Hayles Abbey Halt to measure up the platform bench there.
No passing trains today, but there was a passing Telehandler.
In the future car park at Broadway contractors were taking away the spoil dug out from near the old signal box a few weeks back. We are obliged to deliver up a clean site to the new owner.
The spoil was once part of a raised platform by the former cattle dock, hence the chunks of concrete in it.
Meanwhile, in the station itself slabbing of the platform continued, as a radio recording was being made. Good PR for us.
All of the wagons were selected for the drop, which was expected to bring the train near to the turnout. The Shark at the back ploughed the excess from the four foot into the outsides.
That would be yours truly then :-(
And of course 6 others, to be fair. We shovelled our way through the platform, to make sure the sleeper ends were all provided with something for the tamper to work on, when it starts work here next Tuesday.
As the train reversed up to the turnout for the up siding, the ballast shovellers came back out of the woodwork and carried on. It was very windy today, with patchy drizzle, so this activity at least kept you warm.
In the picture the plough blade is being dug out by hand, so that it can be lifted right up and secured for transport.
Then the last wagon was slowly discharged over the turnout, leaving just a long dyke of ballast in the middle, and nothing round the sides.
The switches can just be made out on the right, showing that the train is just working off the turnout.
You can see the section now which appears to be unballasted, but in fact the ballast for it is in the middle, under the train.
|Is he doing it right? Well, I wouldn't start here...|
One dedicated member of the gang was thought to have fallen ill, as he seemed to be immobile, collapsed on the ground.
But no, it was Robert, carefully cleaning out the ballast dropped into various crevices where it shouldn't really be. That's handwork here.
Steve will be back to finish the job later in the week.
On the way home we saw legs sticking out of the booking office doorway. It was Neal on his hands and knees, treating the newly laid tile floor to a coat of sealant.
The shine was created by the natural daylight coming in from the other side.
Don't forget to check out the bridges blog. There's been fourth update on the work at Gotherington:
We will be relaying the track on to the bridge on Wednesday 28th February.
The tamper will start work on completing the Broadway extension on Tuesday 20th February. It will start a few yards north of Pry Lane and work its way northwards into Broadway station over several days. The regulator will follow on immediately afterwards.