Saturday 28 July 2018

Diesel Schmiesel

It's the diesel gala these three days, but nonetheless 6 of us turned up on the PWay to do some essential work on the track today. We could always watch the diesels from the lineside. And it was just as well we were there, as several track faults have suddenly been reported. It's most likely that these are related to the two month heatwave that we've been having.

Out first job of the day was to quickly replace a timber in the turnout main-line-to-C&W-sidings.

We were disturbed in our doings by the class 26 trundling into Winchcombe.

Then it was back to the business in hand. This timber was found to have a hole burned into it, so had to go.

Luckily this was withing the yard, only a short walk from where we had stored a replacement. It came out easily enough; then a replacement was pulled in using the nips.

There was quite a frenzy of loco activity this morning, as almost immediately after the class 26 arriving, the Peak left the other way, heading for Toddington. starting at Winchcombe, don't see that very often.

As soon as Toddy box accepted it, they let go the blue class 37.

It's all fun for the diesel supporters, and we saw quite a few of them today. It's nice to ring the changes.

You can see all the afficionados on the end of the platform here, having detrained from the DMU hauled by the class 73. That has to be a strange combination.

Then of course the class 73 left.

Our gang today was small, and it's no wonder - Dave here is second manning the diesel for example.

Come on, how about wielding a shovel down here with us?

Another member of the PWay gang was spotted on the cushions, two days running! That's very keen.

Notice Neil leaning on the Landie, and the Landie leaning back. Incomprehensible, Neal was on salad rations at lunch too. Our money is on a suspension issue with the Landie...

Finally we had a half hour window and used this to drill and bolt up the replacement timber. We packed it, backfilled it, and it was - Job Done !

As we were packing up our visiting Warship arrived.

'ONSLAUGHT' rolled into Winchcombe, past a  considerable bank of photographers, stationed in an arc from one platform end to another, even peeping out from a gap next to the signal box. Diesel fans also had the opportunity to wander down to the far end of the C&W shed, where an area for them had been prepared. This gave an excellent vantage point for them.

The arrival of the Warship released the road for the class 26 to continue on to Toddington, seen here across the PWay yard with the C&W sheds in the background.

We then retired for a breather and a light lunch. That's what we tell our wives, who don't know about Mr. B's cakes. Vanilla and chocolate fairy cakes today; we sent the box back empty to the bakery.

After lunch we addressed a second issue, this time at Stanley Pontlarge. A small village alongside our railway, with an interesting name. Stanley refers to a stony clearing or field, and Pontlarge refers to the origin of the people that owned it - Pont de L'Arche in Normandy. Not a lot of people know that.
(and it wasn't Michael Cane BTW who coined this phrase, but Peter Sellers)

Here we are on an interminable straight between the tunnel mouth at Greet and the big cutting at Dixton. A twist had been reported here, and we came to see for ourselves, and perhaps even fix it straight away.

The arrival of visitor D7017 gave us an opportunity to observe the behaviour of the track, and indeed the train above it. The problem wasn't so obvious with this method however, as there was a temporary speed restriction so the train just casually trundled over the problem at 10 mph.

Plan B was less practical but more scientific - get the track gauge out and measure everything.

This revealed that there was indeed a height difference for a short stretch, which would give the twisting effect reported by the loco crews.

Of course there is another way of checking the levels, old but always reliable - put your eye on the rail and look along it.

The two measurements gave Nigel all the information he needed, and devise the measures required to take the twist out.

The Green Goddess D6948 also paid us a visit. What a magnificent locomotive, here in the Cotswolds countryside. No wonder people come to our diesel gala.

You might wonder why it is that in the middle of this long straight, in reasonably good condition, the track now has a twist in this precise spot.

We think the answer lies in this small group of 2 - 3 trees, which have been allowed to grow very close to the track. Their roots, which extend as far out as the canopy above is wide, influence the water content of the trackbed under the rails. You can also observe some slight abnormalities in the straightness of the rails, also caused by movements below ground.

Having worked out the exact location and extent of the twist, we dug out all the sleeper cribs along the lower side, jacked  the track up with the 4 pan jacks you can see in this picture, and then re-packed the ballast under the sleepers.

We then waited for the next train and watched what the track did underneath it. The answer of course was nothing, just what we expected. Satisfied with our lift and packing, we back filled everything again and moved on to the next bit, just a couple of yards away.

This was a noticeable dip in a joint, a common feature with second hand rail such as ours. This too we dug out, lifted and packed. The track here was laid in about 1991 on chaired concrete sleepers and bullhead rail, a relatively rare combination these days. You need to keep up to speed with track components, because the big railway continues to evolve and there comes a point when you find that spare parts for your bits of track (eg SHC clips) are no longer manufactured.

Here's our last PWay shot of the day, taken as the Landie returned along the other side of the former double track bed back to the point of entry, Gotherington Skew bridge.

It's taken at 3 arch bridge, well known to photographers, but not from this angle. Enjoy !

Broadway snippets.

Already reported on the S&T blog but without a shot of the end of day result, here is a picture of the space created between two lamp posts following the removal of about a quarter of the concrete ducting that has been stored on P2 at Broadway for quite a while now.

The grass (in fact sown by your blogger) can now regrow in this area, and more piles of troughs will be removed as opportunity permits. Now to find a way of removing the remaining platform copers - they are heavy!

Down below, work has started on the car park - great stuff.

The first job is to remove a top layer of about a foot. This will be replaced by fresh stone. The two ends of the site will be tarmacked, while the middle (the majority of the surface) will be open blocks of stone that allow surface water to drain through, so minimising the impact on the Broadway brook at the far end.

From above you can see the 360 digger slowly working its way down, with site huts in the foreground. The footpath is closed for the duration.

On completion of the works, access to our trackbed via the steep slope will be maintained.

Friday is normally a non-running day, but this time the day was included in our three day diesel gala programme.
The class 26 was the first train of the day.
During our building activities in the future refreshment room there was a succession of rumblings as one diesel hauled train after another trundled into the station. The trains gave Broadway real life. For one who helped in the construction almost from the beginning, from the bleakest days as we scratched around for bricks to lay to rebuild the platforms that had been grubbed out so completely, it was a real thrill to see the station so lively, and with (almost) everything in use.

Next came the class 20 with its train made up out of the DMU.

We were pleased to note that it was chokka, never seen the DMU that full before.

Work for today centered around the installation of the replica fireplace. Don't get too excited yet, it isn't finished, so everything you see in pace is just a trial fitting. It'll probably go in finally next week.

Here Neal is creating a groove down one side. This will receive the side of one of the uprights, and with a dose of plaster will hold it in place. The insert has been put in its future place so that we can measure up.

With the groove cut out, Neal was able to test its position and depth with one of the new slate uprights. Behind him is the hearth, still wrapped up.

More rumblings outside - what is it this time? Ah, it's the green Growler easing itself into the station.

Back inside, Neal has cut the second groove, on the opposite side, and here are both uprights being trial fitted. There's still the panel across the top to go, but we have that too.

Starting to look like it now, with that top panel fitted. If you contributed to the funding for this little gem, give yourself a little pat on the back. Just look what we are achieving !

The mantlepiece will go across the top, but due to its delicate nature, it is still off site until the last moment. It is a solid piece of slate, with a lovely beveled edge to it.

It strikes us that, having seen one in a different refreshment room, a clock would not look out of place higher up on this chimney breast. It would need to look like the one in the booking office, and its function would be to remind passengers when their train was due to leave.

Outside again, our visitor D7017 has arrived. What an interesting locomotive, with a completely different engine sound, almost purring. Look how it compares to the class 26 that came in a couple of hours earlier:

                                       Class 26                        Hymek

Cylinders                      6 in line                          V 16
Horsepower                  1160 HP @750rpm        1700 HP @ 1500rpm
Displacement                133 Litres                       86 Litres

If you'd like to hear it leave Broadway at the head of this train, you can click on this YouTube link:

To compare the style of engine, try this one of a class 25 on the NYMR. They had the same Sulzer 6 cyl in-line engine as our class 26:

Meanwhile, back to the fireplace. As we said earlier, it consists of 3 parts, slate surround, cast iron insert (with slate panels) and slate hearth.

We have a brand new hearth made for it, which Neal here is trimming at the corners to make it fit under the insert.

And here is the slate hearth, in its trial fit in front of the fireplace cut out. It has a lovely smooth finish to it. We also have the original steel hearth surround for it, found buried on site and restored. It will rest on top of the hearth, with its ends touching the two uprights.

Nearer the end of the day, a quick peek to see how the car park contractor was getting on.

You can see clearly now how the top layer is being scraped off.

Another small job done on Friday was touching up the GWR trespass notice (the 40 shillings one) prior to fitting to its post.

Here it is, going on. Everything GWR - except for the security camera on the canopy end. Fingers crossed that there are no other plans to disfigure the 1904 heritage canopy.


  1. Interesting to see loco-hauled DMU trains. This type of operation occasionally happened on the main line. I once travelled in a Class 115 (or possibly 117) DMU from Swindon to Cheltenham, hauled by a Class 47. The DMU had failed, so they just stuck a loco on the front. Acceleration was impressive - but there was no train heating!

    I also remember, sometime in the 1970s, seeing a Hymek on a very long unfitted freight going south on the embankment at Pittville. Before Pittville Sports Stadium was built it was possible to get a full-length side view of trains on the embankment from the swimming pool car park.

  2. Worth making the point that security cameras are a visual deterrent. If you cannot see them you increase the chance of vandalism and theft.



  3. RE: "As we were packing up our visiting Warship arrived."

    It looks like the diesel locomotive was pulling a rake of seven carriages, rather than eight... I sometimes count the rake in the pictures for some reason!

  4. Jo,

    Really enjoyed reading this working report.

    You certainly 'packed' (pun intended) a lot into the day. Firstly replacing the sleeper with a burnt hole, secondly, jacking up and packing a length of rail to remove a twist, then thirdly jacking and packing up at a joint.

    All powered by Mrs. B's cakes, the Vanilla and chocolate fairy cakes... As you poignantly noted;

    "Not a lot of people know that.
    (and it wasn't Michael Cane BTW who coined this phrase, but Peter Sellers)"

  5. Could not a number of smoked domed camera housings have been used on the canopy and frontage. These would have been far less intrusive, plus you cannot see which way the camera is looking. That shown can be seen to be looking mainly along the platform, and, unless there are sufficient cameras to cover the total area with overlaps, the wise ones can possibly easily work out how to avoid getting caught by any of them; and for certain cameras to then be masked from behind.

    1. Good idea. My local pub has several of them, they have built-in infra red lights as well so any local 'pond life' can be filmed in the dark!

  6. Mention of the GWR Trespass notice reminds me - the signal box is missing it's 'No unauthorized person....' notice from the door. Is there one in stock? If not I'd be happy to donate (a replica) one.

    1. Thanks for the offer, much appreciated.
      I hear S&T have a replica, it just needs someone to actually go and screw it on.
      You might try asking the same question to the S&T blog, as the people that built it handed the building over to them.

    2. The sort of detail that will hopefully be added once the nuts and bolts are all together and the S+T guys can relax a bit knowing they've met their deadline! The little details really do make a difference though.

  7. Excellent blog and update from Broadway.
    the diesel weekend seems to have been a great success.
    Also, the fireplace in the refreshment room is looking really great.
    As is the car park.
    Regards, Paul.

  8. The Sulzer 6LDA28-A in the Class 26 seems impressively large. Each cylinder has a cubic capacity of 1350.57 cubic inches or 22.13 cubic litres. With six cylinders that's 132.78 cubic litres.

    Better that the station has a few cameras scattered about than it be disfigured & damaged by misanthropic morons, who so hate their underclass origins that they delight in ruining the enjoyment of everyone else. Catch them & enforce Wessex law & order from earlier times.

  9. Thanks, Perry. I was looking for the Sulzer displacement but couldn't find it.

    Your info shows what I was trying to outline: the Hymek has a much smaller displacement, and a much larger power output. Two completely different engine types, and sounds, how interesting.

    I'm also thinking - is the Hymek's Maybach V16 not a cousin of the Tiger tank's Maybach V12?

  10. Can the cameras be painted in the same colour as the wood? At least they would not stand out as bad in photos.

    I have been following the progress of rebuilding and extending the line to Broadway since around 2003. My wife and I stay at the caravan site opposite at least once a year and will be visiting again this weekend so extremely looking forward to seeing the station and catching a train along the line.

    Well done to every one who helped build the station and extension, from the photos and comments you all deserve a medal.

    Ian Styles

  11. Will the car park be one way in and the other way out (Childswickham road)? One would get a lot more cars in, that way. I suppose all this has been thought about anyway?

    1. It's not our car park project, but Wychavon's. We can only observe.

      FYI, there is indeed going to be a one way system, exiting on to the Childswickham Road. There will be 85 spaces, but no facilities for coaches. (a height barrier will be included)
      There will be a pedestrian crossing of some sort on the Evesham Road, but details of that have not yet been released.

  12. Come the winter, that Refreshment room, with its fire lit and its lights glowing, is going to be so cosy! A clock on the chimney breast is a must.
    Then all that will be missing will be Alec and Laura, sitting at corner table, looking glum, whilst Albert Godby and Myrtle continue to banter over the rock buns "Aym sure ay don't know to what you may be referrin, Mr Godby!"
    Happy days!

  13. The company won't pay for a clock....
    The one in the booking hall was privately funded (£350)

  14. I bet they won't pay! Looks like we'll all have to chip in like before if we want it all to look pukka.
    My own clock proudly proclaims LNER on the dial, so you won't be wanting that ��

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