It was an early start this morning. Actually, it was a usual start this morning, but the days are getting shorter quickly and at the time of the 08.30 arrival by the mess coach this morning the sun hadn't even appeared over the Cotswolds Edge yet.
As we arrived, two very kind souls had already made a start on renovating the newly revealed stop block at the end of the siding we shifted last week.
Skipping to the end, here is what they looked like at the end of the day:
Rather humbled by these big machines, we packed our 'animal', sleeper drill, jacks and shovels into the two Landies and set off for the Toddington south turnouts, where we were to finish off the timber replacement started last week.
We pulled out the old timber. As the timbers were tightly interlaced at this point, we split it into two halves, which we pulled out in turn through a small gap.
The remains of the old timber, a softwood one, can be seen on the back of the new Landie next to the new one on the left. It's compost now.
The new timber was then drawn off the Landie.
Note that Steve on the right is not getting involved. Last week Steve was on the nips at the pulling end, and when the other end of the timber hit the ground with a heavy thud the shock went right up his arm, and Steve was seen hopping about and saying things we can't report on this nice blog.
|Out with the old...|
The new timber was pulled in and bolted down. That left us with three piles of garden quality dirt. We decided to shift these to one side, and replace them with nice new ballast.
|... and in with the new.|
Not seen on the photographs was Alan, who brought the Telehandler up from Winchcombe with a bucket load of ballast, and who shovelled the whole load out (almost) by himself into the buckets you can see here being carried across the tracks.
The GWSR is a great railway, because on a special day like today it can be really busy, and at Toddington, if conditions are right, it looks like double track too.
At the end of the day - a short one, but we had completed the timber replacement at Toddington - we took a look at the new space created by the stop block moved to one side at Winchcombe.
Slip repair at Greet.
Work has continued here apace, and the contractor should have finished at the end of this week.
Along the top edge the ditch has been reinstated, but rather than an open ditch as before the contractor has opted for a perforated pipe at the bottom of the ditch, covered by ballast.
The junction with the new ditch joining, which caused the failure of the embankment side, can be seen at the top.
This is the view the other way, in this case looking south.
Broadway footbridge steps.
The fabrication of the metal parts for the new footbridge steps is now pretty much complete at Toddington.
Prior to sending the half assembled parts away to be zinc plated, some of the items will be rivetted together at Toddington. This will save time at Broadway.
There is no money this year to buy the steel for the canopy extension, sadly. Unless that money is found, the canopy extension parts will have to be manufactured next year, and assembled at the end of the 2019 running season.
We then walked over to the other end to test the holes there.
This is the current view of the footbridge from up there. There is some rainwater penetration and it could do with a row of half height windows along the tops of the sides, as it once had at Henley in Arden. The holes along the top edge of the sides are still there.
Looking down on to P2 you can see the foundations of the bottom of the footsteps, and the intermediate landing support. The hole beyond that with the brushwood in it is the site of the former waiting room.
This side also had a rivetted canopy, with a canopy overhang. Fortunately the footbridge tower on this side is in line with the corner of the building as it should be.
The fence on the right has been completely renewed by a contractor over a length of several hundred yards, another area of expense that is rarely in the public eye.
Evesham Road car park.
The main car park works are almost complete now, with the exception of the entrances. These are to be built by a different contractor for the council.
More Early GWSR pictures have been posted on the Flickr site. You can go straight to the current page with this link:
We're now up to 466 photographs, and the southern end of Greet tunnel. More to come in due course.