Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Signal Dressing

Tuesday 27th June

Seven of us off to Broadway today to get some, if not all of the fittings, onto the three signal posts at Broadway North. Quite a truckload of stuff to start with:

We understand that work begins in the next couple of weeks to brick up the access gap in platform 1, so the window of opportunity to truck heavy parts up north will be over - so here we are.
The route indicator signal got our first attention. The main task being to fit its ladder. This is bolted to the two platforms and needs a secure base before using it. We did this by setting it on a substantial piece of sleeper cut-off. We will eventually cast a concrete block with studs as a final fix:

Luckily all bolt holes matched up with both platforms level after a bit of adjustment with many supporting hands: 

Then the fitting of the finial and spectacle plate and signal arm. Once the finial was fitted the other heavier parts were hauled up by rope

And the angle cranks fitted at the bottom of the post to which the signal wires will be connected

A shot of the top end before the signal arm is attached 

And a view of the finished job so far. Down rod, lamp cases and electrics to follow in due course.

Then on to the other two signals at the ends of the platforms, both of which need their ladders fitting. 
These two will not have platforms but safety hoops at the top. We separated into two teams for this starting at the top to fit finials. 

And then working down to to the balance weight assembly

As far as we got today with most of the fittings on . The position  and length of the ladder to platform 1 signal was measured - cut to length but we ran out of time so it will be fitted next visit.
Now beginning to look like a Railway!

 A view looking north from the signal box you can just make out the 3 signals in the distance.

There was the accompanying sound of enthusiastic riveting going on on the station roof  throughout the day - it certainly is a magnificent structure close up.

We haven't got as far as preparing the hole and foundation for the wooden post yet, but now that the spear fencing is complete up to the Evesham road bridge I can reveal its approx position as shown by this block in th foreground :

And finally, as requested by blog reader Graham, a couple of shots of the inside of the Broadway signal box:

PS  We are hoping shortly to acquire some of the parts to move on work in the locking room . These include a locking tray and a number of electric locks. 


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sorting the Stools

Tuesday 20th June

Six of us in today with several tasks to do.
John P, Carl S and Keith L went off on strimming duty to clear vegetation at Gotherington (morning) and round the signal wires from Winchcombe up to Greet tunnel in the afternoon.

The rodding stools that Malcolm had fabricated a while back have been stored in the MSC shed at Winchcombe waiting for zinc plating. These are the units that will support the point rodding up the side of platform 2 at Broadway. Apparently zinc plating is costed on the weight of the items concerned so we needed to get them off the shelves and count and weigh them. There are two different sizes - one to take a four wheel roller set and one to take a three roller set. Within these sets two different sizes of angle iron was used so we ended up with four different weights. Firstly we laid them all out - a grand total of 87 units

Our colleague Peter B joined us today from Hawaii. He is over in the U.K. for the summer to swell our numbers. Malcolm and Peter made a start laying them out:

Here's the 87

And a close up of one of them - the rollers will be bolted onto the top surface after plating.


The total weight of them is 750kg and they are now boxed up in a large plastic stillage ready for despatch as soon as we have a satisfactory quotation for the plating.

And to round off the day a further 6 lengths of rodding got painted with Rustoleum  (just started the third 5 litre can)  Only a few more to go now!

We have selected a ladder for one of the signals at Broadway north. This needs a bit of modification for attachment to the post. A job for next week. (note the 3 lengths of rodding we have got ready for tomorrow's team!!)


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Even Quieter

Tuesday 6th June

Hardly worth a blog this week , but must keep things ticking over. The boss is on holiday this week so five of us chose a variety of tasks. John P, Carl S and Keith L had arranged to do some strimming to clear the signal wires of vegetation from Toddington signal box.

 Mike S - our qualified PAT tester - decided to check all the electrical power tools and leads in the Building Services Dept. I don't think there were any major issues requiring confiscation!

Which left yours truly with , guess what. -- point rodding. Luckily the rain held off for most of the day so I managed to clean and paint another 5 lengths. This brought the completed pile to 100.

Here's the 100th being added

And the growing pile

I'm afraid I won't be blogging next week.  Off to see some Swiss railways. Will hope to see the whole 138 lengths done when I get back!


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Quiet Day

Tuesday 30th May

Not a huge amount to report this week. I'm afraid it was back to the cleaning and corrosion protecting  of the point rodding .   Six of use in action. Carl S and Keith L took the first train of the day to Gotherington to clear vegetation from the pathway approach to the station and have a general tidy up.

John P and  Jim P went off to Toddington with some concrete mix on the red  flatbed to plant the 7 and 8 coach stopping markers. They now have smart steel black mounting stakes:

Work then continued with cleaning

And painting:

We are now on the second 5 litre can of Rustoleum and have completed 87 rods. Only another 45 ish to go!  Here's the completed pile so far:


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Putting the Block on

Tuesday 16th May

Four of us off to Broadway today to advance some of the work on the signal box.
As we were departing from Winchcombe we were held up by a departing wagon (presumably for Sharpness)

And last week a tube wagon being winched onto a low loader

The main task today was to mount the Block Shelf in the signal box. The two original brackets were too short and have had extensions welded on - they now needed to be cut to length after trying in position to get a suitable gap between the shelf and the top of the levers. The Transit doubled up as a workshop to do this:

First of all we had to hold the brackets in place and mark the hole positions in the roof beams and drill 2 holes  - a bit of an acrobatic performance because the roof is quite a height


Then to drill the holes in the Block shelf to match the brackets

Have we got the gap right?  Looks OK to me

Leaning- on test discovers that there is a significant lateral movement. A central horizontal bracket needs to be made and will be fitted to prevent this. Also a hollow pillar will be fitted for centre support  - this will double up to conceal the wiring. Otherwise it looks the business.

Meanwhile down in  the Locking Room Malcolm was wrestling with the fitting of the remaining connecting rods for the point operating levers. The ones we had were not the correct length so they have been shortened and re- welded  ( courtesy of out C&W colleagues) . They connect the lever tails to the angle cranks. Further rodding will then reach through the tunnel to trackside. Here's the top  connection

And here's the bottom

Fitting the split pins to retain the pivot pins in the lever tails is a very fiddly job . Malcolm managed it after uttering a few choice words

It was a relief to have a day off from cleaning  the dreaded point rodding today. Four of us have signed up for the grand rail  clipping at Little  Buckland tomorrow.


Monday, 8 May 2017

At Last!

Delighted to be able to say that the Toddington Concetrator is now working fully!

It always did work reliably to the trackside phones but we knew that we had a problem  with low audio level when  a signalman used it to talk from Todd to Winchcombe after much brain searching the problem was down to the design of the new modern transmission bridge. Whilst this coped with calling betwen boxes  the tiny DIL relays did not have enough inductance to  to ensure that the audio went out to line.

The change to  a differently wound relay has done the trick and its now fully working

We will now steadily upgrade the other units that have been installed  and continue with building the final one for Broadway

Mike S

PS We always did have a backup  system via the dial up phones throughout the system

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Same again......

Tuesday 2nd May

Six of us in action again at Winchcombe. A bit more signal preparation work to complete. Since last week the direction indicator signal was extracted from its moorings with the help of the JCB and the Telehandler. (wasn't there to get any pictures of the event). Here it is now lying on its side

The two wooden platforms were looking in need of a bit of preservation, so Jim P set to with a can of creosote. Both platforms have been a favourite stopping off point for the local bird life and were well coated in birdlime - another cleaning job required first

The wooden signal post still needs more fittings positioning. Today's task was to fix the lamp case support bracket. The spectacle plate was mounted first so that the lamp lens could be positioned as closely as possible to the centre of the red spectacle (note that the spectacles are much larger on this signal). Holes then drilled through the post to secure with screwed rodding. John P and Carl S were in charge of this:


We now need to modify a down rod to the correct length to connect the spectacle to the balance weight arm - a cut and weld job to follow.

While we have got the two other signals for Broadway north lying in the yard it was appropriate to make sure that we have finials which fit and  with holes that line up with holes in the post. An  awkward job to do once the posts are in position. These two will need a bit of packing to keep them vertical. Jim P wrestled with this after finishing the creosoting

And of course we all took our turns with the continued cleaning and painting of the point rodding. Now 28 finished and stacked with 2 more almost done. This is going to keep us busy for a few more weeks yet. Well worth the effort though because they will look pretty smart along the edge of Broadway platform for all to see!!