Neal was back today fitting and fettling. It's a slow business, this.
What you can't see from the picture is that there are many more timbers that have already been cut to size and are in the course of painting, or re-painting, if damaged by further fettling.
Neal had got to the top of the Cotswolds side and found that a small change at the top had repercussions all the way down again, so today a number of pieces had to come off and be fettled further.
During the blogger's involuntary 14 day absence, the Malvern P1 side timbers were test fitted right up to the top. A picture exists, but ancient telephone camera technology means that the picture is blurred, and can't be transmitted to another device.
So, instead here is a picture of the Cotswolds side being trial fitted. Neal had almost got to the top this mid afternoon.
The whole thing looks very laborious, and our suspicion is that when the bridge was new in 1904 it was painted last of all. If that meant missing a few areas underneath, or not painting inside the joints, it wasn't a big thing as in the day better quality wood was used. That had much more resistance to shrinking, twisting, and decay. We however are constrained by cost limits and have to go for the cheapest wood.
Interestingly we are aware of another footbridge project where the timbers are proposed in GRP. It will be interesting to see if that works. In our experience, here at Broadway, each timber needs to be crafted individually, and there is no question of making the components in one big job lot off a production line.
Saturday on Stanway viaduct.
A sunny and blustery day, in preparation for tonight's big storm. Why not spend that day on our highest, most exposed structure? That's the 15 arch Stanway viaduct. Coats on, hats pulled well down then.
Because it is a relatively remote location the PWay train with mess coach has been brought up. This allows us shelter, a cup of tea, and all the tools and materials we need close to hand.
Otherwise, it's a long walk to the nearest station, Toddington.
Here is the opening shot for the day, with 5 panels laid last Saturday and Wednesday.
The blue ballast is the infill added by the contractor around the drainage pits. The orange pipe in the distance is one of the inspection pipes provided during the viaduct work. You can now poke a camera down there and see the state of the drainage pit underneath.
The orange pipes are cut off at the level of the sleepers after the track has been relaid, and provided with a removable cap.
After bringing the tools necessary for the job, the Permaquip trolley returned to the south end of the viaduct to get the track materials - sets of fishplates and in the stillage, a large mound of Pandrol clips.
The track already extends a considerable way across the viaduct, as new recruit Nick pushes the trolley down the stretch that has already been relaid.
Once 26 sleepers have been roughly laid down, they are inched left and right under the direction of Nigel, so that they form a straight line (or slight curve in this case) ready to receive the rail back again.
Mid afternoon the rail head was getting surprisingly close to the other end of the viaduct, such progress!
We laid in 5 or possibly 6 panels today, and clipped up 3 1/2 of them. Four panels were laid the first Saturday when we started this job, so we are accelerating.
Back next week then with the sluing jacks.
As the sky grew ever greyer and the wind started to wind itself up ready for the storm we packed up the tools and took them back to the train.
Finally, a quick shot of the goods shed extension from the steps of the signal box. If you have followed the blog, you should now have 5 or 6 pictures of the extension going up, bit by bit.
The roof is now on, in simulated slates but they do look quite convincing. The arches, the windows and the brickwork detail are a faithful copy of the existing goods shed. It really looks rather good, and demonstrates that we do have the ability, as at Broadway, to produce convincing railway buildings in a heritage style.