Thursday 2 November 2017

Preparing for further track laying

Three of us on site today. Enough to get on with the job of preparing the trackbed.

Steve continued with preparing the exact levels between the platforms. He's about 3/4 of the way along now. In any case enough for the Saturday gang to continue track laying from the north. This will be done along alternate sides, so that both lines proceed (almost) in parallel.

We reckon that the first train along here will be the class 73 with Dogfish, but you'll have to wait to see on the day. It was the first train everywhere else, after all.

With enough ballast levelled between the platforms to be getting on with, Steve went to fetch more S/H bullhead rail for Saturday.

An idea we also had was to stack some wooden sleepers here on the recently discovered siding base, nearer to the work site.

The dumper and mini digger spent a large part of the day removing layers of dirt:

- From the siding site, where the bund used to be.
- From a temporary pile we had about half way along, which did not endear us to our engineer due to its weight. All gone again now.
- From along the fence line, where it was felt the road wasn't quite level enough (more dish shaped in fact). Terram will go down here shortly, so it needs to be right.

While we were doing this we had visitors down below.
No rest for the wicked. Someone wants us to spread ballast !
Steve in the 'Southern' tractor-trailer is also on his way south with another load of surplus.

Broadway - station road? Damned SatNav.......

After lunch, almost all the excess baggage on top of the embankment (pile sof spent ballast, rolls of rotten fencing, tree stumps, off cut lengths of rail etc etc) had been removed. We need room for the track, and a road alongside it here.

The newly scraped fence line can be seen in the shape of the dark line in the picture above.

With our removal jobs done, we could start to concentrate on the more interesting task of extending the ballast bed from Childswickham.

If all goes well, we will open up a second track laying front here with concrete sleepers that are not yet on site. Complicated !

We rolled out the Terram (dirty trackbed here) and started to extend the ballast northwards.

All this removal was very time consuming, so not too many photographs of it. More amusing was how to get rid of this huge 'ball of wool' in the form of a giant tangle of old fence posts, bramble and wire.
Steve had a couple of goes at it with the front bucket, but the pile was mightier than he. It wriggled and quivvered.
Undeterred, Steve got out and lowered the forks, and so doing was able to take a stab at it. That worked.

Here it is, all loaded on to the dumper at once. Happy now?


Today's interesting find:

A Codd bottle, marked:
Mineral Water
J.S. Davies

There is some information on it here:

Given that the firm only traded until 1920, this bottle could actually originate from the opening of the line. It was found in soot/ash ballast near the goods shed.

Tomorrow your blogger and a heritage supporter from Broadway are going to visit the foundry making our replica GWR lamp posts. Purpose of the visit: to hand over this original GWR sign, for 4 replicas in cast iron to be made for the 2 barrow crossings at Broadway.
After an internal appeal, another GWSR station (they will tell you no doubt in their own good time) was also interested and ordered 4. They will be the first BEWARE of TRAINS notices on the GWSR in the correct GWR design. Sourcing the correct kit and organising it is very enjoyable, and there's a great sense of pride when you get it just right. It took us ages to find an example of this sign (for sale at least) but thanks to a sympathetic well wisher we now have one. Result !
We've also been consulting a specialist as to the correct colour for the 1904 door and window frames. The answer was a surprise! You'll have to wait until we cut the ribbon.

Saturday: track laying at Broadway north!


  1. thanks Jo, very interesting blog as ever. keep up the good work.

  2. There was quite a lot of 'Station Master's preference' on painting colours to stations, hence the alternate light and dark stone 'dagger' boards to the canopy at Bewdley SVR. But ogiginally, I believe that the early scheme was "Varnished wood, would you believe? with light stain underneath to ALL wooden surfaces, that's windows, doors and interior counters, seating etc.! How long this colour scheme lasted, I don't know. It depends on how often the station was due for a repaint of how high profile it was and HAD to be in the new paintwork. Even the notice boards were done in varnished wood edges! This was Victorian and I suppose it depends upon how far back you want to go.

    Anyway, good work has been done today and great pictures Jo. Regards, Paul.

  3. Thanks Jo for another interesting report, somehow these blogs need to be put together to tell the complete story of the rebuild of Broadway Station. As ever our new "Lady" is getting all the attention she deserves with all the hard work the volunteers are putting in on this amazing project.
    Paul & Marion

  4. I just had a thought - where will the engine water crane / tower thingy go? (south end of down platform one assumes?).

    1. We've already been there. Look at the old photos of Broadway Station; there were no watering facilities due to the proximity of such facilities at Toddington. Same will apply in 2018.

  5. The question has been asked about water thingy's go but we have been told there is no need as Toddington is so close. Broadway did not have any watering facilities when it was being used in the past

  6. That's correct!.There's no need,for loco watering facilities,at Broadway!. Anthony.

    1. Thanks to all three of you for your kind replies.

  7. On the subject of colour schemes, will the guttering and downpipes on the station building and signal box be left in black or painted in the dark stone colour as at Toddington and (as seems likely judging from old photos)the original Broadway buildings?

    1. I'm going to bribe the GWSR to keep them black to wind up the purists. Just kidding.

  8. Jo has already said recently that the guttering etc will be made the appropriate colour "at the first repaint". You can see that the near horizontal "downpipes" from the guttering on the platform canopy have already been painted (I think "light stone") where they are supported by the canopy structure.

    1. They are dark stone actually. Regards, Paul.

    2. Ah yes, dark stone. I was being lazy and didn't check the pictures but going from memory.

    3. Thanks both - I'm on my way to specsavers!

  9. Would the extension be finished by march 2018.

    1. I think the official position, as I understand it, is that trains will run to Broadway from that date. The station is expected to have working toilets and booking office at that time. I assume that platform 1 will have been surfaced (and maybe the drive too) but the signalling is unlikely to be working until sometime later, along with the cafe. The waiting room on Platform 2 and the footbridge stairs are not funded as yet.