Monday at Broadway
Work on the footbridge steps will slow in the next few days, as the station approach and forecourt are finally receiving their tarmac topcoat.
Steve came with his JCB and gave the surface a final scraping. It's quite a delicate job. Leave any dips or holes, and these will fill with tarmac and this won't make the supplier happy at all.
The final levels were all determined by eye.
You may laugh (titter ye not!) but this is how we did the extension ballasting too. None of dem new-fangled lasers for us.
Stevie is extra prone here, just for the camera. Or maybe just returning from a visit to the Crown and Trumpet?
There will be a tarmac 'undercoat' as it were, and then a tarmac 'topcoat'.
All this is happening on Thursday and Friday this week, then again on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (if our memory serves us right). Not Monday then, that's binmen day.
So don't come to Broadway and hope to park your car here.
And so to work. Our job today was to fit the last hoop on the P1 side.
This hoop is the one which sits right on the outermost edge of the canopy extension, so we left it as a kit of parts to make sure it was the right height.
Neal only had to trim 10mm off the top of the upright, so its length was pretty much correct. He then used the mag drill to drill the holes to allow the cross member to be bolted to it. Once we had the right length and all the holes, we fitted the uprights, and then the cross member on top. John's putting the bolts in here. They matched the holes. Of course.
During the day we also got out the original HIA handrail supports, caked deeply in paint and old rust. These were taken down to our friendly shotblaster in Northwick Park nearby. His father was a fireman on our line! Now that deserves our business.
Still do to next time: Secure the newel posts to the concrete, and connect the tops of the posts with wooden spacers to get them all the right distance apart, ready for riveting. We might also make a start on tidying up the wooden treads, also originals from HIA.
Wednesday at Winchcombe
The PWay support train has been moved back to its siding at Winchcombe, and that is where the PWay gang met this morning.
Four of us went to Broadway to continue fitting insulated fishplates, part of the signalling there.
They took this interesting piece of kit with them.
It's a gap adjuster. It can pull two rail ends together (OK....) but can also push them apart.
This second option sounds like a wind up at the expense of the blog, but maybe...
The timbers needing changing had already been marked. That's the easy bit. Now comes the replacement, which is a lot harder as they are heavy old things.
See how the chair has sunk into the wood, which is hollow inside.
Just to prove how rotten the timber was, John started hacking at it with a bar, with some success.
When we started to pull it out with the nips, it duly separated into two pieces. At least that made it easier to manipulate.
|And what if I pulled this lever here....?|
A scene of intense concentration...
Why the cakes? It was Clive's birthday. How very kind of him, and we gave him a rousing 'Happy Birthday' too.
After lunch we attacked a third timber, this time loosening the chair screws in the traditional manner with 'T' spanners.
It was discovered that there are two sizes - short and long. This matched Rick and Dave P perfectly!
Before dragging this little baby into the crib we plugged up the numerous holes from its previous existence somewhere.
Dave D on the keying hammer knocked them in, a bit like a carnival game, it seemed to us.
After securing our third timber down tightly and packing it, it was time to tidy up. We had three old timbers to trolley away. Even rotten, they were so heavy that it took 6 men on the nips to lift it on to the trolley comfortably.
Phew! It's on. Just two more to go.
Last picture of the day, a delve into John Lees' treasure chest of trackwork pictures since 1981:
From L to R: Dave French, John Lees ( a rare 'selfie'), Nigel Black, Phil Vincent, Charles Martin, Pete Reagan and Alan Miller. Four of them are still active on the gang today, 13 years later.
Thanks for getting us this far, guys! Think about them next time you travel over this stretch, we wouldn't be there without them.