We were back on site at the C&W back siding, and the day started a bit ominously, as the contents of this Telehandler bucket, almost all shovels and trip jacks, revealed the purpose of the day: ballast shovelling!
Neil and Dave here soon got going, and it wasn't too bad in the morning, as the weather was cool.
This is only a rarely used siding, a sort of headshunt in fact, so it didn't have to be perfect by any means. The problem was that the levels were dire to start with, after a rough laying in 1989 and 30 years of gentle subsidence since then. So quite a bit of straightening and raising of the track had to take place, to get even a minimum acceptable standard of track.
After watching Steve, Paul and Bert adjust the levels, Tony got stuck in as well, shovelling the ballast off the trolley and into the quite large voids created under the sleepers by jacking the rails to the required level.
Gradually we worked our way to the end of the siding, setting the 6 jacks up further along so that the ballast trolley could be brought up close to fill in the voids under the sleepers.
It's rather striking how the outer siding - the one we were working on - has dropped down much more than the middle one. The stop block is on a skew as well.
Then up came the full trolleys again, to be shunted backwards and forwards to get them to where we were working.
Here they are about to reverse off to the left, to get on to the track just visible in the foreground.
There must be a ton of stone in each of them.
After it disappeared around the curve, we resumed jacking and packing, and in this picture we were just arriving at the stop blocks.
Finished then? Well no, as in passing we had noticed that the next siding, used rather more regularly, had a rather flagrant dropped joint, accompanied by a nasty kink.
After the 03 had rumbled off again, we pulled out our trump card for this kink: 2 slewing jacks !
You can see the kink right by Neil's knees, even without crouching down and looking along the rails.
We don't have to use this piece of kit very often, so it was a case of re-familiarising yourself with how they worked.
As this track was covered in old ballast, the two slewing jacks proved themselves unable to shift it, despite their vaunted capability.
During our picnic lunch Dr. Landrover was seen under our Landie, giving it a little overhaul that was started last week.
Mrs. B treated us to fairy cakes, which went down extremely well together with strong brown tea. What we need during this hot weather is energy and liquids.
Behind is is a grey primered Mk1 BCK, which was also very interesting as it has a curious compartment not seen on other Mk1s:
Isn't this a lovely 'family' type compartment? It's not original, but was created by a previous owner by taking down the dividing wall between two first class compartments, and removing one back to back set of seats. So now you have a 10 seat space with room for kids and prams, and two sliding doors. Neat! It is hoped to get the coach into service in the not too distant future.
This picture shows the siding spot resleepered, lifted, levelled and packed. It was never as straight as this during its entire 29 year life.
In the foreground we are now packing the turnout leading to it.
After jacking and packing the turnout, it became apparent that some of its timbers could do with replacement too. One job leads to another, we thought we were off the hook there for a minute.
We'll do the timbers next week then.
Some Broadway bits
A working day at Broadway with a small party.
Over time we had sourced precise replicas of the BOOKING OFFICE doorplates from a museum, with the authentic pre grouping beading.
On attempting to actually fit them, it dawned on us that the doors on the new station were in fact narrower, and the replica plates would not fit (nor for the cafe).
Back to the foundry, with a plea to repeat the order split into two halves: BOOKING and OFFICE, and REFRESHMENT and ROOM (Refreshments with the extra 's' was just too long)
Here they are split into two halves, with room for the door knob in between. All sorted at last.
Inside, the cafe has been fitted with lights, which were on during Friday:
The room now has a very nice atmosphere.
At the far end is the site for the fireplace. This has now been ordered, and delivery is expected within a week or so. We have, with the help of some kind sponsors, found a company that can make up a very close replica of one of the original slate fireplaces that the stations along our line had. Each room in the station had one, so there would have been 4 or 5 at each station. Sadly at new Broadway there was room for only one.
Up above, work continued on the insulation and inner roof, a w.i.p that was interrupted by the urgency to get the station below up and running for the opening day.
Work has now resumed on fitting the insulation and floor up here.
Outside, interested parties were discussing the methodology for erecting the footbridge steps.
The steps will come first, then the canopy overhang will go on top on the P1 side.
There's still some paperwork to do, but it is hoped to start manufacture in the near future.
The paintwork was thick and crumbly and it is now all stripped off. The letters were also removed, and underneath you can make out that before fixing the cast iron letters, they were drawn out in pencil to make sure that they were upright and that everything fits.
This board will now be used for 'REFRESHMENTS' and the 'BOOKING &' will be used for a new V board still to be manufactured that will go over the front door, below 'WAY IN'
We need to get some extra letters cast for this, so it may take a little while yet.