Tricky day forecast - 'Weather Warnings' - why do we get these every day now, are we infants, or something? There was nothing to be warned about today.
We worked out that the measurements we took 6 months ago allowed it to fit precisely underneath.
The LT plan is to make this canopy, put up by the previous builder using two RSJs, into the wider one it was designed to be, encompassing the neighbouring windows and supporting itself on the two stone corbels.
Now we have to make the fixings for the board to hang there.
We did a lot of painting on Friday, mostly topcoat on P2, as these are the last few days with the scaffolding in place.
Neal fixed on this rather nice wrap around for the bottom corner. Of course this will one day be covered by 2ft of canopy overhang, P2 of course.
The extra treads laid in, seen from below. As said above, they need bolting down, and risers fitting. The wood is ex HIA, but is very heavy hardwood and in excellent condition.
We can see the idea behind this (the ramp is definitely not heritage), but what ostensible 1904 purpose can the box be given? Wags have suggested a coffin! It's not quite the right shape for that.
Here is Neal, having an exploratory dig around the site where the P2 waiting room and gents toilet used to stand. They were demolished in 1963 of course.
While no firm plans exist as yet, it is more or less agreed that the P2 building will be a bit bigger than before, as the P1 building is also bigger (by 50%) so as to keep things in proportion.
Neal planted some indicative stakes. The one in the grass opposite the blue bit on the platform would be the corner of the building.
Further away, by the white flag, is the other corner, and behind it, another stake to show the end of the future 'gents', actually to be a store room.
The new building will give the proper canopy overhang (7m instead of 3m as originally proposed in 2013) while still fitting in the space without trees.
The canopy overhang will extend to cover the bottom 2ft of the steps, visible in the corner.
Just for comparison purposes, here is a picture of the P1 side of sister station Hall Green. This is P1 at Hall Green, the overhang at Broadway on P2 (and P1) had a similar appearance.
You can also see, in red, the criss-cross bracing we still need to construct for the sides of the steps.
Hall Green is the nearest original thing to Broadway, why not go and visit and see it for yourself?
Saturday on the track
A compact team of 7 today, but full of good cheer as we have a new Head of Department agreed, and there is a revision of the new rule book being undertaken which will make our work a little more practical, than during the last few months.
In a change from the routine of improving timbers under turnouts, we took two Landies of kit up to Broadway today. The purpose was to install 6 insulated fish plates, part of setting up the circuits for the signalling scheme there.
This is one of those insulated jobbies, surrounded by plastic and somewhat heavier than a normal set (which with all its bits is already quite heavy).
We needed the gap adjuster today, a piece of kit we don't often use. It too is heavy. Although it has a handle on each corner, it doesn't mean that 4 men can lift it on to the Landie. We got it up there in the barrow; Nigel lifted it up and over with the Telehandler. Phew!
Of course the loop road is out of service for a short while, as the point blade and locking bar were damaged a couple of weeks back now.
Well done Dave for making it from a photograph, and Alex for the lovely gold letters, with black shading. Alex has a photograph of a single leaflet holder, and we have a provisional OK from Dave to have a crack at that too.
The yellow tubes also mark where electrical signal wiring passes under the track, and indeed this is the spot for one of the sets of insulated plates.
Neal undoes the plain fishplate that is there.
On the other side, next to another yellow tube, is the spot where we need to cut the rail, and Bert is having a go at that.
We tried our best not to scorch that tube !
The class 26 has appeared in the platform, and would later be pulled out by the loco at the other end.
With that turnout run through, we're having to top and tail and that means two locos, and of course extra costs. The passengers seem to like it though, so there is a silver lining.
Had to change the broach, which was for manganese rail, with extra teeth. Clearly a specialist subject.
Our Rotabroach machine is cooled by a soapy liquid which is normally pumped from the container Mike is holding here, but the plunger failed (of course!) and to keep the job moving we resorted to pouring the liquid on manually.
Pouring the coolant from the container was rather wasteful and we hunted round for something smaller and more accurate.
The cafe came up trumps - a discarded plastic milk bottle. Here we are just filling it. The spout was much more accurate, so we didn't waste so much liquid.
We got the loop road set on OK, after drilling twice, when one hole was a tad adrift, due to the gap for the end plate throwing out the measurement. The end plate is the insulated plastic piece of rail that insulates one rail from another, together with the insulated fish plate.
Bert then cut the second of two rails.
Having cut the rail in two, the slot cut out is not wide enough for the insulating end plate. The easiest way to deal with this is to drive the two rails apart with a wedge
That doesn't always do the trick though.
When it doesn't, such as here, you can resort to - the gap adjuster!
This marvelously compact but extremely heavy little machine can push or pull a pair of rails, creating or reducing the gap between them.
You can just see the gap within its innards. (centre)
It is powered by man, by pumping the hydraulic lever in Mike's left hand here. This not only clamps the machine to the rails, but also moves the rails further apart (in our case).
One gap was too small to be successfully widened by the gap adjuster, and it was simpler to just cut it again with the disk cutter. This worked OK, but in the process two bonding wires became casualties.
Our apologies to the S&T department (for that bit of extra work) but at least all 6 insulated fish plates are now in. Job done.
At the end of a very blustery and occasionally showery day we were pleased to see our job done. We trundled the kit back to the south turnout, and heaved the heavy gap adjuster and trolley halves back on to the Landies.
We now have an agreed way forward, which is a repair by a professional party. We did make a try for a brand new replacement switch, but were pipped to the post by someone else, a strange coincidence for what is a very slow moving piece of stock. Sold on the very day you enquire about it. Hmmm.
While the switch is away being repaired it will be replaced by a length of plain rail, which is what we will be doing next week.
A look over the fence: Great Central Railway
This was another PWay jolly - on a non-working day, it has to be said - and 8 of us set off for Loughborough, not that far from the GWSR. Five decided to accept the challenge and go by train, whereas 3 of us thought it would be easier to car share from where we lived, as it's only 1h15mins from Broadway. We would meet for the 11.20 train south.
11.20 came and went. The three got there, and not finding a car park, left the car 20 yards from the Loughborough station entrance. That was surprising, but it worked for us. The 5 got to Loughborough OK, but that was Loughborough Midland station. They were going to do the rest by taxi, but there were none available. Now you remember that very hot Thursday a couple of weeks back? That was the day.....
The three of us were glad to reach the sanctuary of this momentuous booking hall, located off a bridge over this former main line. Everything looked original, from the beginning of the last century.
A staircase at the end took you down to the platforms.
The stock on the left was a dining train, while services were operated from P1 on the right, with the loco running right round behind the dining rain stock. Now that was a big station!
This link is being addressed in various stages, a good tactic.
The bridge over the Midland rail line is now in, so now for the next bit, the bridge over the canal.
The biggest step is always the first one....
According to this poster the appeal for the refurbishment of the canal bridge is doing well, they are almost there.
Of course there is still some embankment to reinstate, and a large loco shed to move.
We wandered along the Loughborough platforms. All the buildings on it are completely original, in, we presume, their 1899 opening condition.
Just look at the stationmaster's office. It has two doors, one for each platform. There is natural light from a big, wood lined lantern above.
A jacket draped over the chair has the initials 'GCR' on it. There is a fireplace, a typewriter, some rolls of plans stacked in a corner....
Only the electric cabling and the modern clock were off (if we are allowed to nit-pick).
We were allowed a further peek into the ladies' inner sanctum (there were none about, we should point out) and found the only admission to modernity was a hospitality sized loo roll dispenser.
Wot, no IZAL ?
|So what is the Great Central Railway then?|
If he is the face of today's GCR, then they are a very friendly lot.
Less successful, we thought, was this conversion of a Mk1 to a balcony end, to make a sort of observation coach. It's on the end of the dining coach rake. It's touristy, rather than heritage. Has it contributed to the success of the dining train? As far as we can make out, most dining trains are well booked anyway.
Services on our day were one steam, one diesel. The steamer was 73 156...
Pedestrians are welcome to walk down this path and cross the line by the signal to approach it.
Before boarding our train, we made use of the facilities, this time the legit gents.
These too were pretty much original, with tiled cubicles and wood frames, the whole thing lit by a big lantern (a sort of greenhouse) on top.
We moved off a a cracking pace. Speaking as a passenger the line didn't offer that much to see, and this line too suffered from creeping housing estates, like the GWSR.
The southern terminus is a small new build, not bad but much much more modest than Loughborough. The original station was attached to the bridge visible in the background.
Our steamer ran round, we set off north again.
Frantic texting with the 5 NR travellers - where are you?
'We're heading south on the diesel hauled train'
'Dang, us here are heading north on the steamer!'
We got off at Rothley (pronounced Roathly, who knew?) to feed our hunger from a cafe known to be located there. We liked the fare, a baked potato with a good spud, a strong Italian coffee, and a tasty tiffin.
As we stood in the doorway, the diesel hauled train went by, and we got a wave from some hot looking GWSR PWay people....
|An original urinal, on two levels.|
|GCR type steps (compare with Broadway type)|
At Rothley, as we waited for the next train to take us back to Loughborough, we had a mooch around some of the facilities. They were fascinating. Just look at the parcels office, located under the steps. It was a goldmine of ancient stuff, but all carefully chosen to fit in. Behind the camera was the room underneath the road, which was a mess room (with people munching in it, we didn't want to pry). But standing in the doorway we couldn't help but notice this working gas lamp. How do they do it? There even were some boxes of extra mantles stacked up on top. Straight out of a film set, but available to you, dear customer, on the simple purchase of a GCR return ticket.
And the GCR has double track, doesn't it?
We tested this out of our window, and yes, it's true, here comes the other train, hauled by a class 25. They don't cross at stations, but midway, along the line.
As PWayers we couldn't help but notice the very old wooden sleepered track with spiked base plates. Is that original, prior to the purchase?
Back at Loughborough, we watched our loco 73 156 run round, and take water.
The water arrangements were interesting, as a parachute type tank was used, which itself was not mains fed but supplied by this larger Braithwaite tank on the ground.
As 73 156 drank from the parachute tank, the little red flag on the ground here went up as the tank emptied to resupply the parachute tank. It then slowly went down again as it filled itself up from the mains afterwards. Interesting.
There's talk about water at Broadway again, after initial rejections during the build.
Q: What loco boiler is this? Your blogger guessed Bulleid pacific.
A: Wrong! It's a Brit. (we consulted a friendly employee, who was kind enough to set us right).
Did you know?
So this is the big shed they have to move, to get the track through to the missing link. It's bang in the middle of the old trackbed.
Meanwhile, back in that lovely Loughborough station... let's have some tea.
This is their cafe, in one of the many original rooms on the main, central platform.
It's great. Note the picture rail, and lamps in the same style as Broadway, but looking a bit meatier, a bit better quality (we were severely hampered by money constraints)
We liked the padded benches around the outside.
The catering staff was paid, and we didn't see a lot of customers around the station during our visit. Let's hope that was because of the heat. The cafe was fine on the other hand, I think they always are, people like cafes.
The picture above was taken at closing time. We were gentlemen enough to take the hint (no pressure at all, but we could see she was cashing up).
The maroon coach was the full brake in which we travelled - we wanted to hear the loco exhaust, and found it unoccupied, but fitted with some loose tables and chairs. Perfect for us.
Alas. We never met them at all during our GWSR PWay day out. They got off at Quorn & Woodhouse to visit the Butler Henderson cafe.
We lived parallel lives....