To finish off our turnout project at Toddington we needed to spot resleeper a short section beyond the main line turnout. Last week we did 11 sleepers, and this week we did - well, read on.
At Toddington the S160 has arrived, a fascinating machine.
Did you know the letters 'U S A' are not painted on, but bolted on in shiny metal (chrome, or stainless steel?). What an interesting touch.
The loco itself was by the goods shed, and was about to be propelled out to collect its tender.
While they were apart, we were able to take this photograph of the cab controls. LH drive, and two gauge glasses. Were they not originally supplied with just the one?
As we don't have a pile of spare wooden sleepers, we had to dismantle those left over from previous jobs at Broadway and Gotherington skew bridge.
Here Hayden uses the animal (aka a 'Bance' on other railways) to unbolt the chairs, which we then stacked and later took down to Winchcombe for storage.
These sleepers are Jarrah and of the highest quality.
That means that they are extremely heavy, and it took 5 gangers to lift one onto the back of the Landie for transport to the actual work site.
Here it is just setting off from Toddington, with a plume of steam like a genie from a bottle.
Today both teams were doing the whole job (division of labour last week) and here you can see Tim hammering a key back into the chair of a sleeper just replaced. Neil is holding the chair steady, as without that extra resistance you can't hammer the key in. It's all very springy and wobbly with this old way of supporting rails.
Then it's a question of positioning the sleeper right under the holes of the chair we just clipped into place, so that we can get the chair bolts in.
Steve is already hovering with the animal, ready to finally do up the chair bolts.
Then it's time to back fill the void, and tamp the sleeper by hand. In this heat it's hard work.
When we find a GWR throughbolter to replace, it's really hard. The sleeper needs to be split in two to release the rusted up chair bolts.
David and Tony give it all they've got.
And then a bit more....
Meanwhile, Geraham is our lookout, and with 4 trains about today, it's a very worthwhile job.
As we were working near two sets of signals, we were often alerted by the 'clang' of the signal, but it's nonetheless good to know someone is looking out for you.
Others sat by the wayside, as the heat began to take its toll.
After lunch, a deputisation was sent off to Southam to attend to a reported broken fishplate. As we needed the Landie at Toddington south, they went there - with all the tools in a VW campervan! With the small engine.
We did another 11 sleepers today, thereby going as far as we had planned. We felt quite good about that, given the number of times we had to stop to let traffic past. Then again, that traffic earns money for the railway, so we can't complain.
These are easy to lift - they weigh next to nothing, as they are rotten through.
We also loaded the TB2 Geismar chair screw machine. This is too heavy to lift by hand really, so we used the Telehandler to lift it on to the Landie, carefully avoiding the small hydraulic lift with which the Landie is also equipped.
We also took 30 chairs with us. These are still useable (3 bolters) so they will go into storage at Winchcombe.
|The plucked chicken|
A quick glance at what's outside the loco shed showed the King being bulled up, and here fitted with a very suitable headboard for 'THE BRISTOLIAN'.
Then it was a wash & brush up, into our civies, and a 'secret shopper' test of what our customers were getting in the beer area at Winchcombe.
Friday at Broadway
No public services, but that doesn't mean no trains. The sylvan peace of Broadway station was disturbed twice by a footplate experience train, the full Monty with all 8 coaches.
Wonder how many levers the box will finally be using, with all that rodding and signal wires?
Looking at the station and train with the sun in your back the colours really come into their own.
The picture shows the layout of the canopy overhang with the bottom of the steps, as it once was. We're having to modify that a bit, as the two no longer align as now built.
In the booking office the bench so beautifully upholstered by C&W gets regular use, as seen here a few days earlier.
On the way home, this pretty shot of what the Cotswolds is all about:
- The Cotswolds Edge
- A Manor house on the hill.
No wonder we get so many tourists.
And now this week's puzzle:
A generous blog reader has donated a set of 12 inch cast iron letters from a GWR running in board...
Take your time, no hurry....
There's no prize, just the honour of being the first. But the gift makes a serious contribution to your blogger's ambition of assembling a complete set of letters in 4 inch and 12 inch size. Once a set of the most common letters is available, we can then take the required letters to a foundry and ask them to be copied for, say, WINCHCOMBE (12 inch), or REFRESHMENTS (4 inch).
We are still missing the following 12 inch letters:
F,G,I, J, L,P,Q,U,V, and W.
We have a spare A, E, R, S, M, and Y, so could swap with any other GWR society, or would gratefully accept further gifts.
The same goes for 4 inch letters, which are commonly used on V boards. If anyone has any spares or swaps, we'd be interested to hear.