Today the whole gang started laying track at Broadway north, starting at the buffer stop Steve had brought up on Wednesday.
Between then and now, a supply of sleepers from the supply train at Childswickham was also ferried in. This is good, now all we have to do is lay them, no waiting.
The buffer stop brought up on Wednesday is at the back, on what will be the headshunt from the main running line.
The main line headshunt will be on the left, the siding on the right.
And then we started laying! The first set of 4 concrete sleepers goes down.
These are second choice, fitted with non-standard Pan 9 chairs, which hang somewhat awkwardly in our jig. Perfect for the job here though.
The speed with which we got these down was amazing, all helped by the prior placing of the sleepers in the correct spaces. All we had to do was lift them in, and move on to the next pile. Brilliant!
Notice the fine signals placed recently, especially the one on the left, which has a route indicator on it. That was interesting...
Laying the sleepers with the JCB today was a little confusing, as we had turned round and were now working the opposite way. Calls to swing the load towards 'Broadway' or 'Toddington' now had the opposite effect, which confused our poor JCB operator Steve, until we had the idea of calling out the pubs towards which he should swing. He knew where those were, instinctively. From now on, the instructions from the slinger are: New Inn (north, please), and Pheasant (south please), but 'Malvern' and 'Cotswolds' remain unchanged. They haven't moved.
Lunch time saw us with quite a considerable run of sleepers already down. Beware of the wide angle lens though, they don't stretch as far as they look. We put down 212 sleepers, a pretty good effort for just a morning's work, including going to Toddington first to load up the tools.
This is what sleepers laid 'in the raw' look like - all uneven, wriggling from left to right. You can't lay rail on this, so the next job was to line them all up. Nigel's experienced eye guides the 4 guys with bars to shift each sleeper Malvern side, or Cotswolds 'a touch'.
A second track is still due to be laid on the right.
Zooming in a bit, you can see where we stopped for the day.
There's a lot of clipping up to do on this stretch now, work for the Wednesday gang 'clippies'.
As the rail we are now using is second hand, having been at Laverton Loop before, it is already drilled, so all we have to do is fishplate it up.
One of the last photographs of the day shows the track we laid, with rails on. It still needs a bit of 'tweaking' (by Steve with the back acter) but this is best done when everything is fully clipped up, so that it all moves along when Steve gives it a little push. But he couldn't resist already having a little go today - the picture shows it already better than it was 5 mins earlier.