All the materials needed to complete the two turnouts at Broadway north have now been delivered, and today work resumed on the complicated interplay between them, as the two tracks gradually converge.
The turnout to the loop is ex Laverton, but there it faced the other way. It was labeled up, Malvern and Cotswolds, but this is now the other way round at Broadway.
Are you still following this?
Here the first new timber has been laid out, and it is followed by a second, which is one of the originals again, in alternating order. They have to be so laid out that they are a precise distance from each other, essential as the position of the base plates on them is critical for fitting the rail that is on the curve leading away.
While one team lays out the new timbers, a second is engaged on alignment of the siding. This needs 'tweaking', in this case moving over towards the Cotswolds side by an increasing amount, terminating in a move of 300mm at the crossing.
We've got a battery of Duff jacks going here, placed at an angle to move sideways as well as lift the track.
All this is surveyed by John (whom you may know as one of the regular DMU drivers) who delighted us today with a special event: the christening of a new pair of overalls. We had been pleading with him for weeks, as on the old ones the cloth was so thin that they had split across the rear end and were surely no longer legal (we felt).
After checking with the plans, Alan was instructed to fetch one of the new timbers with the Telehandler.
It will go on the end here, the third new one of the day, with ex Laverton ones in between.
Steve is working his way down the siding for about 100 yds, watched by Peter with the bar.
The convergence between the sleepers is now plain in the foreground. It's all beginning to take shape.
With Steve free again, we can now lay in another rail. This is a tricky one as it's on a curve, and the rail on the right, clipped up, may have fitted, but that doesn't mean that the second rail will automatically fit its curve.
There was a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing with the sleepers before that curve rail went down into its bed. It was very satisfying to clip it up, and prove that the sleepers were now in the right place.
Mid afternoon it's time for the crossing to go in, the 'moment supreme' in any turnout construction.
Here Alan has brought it down with the Telehandler, and is manoeuvering it into place so that it can be lifted in the right way round.
With Steve lifting the northern end a few inches off the ground, Alan slowly pushed it along from behind using the forks. All very controlled and precise.
Here the crossing is almost arrived at its destination. Bert waves it on the last few feet.
With this crossing in place, we have reached the place where the other turnout, from the loop giving acces to the siding and facing the opposite way, meets the turnout we have been building, a sort of half way point. We felt that this was a good achievement, and agreed it was time to stop on this very hot day. The final result can be seen below on the overview:
At this point it's time for a service announcement, to say that your blogger is off on his annual fortnight's holiday now. You'll have to be patient for two weeks until the next instalment. That is not to say there will be a pause in the work, quite the contrary. The construction of this crossover is estimated to take three working days, so it should be just about complete when the next post goes up, on or around Sept 20th. In the meantime, we commend to you Nigel's excellent Flickr site to follow progress:
Until then, Ciao !