Note the ominous clouds in the background on the left. That doesn't look too good...
In the foreground is the end of the north carriage siding, which is long enough to take two sets of 8 coaches. With the opening to Broadway we have made more use of it, and the unevenness between some of the rail ends became too noticeable to ignore. We were to repair that today.
Three gang members split off and checked the north end for missing keys. They seem to come out here a lot, and we replaced the missing ones with Panlocks that don't come out.
This north end has not yet been ballasted.
As we were quite numerous today, we had the luxury of two teams, and like this we were able to complete the whole job in one day. Great!
Some nasty clouds have arrived overhead though, and it's getting noticeably darker round here.
Any seized bolts - there are always a few after all these years - were cut off by Chris. Chris hadn't been for a few weeks, so we had this pleasant little job for him. Way to go, Chris!
You could tough it out, like these brave souls here, or....
|Sorry - there's no more room.... what's it like, out there?|
Poor old Pete thinks he's getting the benefit, but to stay dry here, you need to cuddle up together a bit more, Pete.
Activity at Winchcombe
Thursday saw the arrival of a large lorry, which came to remove one of the two derelict GWR carriages which have been parked near the yard entrance for many years.
The nearest of the two carriages had previously been tidied up into a sort of 'flat pack' to make it feasible for transport by road. The superstructure was in such a bad shape that its structural integrity could not be guaranteed as it went along.
The end of the isolated piece of track was jacked up until it met the height of the trailer bed.
It was then reversed in with a remote control, and communication with the rather distant driver by mobile phone.
Here is the whole combination in place in front of the isolated piece of track, ready to start winching.
It is the owner's intention to rebuild the carriage, once a rare GWR non corridor third.
Pulling the second carriage forward one length uprooted a number of saplings which had grown very close to it.
As soon as the second carriage is removed from here, the siding will be dismantled by the PWay department, as was a parallel one that used to lie next to it.
The second carriage was moved to the sidings by the end of the C&W barn, waiting to be collected.
Note that the far end roof has now fallen in, after its little adventurous journey across the yards.
This leaves behind a large free area:
The two stop blocks, formerly at the ends of the two sidings, have been lifted out as well and await collection - they are also private property.
One out, one in.
At Toddington, there was a new arrival.
It needs a lot of TLC, but it's nothing our C&W people can't fix.
TSOs are getting scarce, so it's quite a find for us.
Meanwhile, back in the loco shed, a smaller team of 4 carried on riveting, still in anticipation of the squeezer becoming available, but we can't stand still.
We had 4 of the 8 stringers set up, bolted together in temporary pairs.
The objective was to rivet the cleats on, with the 'Jammer' working against the other stringer of the pair.
So this is not the future width of the staircase, just an arrangement to facilitate riveting.
|You got that air on? I said 'air' !|
Here is Baz with the 'Jammer' in place, waiting for the next rivet. Neal has the rivet gun.
After a bit of setting up and fiddling around with items that got in the way of the 'Jammer', we turned into a well oiled machine and did loads of cleat rivets in a row.
Here are the first two stringers done, that's 48 rivets.
After a while we got them in so quick that the slowest point on our production line was John on the 'BBQ', heating the next rivet.
The record from picking up a hot rivet, inserting it, air on, rivet gun does a burp and back to picking up the next hot rivet was - 31 seconds ! How's that!
Of course it wasn't that fast all of the time, as stuff happens. Two rivets didn't go fully home and had to be redone, we kept having to stop to clamp down the whole construction to stop it moving about, and once the airline disconnected itself, just as the hot rivet was in its hole waiting to be hammered.
But all in all we did 4 of the 8 stringers, and that's 96 rivets, a daily record.
This is one of two we had to do twice. We decided to leave it in place, and heat it up again for a second dose of hammering. That sorted them out OK. Now it all looks very neat. We even had a request for a rivet on 3850.
Have rivet, will travel!
The intermediate landing supports have also been completed and have had their 4 feet attached. Here they are in stock, ready for galvanising.
We're going to carry on riveting by hand, with or without the squeezer, as we need to get the stuff away to the galvanisers. There is still plenty more to do, about 650 rivets in total. Not all will be done in the loco shed.
The 'riveting' tale will resume on Monday.