Sunday, 25 September 2016

A walk from Broadway to Little Buckland

With the railhead slowly edging nearer, it's now become practical to walk down to it from the Childswickham road. Here's what you can see, walking south.

A few steps south of the Childswickham Road bridge gives you this view of the long curve that starts at Peasebrook Farm and goes all the way through Broadway station (where the platforms continue the same curve). On the right is the sewage farm, accessed by Pry Lane (bridge 3).

From Pry Lane bridge in the foreground, you can see further towards Peasebrook farm, located next to the tall trees.

Arriving at Peasebrook Farm bridge (bridge 4) we find the start of the ballasted section. This is the target for the next spurt of track laying. In the distance is the curve that continues over Little Buckland bridge (bridge 5).

Did the PWay Saturday gang manage to lay any track yesterday?

Yes they did! They have crossed Little Buckland bridge, and quite a few yards beyond. Brilliant!

Once again we see the beauty of the Cotswolds, for which our line is famous.

Not only have approximately 200 sleepers been laid, but 8 pairs of rails too.

The PWay supply train has been moved up, and the rail wagons have crossed to this side of the bridge.

The stretch over Little Buckland bridge has been fitted with lighter weight hardwood sleepers, very neat looking.

A view over the newly laid track from the sleeper wagon
The rail wagon is now beyond the bridge, with about a quarter of the new supply of rails laid. Once this pair of wagons is exhausted, another order will be delivered.

Passing Little Buckland bridge is a real milestone in the advance towards Broadway.

The track laying train is now also visible form the road, we have a presence here now.

The first of the two rail wagons is now nearly half empty, as the sleepers come to the end of the curve.
120 sleepers remain on the two sleeper wagons, and they should be consumed by the next day's laying. They will be resupplied from the stockpile at Gotherington.

The last picture shows the view from the end of the ballast bed at Peasebrook Farm, the current target. Broadway goods shed can just be made out in the trees in the distance.

Will be get there? The share issue has made a good start, but we are still £450.000 short of funding the extension. Please help if you can. A link to our share prospectus is here:

According to the 'track' on the page, the appeal stands at £812.000 out of £1.250.000 required, as a minimum.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Sleepers arrive

A brief update to report that a further supply of concrete sleepers has been sorted out at Gotherington, and piled up ready for loading on to the bogie flats that were parked at Laverton.

Today the class 73 took the two bogie flats down to Gotherington, where a small PWay team loaded them up on to the wagons.

In the afternoon, the class 73 then took them up to Little Buckland.

 Here is a picture of the short train passing by Hayles Abbey halt, under construction.

The rake of 320 concrete sleepers was taken to Toddington, where the two bogie flats with 56 new rails were attached. This supply train for the extension was then shunted out to just short of Little Buckland.

This gloomy picture in the mist - it has been drizzling all day long - shows the supply train parked near the foot crossing just short of Little Buckland.

The 320 concrete sleepers will give you 12 panels, whereas there are enough rails for 28. A start has been made at Gotherington to provide a second train load of 320 sleepers in support.

We are ready for the great leap forward !

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The welders are back

Apologies for the longer than usual gap between updates, but the rail deliveries coincided with the blogger's holidays in faraway climes. All is back to normal now.

As you will have read, there was a delivery of rail on 2nd September, and this was immediately laid. It allowed the former temporary storage siding beyond the Laverton headshunt to be completely relaid with new rail, after the sleepers, removed temporarily to allow the stretch to be graded and ballasted on Terram, were put back.

This is the site of the former loop at Laverton, with new rail taking over in the foreground, and continuing through the rest of the temporary storage siding behind the camera. It has all been welded up.

Looking the other way, towards Broadway, the new rail continues into the distance. The picture was taken from the site of the former northern turnout. Its component parts will be reused at the northern end of Broadway. A new weld figures in the foreground; the welders did a great job earlier this week and all the new rail laid, with the exception of three northernmost panels, is now welded up.

Just to be clear, the track laying job is not finished, but the rail and sleepers are down. They have been temporarily tied together with SHC clips every other sleeper to keep the rail in place. Work trains can now pass over it with caution.

The track still has to be ballasted and the CWR stretched into its final position, before it is fully clipped up.

This is the end of the temporary storage siding north of Laverton, which has just been relaid.

Beyond, towards Broadway, is the stretch of rail that was already laid earlier in the year, and the two are now welded together and of the same new rail.

By the wagons in the distance the track starts to curve towards Little Buckland, a stretch that was already ballasted.

On this already ballasted stretch (a few 100yds) the two bogie flats used for carrying concrete sleepers to the worksite have been parked. In a couple of days these will be filled up with a fresh load of second hand concrete sleepers, from storage at Gotherington.

What is striking is how clean this stretch looks - all the excess material has been removed and rubbish left over from welding cleared up - a great job!

A bit further round the bend, and Little Buckland Bridge hoves into sight. The red flag marks the end of the welded track, completed earlier this week. Three and a half panels remain to be done; they will be addressed with the next welding session.

The current rail head

This is the bit you all want to know about - how far have they got? It's Little Buckland bridge, Bridge 5, the big bridge repair job. It's now fit for trains, and sleepers have been laid right up to it. A lot of work has gone into this area - new fencing, new drains, a huge bridge repair with new abutments and wing wall repair as well as the shotblasting and painting of the 100 year old steelwork, fresh ballast, and now, finally, the rail head arrives. A great day.

A look into the future: This picture was taken a few steps beyond Little Buckland bridge, just far enough along the newly ballasted trackbed to show the goods shed, on the outer limits of Broadway station. It's the red building in the distance; the white blob is a caravan. The new ballast stretches round to the next bridge, bridge 4 at Peasebrook Farm, approximately half way between here and Broadway. Once the bogie flats have been reloaded with sleepers, this is where track laying will continue.

Just for interest, a look south from the same point, showing the end of the recently laid line of concrete sleepers.

Now we need more rail...

... but we are ahead of the curve there, it's already been delivered ! Two bogie flats loaded with 56 rails (28 pairs) wait at Toddington for the next move. Foremarke Hall is about to set off with a well loaded train behind.

Broadway canopy progress:

Three of the seven trusses have been completed, and await painting. This will be done by a small group from Broadway, where we have experienced painters.

The trusses have been assembled with bolts and these will be replaced by hot rivets in due course. A quality job, which has drawn a lot of admiration, now that you can see for yourself how good it looks.

Inside the machine shop, work was progressing on the fourth of the purlins. It takes about two days to drill and assemble one of these. However, there are other big jobs to attend to as well, so it's not exactly 2 1/2 purlins a week. We are very lucky that someone has come forward from the loco department to do this for Broadway.

Outside, another truss and a completed purlin have been put aside for storage. It is hoped to test assemble a stretch of roof at Toddington in due course, before the actual canopy construction begins at Broadway, perhaps in the new year.

Foremarke Hall got the road and has set off for Winchcombe. It has the shiniest coat of paint, quite amazing quality there.