Here is all you need: A mobile compressor, 4 pan jacks, and something that looks like a vacuum cleaner accessory.
This was all heaved on to the Landie.
Here Alan is on the pan jack, while Bert Ferrule 'eyes him in'. In fact we don't lift the joint back until it is level, but a bit higher than that. When we drop the jacks again, then everything should look level.
Into this void we stick the vacuum cleaner type extension. It's a tube of compressed air with a trigger and a funnel at the bottom.
Small sized ballast is trickled into that. The rush of air that comes out of the tube then carries the small bits of ballast under the sleepers until the void is completely filled. Magic !
We took a short film of the operation, which you can see here:
Today we had two kettles, the big tank 4270 and Foremarke Hall.
The latter can be seen approaching the gang just before Manor Lane bridge.
After a while we were joined by a member of the drainage gang with the smaller flail. This is an excellent little machine that will chomp its way through the brambles and tall grass, and restore our trackside to something like its tidy, 1950s condition.
Lunch was a picnic in the same spot we have used now for 4 weeks in a row, under the tree by the access from Manor Lane bridge.
|Sorry, only one fairy cake, you haven't been for two weeks!
After lunch we went back to stone blowing, working our way slowly along the sleeper spaces dug out with great effort last week.
In the distance the flail is mowing a perfect grassy knoll, just as it was in the days when the line was still open.
The purpose of the mowing was not so much the looks but a test to see if it improved the drainage, we ascertained.
|Fresh, sharp ballast
|Worn, rounded ballast
Some of the sleepers had white ends and this signified that there was a pumping action due to a void filled with water underneath. This squeezes out a shot of water with each passing axle, which wears down the sharp stones into round ones, and washes the ballast white. Round stones are no longer effective in holding the track into position.
Out of season we do major track repairs, such as slewing track, and complete replacement projects, such as are planned for this coming winter at Toddington on some of our oldest, earliest laid track.
Here Foremarke Hall is waiting for the final train south of the day, hauled by a diesel loco as per timetable. Which one will it be this time?
The signalman has walked down from his box to exchange the tokens with the second man. This allows him to release the road for Foremarke Hall to proceed on to Toddington.
Action at last on the future car park at Broadway! Notices have appeared on the footpath announcing its closure for 12 weeks starting on 25th July.
At the station a security firm is installing alarms and CCTV.
Platform side the cameras are under the canopy and less intrusive, but that cannot be said for the Edwardian frontage on the forecourt.
The booking office has received an Aluminium plate with instructions as to what to do in case of fire.
These new pieces here will form the two sides, with replica detail top and bottom.
The piece at the top goes between the two.
With the fireplace funded, design agreed, manufactured and now delivered, work can start on actually fitting it to the cafe.
The chimney breast that was built had a rather rudimentary hole at the bottom, and as found had no lintel across it. It was also half plastered over.
An approximate shape has now been cut into the plasterboard, and in the foreground the shape for the slate hearth has been cut out. The black hearth surround will follow this shape right round, ending at the foot of each of the two vertical pieces. They have been pencilled in on the plasterboard.
During the day the heavy cast iron insert was taken out of your blogger's car boot (finally!) and taken by GWR platform trolley over to the cafe.
Mrs. Blogger wasn't very happy about lifting it in, but she did it, bless her. Three men lifted it out again.
It doesn't look as if the cafe will be open this season yet, but there will be a tea and coffee stall during the diesel gala.