But first we must turn our eyes to Tuesday, when Stevie came with his JCB to remove the spent ballast from the first 4 panels nearest the signal box atToddington.
We are going to relay these first, so that the scaffolding can be put up to allow the window replacement on the signal box to proceed.
You can see from the cill here that the woodwork is now pretty ropey after over 100 years.
Of course the replacement has been arranged for the same month as we are replacing the track in front of it. But we can deal with that.
A 6T dumper was hired in to take away the spent ballast and deposit it in the car park.
|Mister, my dumper won't dump!|
During one of the 20 journeys to the car park with 6 tons each time, the lever to tip the load became wobbly and reluctant to obey orders.
Steve quickly diagnosed the problem, by giving it a yank, and it came away in his hand. There was a fatigue crack under the console.
The service from the rental company - Hensons - was excellent. They came out with a brand new lever (what else do they have in stock!) and within the hour we were back in action.
And why not have a cup of tea while we wait? Excellent idea.
On to today, Wednesday then.
We were following on from Saturday's work, cleaning the site of scrap, broken sleepers and those sleepers still in the ground. The best were kept apart, and stacked on the pile on the right.
Oddly enough, the letter K for 'Keep' had only been sprayed on the heaviest of them. A coincidence? We think not.....
With the sleeper retrieval unit working above, we had a second lot of volunteers sorting out those sleepers dug out by Steve (in a bit of a hurry, as he was on his own) and dividing them into garden quality, possible re-use (we may relay the headshunt here as well) and compost. Remember that these were laid in the early 1980s and were second hand even then, so they have done well.
|We have news for you. Your JCB is needed for the wartime event, to be converted into a WW1 tank.|
We ran the Permaquip trolley up and down the loop line a few times and collected a mound of unwanted material. Well, unwanted by us.
The chairs went to 2807 (gratefully received), the bonding wire was skipped and the rail ends went to our heavy duty scrap skip at Winchcombe. Everybody happy, and a nice clean site too.
On helping to unload the GWR throughbolters for the 2807 group, Paul enquired how he might acquire one of the famous boot scrapers.
How much are they?
What price at volunteer's rates?
They are a hard lot, those 2807 people. But it is for a good cause.
During the day fresh ballast was delivered to Stanton yard, and as soon as the Dogfish were brought down from Broadway Stevie loaded all 6 of them for the afternoon programme.
While this was happening, Neil brought a Warflat down to Winchcombe for loading with redundant concrete sleepers for the embankment reinforcement works planned around Stanway viaduct.
Finally the Dogfish were ready for use. It takes Stevie about 3 hours to do this, a considerable task.
The class 73 brought the loaded train with Shark from Stanton to Toddington, in preparation for discharge at the north end of the carriage siding. The north end is completely unballasted and also suffers from the attention of rabbits.
The siding in question is the one on the right here.
The ballasting of this section will also make it easier to walk along.
We've got low winter sun here. Interesting light. It seems to be getting a lot lighter in the afternoons now, but actually darker still in the mornings. Or so it seems from under the duvet.
|Almost at the stop block|
In the final picture you can see Jonathan and Lee guide Neil in the class 73 as the Dogfish discharge and the Shark finishes the job by ploughing the excess into the six foot.
This still needs tamping to complete the job, although we did well today (You've all done very well - thank you, young Mr. Grace).
Monday in the loco shed
A day of sub assembly of the constituent parts of the Broadway footsteps, which are due to go up to Broadway soon.
Two of the 4 large intermediate landing supports were laid out in their respective positions, so that the cross braces could be bolted on. This is prior to actual riveting together.
One reason for this sub assembly by means of bolts is to make sure it all fits as intended.
It turns out that the process of zinc plating reduced the size of the bolt holes by just enough to make inserting the bolts (and indeed the slightly bigger rivets) somewhat difficult.
Enter the mag drill then.
It was quite difficult to get the cross of strip on between them, and the hole in the middle was very elusive for our bolt to go through. We wriggled it a lot, tried it the other way round, and eventually it all went together OK.
In fact these are the constituent parts for the hoops that hold on the corrugated iron roof of the steps. All carefully lettered before zinking, sure, but where are those marks now?
Finally, a question:
Does anyone have a picture of the date stone on Greet tunnel? And what date was it?