We couldn't park in our usual place by the mess coach, because that space was occupied by the material excavated from the trench for the sewage pipe being dug up the station appoach.
It looks like a big job.
We loaded our gear into Stevie's front bucket. Steve was sitting pretty, high up in the warm and dry cab of his JCB. We mortals plodded to work in the rain.
The two switches of the main line have been laid in, but are not yet screwed down.
There were two missing timbers at the south end, which need to be longer so that the point operating mechanism can be attached. These were dragged in with nips, and with the rain the already heavy Jarrah sleepers seemed even weightier still today.
Here a short one is lifted into the front bucket of the JCB. One more lifter required...
The correct, much longer timbers were then positioned on top of the switches and dragged in with the nips.
Eventually we ran out of space, and it was decided to left the next length out as well. This area will eventually be relaid anyway, and with the crossover going in here it will be difficult to reach, so we could usefully do it now. Steve is giving the rail a good tug, to get it out of the chairs.
With the rail removed Steve returned to lift out the sleepers in bunches. These were taken to one side for revaluation, and those that are really scrap had their chairs removed, in particular the old GWR type throughbolters.
Old hand Ivor keeps an eye on this process.
Richard here had seen the grimly fiendish weather forecast, and had armed himself with a flask of lovely hot coffee. Just the thing on this cold and rainy day, a bit of hot coffee.
|Could I have some of it perhaps? Er, no!|
|I say, this coffee is lovely and hot and so delicious, oh yes.|
Another option was to look at our watches to see if it wasn't lunch time.
Behind the mess coach at Toddington the class 73 was seen parked in the platform with the empty ballast train.
The date of the next ballast drop is not yet known, but we can do at least another one before we need to cross bridge 1.
Did you know that there is a bridges blog update on the repairs to bridge 1 at Broadway? You can click here to read a progress update:
In a few days we will also post an update on the repairs to bridge 34, the skew bridge at Gotherington.
South of the work site a couple of Warflats have been brought up loaded with sleepers, and the crossing for the turnout we are building.
|Black pudding: check. Brown sauce: Check.|
|The reluctant drill needs a bit of muscle.|
Our usual 'Animal' motorised nut runner proved somewhat underpowered on this job, and a couple of us set off in the Landie for Winchcombe to get heavier guns - a diesel powered Stumec chairscrew unit.
This was heaved on to its trolley on the track, but it then resisted all efforts to start it. Mean thing.
We had 3 vehicles on site, a narrow single track road alongside a double track railway. To our amazement a Vauxhall estate car suddenly appeared in the deep mud and wanted to get past. Both Steve and Stevie obliged by squeezing to one side, whereupon same car reappeared again a few minutes later to drive by the other way.
Did you notice those strange bogies on the left? They are huge. What an interesting design.
They are spares for a class 47, we ascertained.
Alan was asked to give it some final prods here and there, and Stevie also lifted it along a few inches. Not bad for a first attempt.
Next we have to replace some base plates on it, and move the timbers under it fore and aft, so that they are exactly underneath a base plate each, ready for drilling. Closure and stock rails will link the crossing to the switches. They are short, and can be lifted in a lot more easily.
|Looking north, from above.|
|Looking north, at ground level|
At the end of the day the two switches were fully drilled (see the orange shavings around each base plate), the next lot of timbers located, sorted and laid out, and the crossing roughly positioned on top.
Next week will see us screw the crossing down, and fit the 4 stock and closure rails. We also need to relay the panel of plain track we lifted today, and then the through line will be reinstalled again, but for ballasting and tamping.
Then it's time to start work on the other half ot he crossover, the turnout on the headshunt. This is currently somewhat lower than the running line, and will need to be raised to the same level.