More help from the Broadway gang with painting, much appreciated.
We found this stack of primed and partially undercoated boards on arrival. It was a flying start for us, and during the day we managed to undercoat the lot, both sides.
Afterwards we took the first 5, which were already dry from the Wednesday session, up to the footbridge and stacked them against the scaffolding.
Minutes later a hand appeared from above and hoisted them into the centre span. Inside is a growing pile of light stone coloured boards now, ready to be cut to size for the sides.
This being a Friday, we were not that surprised to hear a faint two tone toot in the distance, and the class 47 slowly rumbled in with an empty train
While we ate our lunch the first side of the boards dried in the wind and sun, so that afterwards we were able to turn them over and do the other side as well.
With both sides of the stack of boards painted, we had half an hour to ourselves and took this opportunity to add a bit of quality to the lamp posts.
The tops were put on a couple of years ago using mild steel grub screws. These soon rust and we replaced them with SS ones, dabbed in a bit of grease. This will look much nicer, and ensure that the fastenings won't seize up.
The tops we have on P1 are the cheapest we could find, with a vinyl ' BROADWAY' sticker inside. We could do better.
For P2 (where there are no tops on the posts at the moment) we should aim higher, and get proper replicas made by a specialist firm, like the ones under the canopy.
If that is a success, we can revisit the P1 tops.
We were a bit sceptical about the dummy rivet heads, as they are just spot welded on with 4 dabs of weld around the outside.
This arrangement allows water to run behind the rivet, and that is indeed what has happened. Streaks of rust are now beginning to appear.
The replacement of the dummy rivets with real ones is thought to be a bit difficult, but perhaps we should just take them off and repair the paintwork. At the same time the towers can be painted in dark stone, as they should be. Dark stone was for structural members.
Our new 'Edwardian' station has not gone unnoticed, and here is a member of the public who turned up today to photograph his vintage car in front of it.
We ought to charge for this....
Saturday at Toddington
There's been a bit of shunting at Winchcombe, and it's revealed this rather interesting 6 wheeled milk tanker.
The sole bar has an inscription to the effect that it was last repainted in 1997. Wouldn't this look great in one of our gala freight trains? It's a matter of volunteer labour though, there aren't enough hands.
These six wheelers are relatively scarce, not many societies can say that they have one.
Not long afterwards the first train south came by us, and it was hauled by 35006. The third loco out today - it's the busy Summer 3 train service at the moment - was 2807.
We beat the class 24 to Toddington; we went by road. We got to Toddington, sat down, and there it was.
About this sitting, it's what we have to do now under the new rulebook.
We'd like to start, but here we are sitting on a sleeper and waiting until 11 o clock before the signalman gives permission to work on the track. Most of the morning has already passed.
We were working on the southern turnout at Toddington today, which really needs relaying but we can patch it with some spot resleepering.
Watching the train run over this area last week showed where the weaknesses were, so the offending sleepers were marked up and today we started to dig the first ones out.
The area in question is between the two volunteers in the picture.
The hard sleepers are always the throughbolter ones, and today we had one straight away.
You can't undo the bolts (seized, and they spin round in the wood) so the only way to replace the sleeper is to break it in half, lengthways.
Bert Ferule and Neil are trying to do this in the picture, using crowbars.
Finally the old sleeper gave way and obligingly split into two halves, so releasing the chair. We could then drag out the remains. The two chairs went to 2807 for their boot scraper pile.
After the new sleepers were bolted down in the correct place we used Kango hammers to pack ballast underneath them. Then we back filled the holes dug out in the morning.
Moving on to the next sleeper we found that this one had been working up and down. With the help of water that is not draining the movement grinds down the ballast and makes an impenetrable barrier, here visible in the light grey area.
That area needs digging out, and the old, non draining ballast removing.
The sleeper goes out sideways here, as the chair is bolted to the switch and cannot be moved.
We managed to extract and change the waterlogged sleeper that was seen to be pumping. There are more to do in this area, but our time was up.
A look over the fence - Gwili Railway
A three day visit to Southwest Wales brought an unexpected pleasure: An offer of a ride to the Gwili railway, and that in this sports car:
How could we refuse?
We were at the Gwili Railway HQ Bronwydd Arms in no time. The station is named after a nearby pub, which sadly is no more, although there is a new pub in the village, the Hollybrook (not tested, much as we wanted to....)
The current line is 4 miles long and follows the meandering river Gwili. The landscape, especially along the northern section, is very charming and we liked it a lot.
Trains start from the centre and work north, then south.
This is the view you get as you arrive at Bronwydd Arms by road.
Although this is only a modest society, not close to major conurbations of potential customers like some, the volunteers have done well to make it look this good.
Signal box, station building and refreshment room - a pair of old carriages - all come from elsewhere. They look like they belong though.
There's a good fireplace with room for a kettle, a coal scuttle and some authentic GWR cupboards as well. There's also a notice inviting people to come up and visit, which is very welcoming. In fact the signalman probably has plenty of time to talk, as there are only two sections and on the day of our visit, just one train in steam.
The cafe consists of two Taff Vale coach bodies, formerly stood at Redditch since 1926.
This is their initial use and they may well be restored to running condition one day.
Tony the driver made us feel very welcome, and even gave us a short cab ride during the run round at the northern end.
The 0-6-0 Austerity is not exactly a GWR engine, but it does have Welsh coal mining pedigree. And it's an ideal engine for this short line with its many curves. We liked its bark.
Midway up the northern half is this halt, Llwyfan Cerrig. You can stop here, buy a drink, have a picnic or go for a lovely walk.
Again, the buildings have been recovered from elsewhere, but they did a good job.
Look at the ticket office here, with its GWR Art Deco stove, BR (W) strong box and stationmaster's dog. No modern furniture here.
We liked the row of GWR lamp posts in the two shades of stone.
However, there are two types of lamp post, and it is the shorter one which is usually found on platforms. That allows the porter to light the oil lamp without resorting to a ladder.
The taller ones, such as in the picture, were clearly higher and were fitted to take ladder bars (a small hole, usually plugged, under the lamp shows where the ladder bar would go). The tall ones would often be seen in areas that needed a wider pool of light, such as on driveways and forecourts.
The GWSR has a pattern for the shorter platform type, and could cast for other railways if the demand is there.
If you watch the river rolling by out of the carriage window, you might spot this home made ford through it, constructed out of concrete sleepers. Part of the charm of this little valley.
A short distance further north is the current terminus of the line, Danycoed. The GWR running inboard has genuine cast iron supports, which are not easy to find.
Beyond lie another 3 miles, also owned by the line. This would take the railway up to Llanpumsaint, also along the meandering river Gwili. A number of bridges need to be refurbished though, and of course the money found.
Despite its modest means, the Gwili Railway has just completed an extension to its southernmost point.
|The guard's pocket watch has been replaced by a mobile phone though.|
This is Abergwili Junction. It lies on the outskirts of Carmarthen itself. Unfortunately it's not possible to enter Carmarthen itself (and meet up with NR) as the bypass has used some of the trackbed, and there is a missing bridge, we heard.
The platform is still a bit bare, they've only just got here and more funds are needed for the final touch.
We liked the Gwili. Go along and visit, boost their numbers, help them get a bit further. Tenby nearby is also well worth a visit.