Tuesday 24 October 2017

By the goods shed

Two of us on PWay work at Broadway today.

We started work early and did several trips with ballast into the platfoms. With the JCB absent this week, the mini digger was pressed into service to try and level out the piles a bit, to see where we are with the levels.

The news was not good, we need to put in more. We'll have to go back over some of what we did. It's mainly in the southern half, the northern half is about right and two sections between catch pits are already useable.

At 10 O'clock any further ballasting was curtailed by the arrival of the S&T group, who then occupied the trackbed.

They are preparing the pulley wheels and cranks for the rodding runs etc that run down the opposite side to the box.

They arrived with some quite interesting bits of kit, laid out here on platform 2 in front of the box. They bolted a large base plate to the 'C' sections let into the concrete poured a couple of weeks ago on the opposite side.

A pleasant distraction from the repetition of driving up and down the embankment with ballast from below was the arrival of a customer to collect a new replica GWR lamp post casting. Naturally we can't reveal the name of this venerable establishment.
There's quite a lot of interest in these replica GWR platform lamp post castings, like the one on the left. A GWSR supporter sponsored a pattern, and having satisfied Broadway's needs for lamp posts (22 in all!) we can now sell them to other railways. If interested, get in touch (breva2011 at hotmail.co.uk)

Another happy customer left with the goodies in the back of the van. With ballasting blocked, now what?

We found ourselves another job on the embankment by the goods shed. Now that the permanent fence has been erected, a shoulder of stumps, weeds and foundry waste remained, on which we do not want to lay track. Tomorrow this stretch will be surveyed to peg out the levels of the track here, so we decided to remove the unsuitable material and grade the rest nice and level.

After a while, Adam suddenly pointed urgently to a spot behind the dumper. In a matter of  few seconds a huge C130 described a 'question mark' type curve around us, having flown up the trackbed from Toddington. It flew over the station at little more than treetop height, and vanished towards the Cotswolds edge. How exciting ! That's our boys up there, and one of them must be a supporter.

Here is Adam cleaning up the old shoulder, which was filled with odd bits of concrete, brambles and broken bricks with ash.

In the background is the railhead, paused to allow the new fence to be erected. Once we have the levels, we can carry on here towards the station.

At the end of the day Adam was running the blade over what he had removed. It all looks very neat and clean now, and ready to accept track. Several Caravan Club customers came to speak to us over the fence, and all were very supportive and wanted to know when the first train was.

At Toddington yesterday we received the shipment of bullhead rail that had been specially ordered for the through line in the station. A member of the 2807 society took a couple of photographs and sent it to the blog - thanks, Stuart !

A shareholder asked us recently: What does Bullhead rail look like? Well, here you are, it's like a figure of eight in profile. You can still get it, but it's a special order and, as Nigel commented, slightly more expensive. Have any other preserved railways ordered it? We are buying it purely for the old fashioned look between the platforms.


  1. Yes, we at the NYMR also use new BH when needed.
    Like you though, it tends to be in public areas like stations.
    We also use dark coloured or black ferrules so they do not stand out like yellow ones.
    Currently we are offloading approx 120 lengths of new FB 113 and sleepers for this winters 3 relay sites.
    Those Lawson drivers are being kept fairly busy between us.

  2. Jo

    It looks like the Bluebell are using bullhead rail on their track relay programme, details and a video can be found on their appeal page: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/trust/appeal/about.html

    They are trying to raise £250,000 for it.


    1. Hi Eric. They may be lifting bullhead, but its definitely fb going back down. Bullhead is being banished from any area not visible from platforms.

    2. Thanks for the correction. I looked at the vido again, and they were just using an offcut of new bullhead to show how worn the old track is in comparison. The replacement panels of track were FB, as you say.


  3. Jo

    You say that the lamp post customer's name cannot be revealed but the sign writing on the front of the van sort of gives it away. West Somerset Railway Association. Yes?

    Once upon a time, I was a property developer and the biggest problem to avoid was to not book all the 'trades' on the same day! Looks like that is what has happened with P Way and S&T today! Great that you turned round and got on with an alternate job though. The formation alongside of the new fence looks really good. Regards, Paul.

    1. I think he was making a joke regarding the lamp post. Toddington Ted.

    2. It was Homer Simpson who said: 'I get jokes' !

  4. I have one question, how do S&T run the signal wires and rodding under the track to the opposite side, do they put in a concrete rodding tunnel or orange conduit or is it just a matter of leaving a ballast free space between the sleepers for the wires to run through?

    1. Concrete rodding tunnels are not normally employed. Heavy duty plastic tubes are or can be used to protect signalling wires. Cheaper than replacing when there's a tamper lurking about. In the days of yore packing and ballasting was not mechanised so signal wires ran under the rails. Or over, in the case of Mr Brunel's Broad Gauge.
      Easy but still a bit fiddly.

    2. I gathered from our S&T last year that the orange pipes to carry signal wires and cables under the track are now banned by Network Rail as they can pose a slipping hazard if trodden on!

  5. From my experience, it's "all of the above,"



  6. That same shareholder could derive the answer to the salient question from any reliable search- engine. Pardon the pun. There was similar confusion over the purchase of concrete bollards on eBay. Said customer was convinced they were prototype in scale. The seller clearly states they are in OO gauge!
    I had to laugh. Educating daily appears to make not a lot of difference.
    I wonder why I bother.

  7. At the GWSR we only deal in the imperial scale of 12 inches to the foot! I did notice S&T using an adjustable metric spanner on the pulley nuts, but they did correct it by going back with an imperial adjustable spanner! Purchasers of the lamp posts are also reminded that due to EU regulations the lamps bodies are made to imperial sizes but the electricals now have to be done in metric size cables and terminals, The GWSR lamp posts have, however, been specially made to work on metric or imperial electricity supplies, we have one and run it on electricity by British Gas, so the lamp has a nice glow to it, when we ran it to test it in the workshop on Scottish Power it was to bright! (other suppliers are available!) Aren't we lucky to have such a great bunch of volunteers who turn up in all sorts of weather and "just get on with it". Pity some people who get paid to do this sort of work would just go home or sit around 'til the boss told them what to do!!! Another great report and pictures, all getting very exciting now!!
    Paul & Marion

  8. I,think,the West Somerset Railway,bought some new,bullhead rail,when they were doing track replacements,prior to the visit,of Flying Scotsman!. Anthony.

    1. The Flying Money Pit??? Wash your mouth out, young man, it's vastly over-hyped! ;)