Broadway today, where a bit more work is needed to get everything right.
As our access through the new car park is not yet ready we entered the trackbed at Little Buckland. Landie one followed new Landie two along the newly laid track.
This signal post is new, one of three just planted. A Fixed Distant? (Don't shoot if wrong!)
There comes a point where the new track swings from one side to the other, and here is where we cross.
Landie two bumps over the ballasted crossing, next to the second new signal post. We'll leave its exact name to the pundits.
All good things come in threes, and so do new signal posts. Here is the third by the Childswickham Road bridge.
Oh, there is a bit of rain about now, wasn't it going to be dry today? Well, it is November.
The two 'BEWARE of TRAINS' notices were put there for a purpose, to warn users of the barrow crossing.
What barrow crossing? Aha, that is where we come in....
The barrow crossing is made out of large rubber sections, and these fit on FB rail. Where the barrow crossing is to go is the southern end of the bullhead rail through the station, so we have to swap a short length of one type for the other.
The offending length of bullhead rail is marked in yellow paint, and then Bert Ferrule can attack it with the disk cutter.
Four strong men good and true then trundle off with the length of bullhead we cut out.
So we need to plug the old holes with spiles, which David here is hammering in as far as they will go. The bits that stick out are then sawn off, so that the sleeper is still flat on top. New holes are then drilled.
|Come on, get your hands dirty ! Go and help Pete, who's all lonely by himself.|
The bits of bullhead rail we cut out have been dropped in the 4 foot here.
After pulling the longer bit north, the gap created behind is too short to take a new length of rail. The minimum allowed is 15ft, otherwise the joints are too close together.
Bert then springs back into action, and reduces the length of the longer bit of FB we pulled up.
Are you following this, at the back?
With the disc cutter all nice and hot now, Bert jumps over to the down line. Well, not so much jumps as hobbles, that disc cutter is hard work and you're bent over forwards all the time, which is hard on the back.
Bert let Neil take over after a bit. Everyone deserves a rest. Even the wicked.
The new Pan 11 base plates have been laid out in the foreground. They have a flatter profile than the traditional chairs, which allows the rubber crossing sections to lie down flat.
On the right the sawdust tells you that these base plates have had their (new) holes drilled, and indeed that piece of rail is now nicely bolted down into its new position.
This is also where Stevie has brought the set of rubber crossing mats for the barrow crossing that we are building.
We're going to use a mini digger to transport them to the crossing site, and then drop them in from above. They are surprisingly heavy, for something made of rubber.
The fluid wasn't getting through, there was a kink in the feed pipe.
Neil is watching Dave intently for any wrong move. We are always keen to give advice when a colleague is doing something wrong.
And, Neil, is Dave doing it all wrong?
Why, yes, Dave is doing it all wrong !
Even Pete agrees, we would do this so much better.
Come on, Dave.
The final gap is measured for length. Next week we will bring 4 lengths of FB rail to fill those gaps. The mini digger will bring them over the bridge, we will fit them, then collect and place the rubber sections.
One new barrow crossing. Well next week, anyway.
Blast from the past:
It's a picture by our very own John Lees, of the spot we were working on today. Except that John took the picture way back in September 1998. Twenty years ago already. He was standing on the bridge - see how rusty it was then - and the view is north.
Today you can see two platforms here, a signal box, a completely rebuilt station, and the centre span of the Henley in Arden footbridge.
All done thanks to our generous shareholders and kind supporters who left us a legacy. Volunteers then did the job.
The young chap, by the way, is Nick Lewis, a volunteer with us for a brief period, who came out with John.