Monday on the steps
The landing supports are loaded, but the Warflat is still at Toddington, so today was a chance to carry on riveting, this time on the smaller parts.
We have a total of 8 'goalposts', of which 7 need to be riveted together. These are attached to the stringers, 4 on each side, and hold up the corrugated iron roof sheets that keep passengers dry.
When all is done, people will be able to walk, in the dry, from the booking office with their ticket, up and over the footbridge and along P2 to the waiting room there, all without ever being exposed to the weather.
We were late starting today, and even later starting with the rivets as our first idea to put the 'jammer' on the floor to give counter pressure to the rivet gun didn't work. The rivet jumped about, and had to be cut out again. It became an 'iffy rivet'.
Heads were scratched during lunch.
The solution as seen in the picture was to bolt together two 'goal posts' and put the jammer in between.
To hold two sets of 'goal posts' together Neal first had to manufacture 4 strips with bolt holes in the ends. You can see one in place on the far left.
Just before we start riveting, Neal checks the right angle with a giant set square. Neal has everything...
We did the first 2 'goal posts' as a pair, then took away the top one and put on a third. This avoided us having to turn the whole construction round and round.
Here another upright is about to be bolted on, prior to final riveting.
Three are now parked outside, one is indoors and 3 more have to be made for next time.
A couple of little extras, there's always something going on, on the railway:
The headshunt at Toddington south has been cleared, and it is now ready for dismantling, and raising with spent ballast.
Four spare bogies that were in that line have been temporarily parked in the unloading road.
They shouldn't be there for very long though.
96 sleepers arrived on Wednesday and were stacked here. Another 3 lorry loads are expected as part of this acquisition. There may be more.
Wednesday on the winter relay
And winter it was too.
Meanwhile, at Toddington we enjoyed the slight wintery sprinkle and looked forward to some hot doughnuts in the mess coach.
The gas oven wouldn't gas. Although Martin spent several long minutes stretched out on the floor with the lighter, we could not get any life out of it. Something seems to be clogged.
What's a volunteer to do?
Then we were kicked out by Dave to go and do some work.
The southern headshunt was cleared of diesel engines and wagons on Sunday, and today we attacked it with hammers and the impact wrench to remove keys and fishplates.
It's quite a wintery scene, isn't it? We were split into two teams, of which one here on dismantling the headshunt, while the other, nearer to the nice warm mess coach, carried on clipping up and bolting down the rails laid on Saturday.
Once everything was loose, Stevie came in to lift out the rails. They were all quite short - it's a siding after all, no need for the highest quality here.
We jacked up the turnout end to give us an idea of the height we needed to achieve with spent ballast.
You can see the difference, and this is only the start. Aka 'The Ski Jump' by some volunteers, it's really quite a sharp drop down here.
Installation of the point motors is not exactly imminent, as they need some work doing on them as well. But there is progress.
Stevie made short work of getting the rails out, leaving just a string of dubious second hand sleepers behind. We're going to replace many of these with the best taken out of the winter relay section. The rest can be sold as 'garden quality'.
The very end of the headshunt had concrete bullhead sleepers and these we will keep for use in a more deserving place than this siding.
Stevie scooped up the wooden sleepers with the forks and took them to our storage area a bit further along.
Here a gang with strong arms pulled them off the forks and stacked them, unsorted as yet, in piles 5 high.
Apologies for the poor light, it's that low winter sun again.
|An AS1 you say? That made my day.|
Here are two that look the same, but are not. Some of the differences are very subtle, but the experienced among us can identify them in the bat of an eyelid.
In the foreground is an S1, behind it an AS1. One has jaws of different heights, the other has jaws the same. When you carry them around you though don't really care though, they are both equally heavy at 46lbs apiece.
It's fascinating stuff, true, but you won't get very warm that way.
Finally all the sleepers were gone, a great step forward.
From now on things get better, as we start adding the spent ballast back and shortly after that, relay the track.
First to be addressed is the stop block.
Dave lifted the far end with the Telehandler, whereupon three of us pushed the first load of spent ballast underneath.
The Telehandler then went to the other end and lifted that up too.
Stevie came and threw some ballast in that as well.
And finally - the lucky 3 volunteers who had wisely thought to bring shovels were allowed to shovel the ballast under the sleepers of the stop block, so that it ended the day more or less equal in height to the main line running behind it.
The bolting down and keying up gang were also coming to a close, as the sun began to disappear behind the mess coach. They did the whole of the stretch laid so far, so that bit is now ticked off.
This section is now ready for more sleepers, and more rail.
A quick look at Broadway
The contractor here is making good progress, working every day of the week.
During the brief visit the coach turning area was being prepared. More kerbs need to be laid here, once the levels are correct.
The station forecourt has now been completely dug out back to the natural clay underneath, and a layer of ballast added.
The whole site has a slight slope to the left, where the stormwater drain and gullies are situated.
The line of the granite kerbs is now much clearer.
More granite kerbs need laying on the left here, and the area has been excavated in readiness.
There's also a more noticeable lift into the B&B.
Despite a big notice asking people not to turn in there, a surprising number of people do, so it's good to make the difference in properties clearer.
The private footsteps for the stationmaster (as was) have had a refreshing refurbishment with newer sleepers.
This is how the Broadway stationmaster, and indeed the 4 staff that lived in the cottages behind, had a short cut down to the station entrance by the footbridge.
The steps are no longer used very much, but they are part of the history of the station.
Original kerbstones can still be seen at Hall Green for example.
The end of the canopy is temporary and the space on the right will receive the canopy extension currently being fabricated at Toddington. This will give a 6m overhang, a big circulating space underneath and accept the bottom end of the footsteps. We hope to bring these to Broadway during this winter season.