Thursday 9 July 2015

Contractors at work

The contractors mentioned in an earlier post have now started work.

There are two jobs:

- Repair of a small slip on the Malvern side.
- Repair of the mouth of a culvert under the embankment, both sides, a few yards further on.

The contractors are expected to be on site for 5 weeks or so, but after only 3 days progress was already quite impressive. Here is a view of the two sites today:

Just to recap, where we are is a 3 panel gap in the Laverton headshunt, Malvern side. The temporary gap in the track was created just so that this work could be carried out, and in the distance you can see the headshunt continue, with the PW train on it. Now you know why we can't get any more concrete sleepers - for a while.
The side of the embankment has been cut away in steps right down to the bottom. While the top end of the embankment is made of ballast and ash, the lower half is clay, excavated in 1904 from the cuttings north and south of here.
The black line across the field on the left indicates the brook,which crosses under the embankment and whose culvert is also being repaired.

This is the culvert, Malvern side. It's a brick arch on a bed of Cotswold rubble. PWay train of ballast hoppers above - we will need a lot of ballast hoppers!

There are two interesting pipes that have been placed in the culvert. I wonder how they came to be in there?

The brook then flows into large concrete pipes under the camera, to dive under a farm track parallel to the embankment.

The damaged section has already been removed, so these guys work pretty fast.

Here the excavator is removing a line of fence posts between the two jobs. A French drain will be laid at the foot of the embankment. No doubt we have built up some experience after tackling the larger jobs at Chicken Curve and at Gotherington.

It is a hot and sunny day today. The chap in the yellow vest is in an unusual pose, and no, he's not looking at his wrist watch.

This is the reason ! The yellow colour attracts swarms of flies, as you can see with this Hi Viz vest left on a fence post. Yours truly, in an orange vest, wasn't unduly bothered by them, so perhaps give them a change of colour, or a big beer tonight? They will have deserved it.

A last look at the work on the slip:
Seen from underneath, the steps are quite striking. A bit more spoil removal, and then this area looks ready for back filling with good material.

We'll take a look from time to time, and keep you posted of progress.


  1. Thanks for the progress update Jo

  2. Keep up the good work Jo, all very interesting

  3. Toddington Ted9 July 2015 at 21:58

    Although I've seen the results of work like this before on the GWSR, it never fails to impress me and the speed at which the contractors are getting on with this bodes well for track laying to restart. Of course, lovely summer weather must also help (but not the flies!). Once again Jo, many thanks for keeping us up to date. Wonderful stuff!

  4. As a retired bridge engineer, I was wondering if there is any distortion to the culvert remaining under the embankment and also the condition of the brickwork.

  5. Hi John,
    The rest of the culvert is not so bad, it's just that we think the ends had insufficiently strong foundations and when they gave way, the first 2.5m sagged, causing a fracture as it rotated. (both sides)
    I'll post a picture showing the fracture when I next report.
    Thanks for your interest!

  6. Jo, let me add my thanks to everyone else's for all the hard work you've done (and anyone who thinks it's not a lot of work, posting the pictures and writing all the accompanying text, hasn't done anything like this!), posting these updates. For those of us who aren't local, who can't just pop by to see what's up, these online updates are critical at keeping us connected.

    Along that vein, it's most unfortunate that the truly fantastic Broadway blog that Bill Britton did for so long hasn't been replaced yet!

    BTW, one tip: none of the other GWSR blogs/sites seems to link to this, except for the CRC2 blog - maybe a quick word with some of the other Web people at the GWSR, to get them to link to this one, with all the excellent content you're putting up? The Boardroom blog at least out to link to it, but last time I checked, it didn't.


  7. Your comment that flies were attracted to the yellow hi-viz vest is interesting>
    I used to own a bright yellow Renault 5 car and whcich was parked outside. I noticed that in summer at was always surrounded by 'swarms' of flies during the afternoons. Curious- it must be the yellow colour.
    Keep up the good work>

  8. Excellent to see the progress

    Jo - I am producing a booklet for our passengers on the 5542 supporters train on this coming Saturday. I'd like to put some up-to-date news in about the railway's extension plans. Would you mind if i used a couple of your informative pictures, please?

  9. Nick, that would be fine, just mention my name as the author, thanks.

    1. Thank you, Jo. And of course, will acknowledge. :-)