We were filled up with Christmas spirit and food, so it was time for some exercise, and good companionship. Exercise does you good.
We met at Winchcombe, and split into two gangs. One went to load new wooden sleepers on to the bogie flat we cleared last week, while the other team took the two Landies to the southern tunnel mouth to change a cracked fishplate.
|Dinmore passes under 3 arch bridge|
The plan was to head back north all along the trackbed from Gotherington to the tunnel.
We had some heavy kit in the back, so transport was most desirable.
We got quite a long way, almost there but for 1/4 mile when rapid progress per Landie was halted in its tracks by 'someone' (you know who you are, Stevie) digging in a signalling cable at the Royal Oak.
Steve had stopped digging this trench when services resumed, but will continue later next week.
Luckily we happened across a wheelbarrow half way, so that was borrowed and used to carry the two heaviest items.
|'Track walkers' but they don't usually walk out with pairs of fishplates on their shoulders.|
|Dinmore Manor with the first train north from CRC at the Royal Oak.|
We then reversed the Landies about a mile along the top of the embankment, pretty high at this point.
That's the hamlet of Gretton up ahead. It's halt was by the tall tree on the right of the track.
There's been a lot of welcome clearance along here, but only along the side of the track where no new housing has been built.
The view from the same spot, but looking back.
On an earlier visit last year we saw two children playing here, and on being challenged they vanished back down the slope into a garden.
The site of the former Gretton halt gave us the opportunities to turn the Landies around.
Gretton halt must have been quite useful once, as there is a fair bit of housing around it, as well as a church and a pub, since closed.
Not forgetting the drainage gang, out in the same area, and our very own Dave F, who is the track walker for the Winchcombe - Gotherington stretch, and who was out today.
Even the animals were out. Can you see the paw print left by a badger (centre), with some sharp claws at the top, and a soft pad underneath? It was on a badger route that crosses the line.
That was it for the day, just a quick fishplate change, and a further inspection on foot of the rail in the Dixton cutting, where we had a break last week.
Next is our contribution to the Stanway viaduct repair work, which should keep us busy for a few days starting Saturday 4th. After that we will be spot resleepering south of the tunnel, where we marked up the likely suspects a short while ago, and for which the new, replacement sleepers were loaded on to the bogie flat.