Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Stools Progress in Concrete

Tuesday 15th May
Seven of us at Broadway today for a bit of seriously hard work .
Fortunately Malcolm and Steve had been at Broadway yesterday with a mini digger to excavate some holes in the ballast for the concrete stools and blocks but a bit of fettling was required to get levels and positions right. Carl S taking a well earned breather:

We now have 15 concrete stools to bed in up to the point where the compensators will be situated. The first five of these are three roller sets up to the point where a second fpl may be needed in the future, and then 10 two roller sets up to the expansion compensators. Here's a 3 roller set bedded in. We shall leave filling in the ballast  in case we need some final adjustment by the time we reach the compensators.

Some way still to go!

Len W follows on with the bolting up of the rods. Doing this as we go along checks that the alignment looks good. This shot shows us approaching today's goal of us reaching the compensators. Team 'B' of Malcolm W, John P and Keith L are in the hole at the top of the picture:

The two compensators are to be mounted on two steel plates on four large concrete blocks. Putting these on the pick up back at Winchcombe with the Telehandler was a breeze, but getting them into the hole back here was a little more tricky - at least a 3-man lift, but the rails came in useful for a breather!

After much mauling and tweaking the blocks have steel plates bolted on and the first compensator fitted. We are now in almost the correct position.

But this is where we left things at the end of the day. A bit more
adjustment to line up with the rodding and then holes can be filled in:

And a view back towards the bridge of the stool planting:

In my absence last week (to make a change from point rodding duties) the team had cast two concrete blocks on which pulley wheels for signal wires are mounted. These will direct wires under the tracks. This one at the base of wooden post - a single wheel :

And one opposite at the base of the bracket signal for a double wheel.

So next week all being well we should complete stool installation up to the point where connections will eventually made to the points and fpl.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Over the Bridge Competed

Tuesday 1st May

As you may now be well aware we have taken a while to get our beloved rodding safely under the tracks and over Evesham Road Bridge, but today was the day.
As we progress, levels and alignments need re-adjustment to get everything moving smoothly.
So one of the first actions today was to install a pair of single rollers in the six foot to give additional support to the rods going across the tracks :

and encase them with concrete in the previously constructed shuttering boxes.

Last week I promised a picture of one of the pre-cast supports that will now be used from the Bridge up to the points - so some serious holes to dig in the ballast:

A couple more of the steel supports to assemble, - - all we need to fill the gap up to the bridge, here's Len W fitting them together

Now all the supports are fitted and concreted in - Carl S giving them the perfect finish with a trowel

A view of the rodding looking back over the bridge towards the station:

Later on we were rudely jolted from our peaceful tinkering on the bridge by a huge bang. The contents of a low loader had hit the Evesham side of the bridge and deposited its load in the middle of the road - some chaos ensued which merited the attendance of two police cars

 Hopefully the damage to the Bridge is not serious, but I think there is some expensive damaged equipment sitting in the road.

Carl S took advantage of the fine weather to creosote the ballast retaining boards before fitting them back on the bridge:

And Keith L rounded off the day with a bit of gardening to fill in and tidy up round all the excavations:

The gang viewed from the bracket!

And the completed rodding over the bridge.

Plenty more of the same to come!


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Crossing the Bridge

Tuesday 24th April

Six of us out in the rain at Broadway today to continue with the installation of the point rodding from the south end  of platform 1.
Two steel plates have been cut to replace the wooden templates that were made a couple of weeks ago. Platform 2 side now has its cranks bolted on in their final positions.

The plate on the other side of the tracks is now fixed to the two concrete blocks, but the whole assembly needs tweaking about with a crowbar to get the alignment and levels correct before the holes are drilled for the cranks.

Out with the magnetic drill - this really does make light work of drilling eight  20mm dia holes through half an inch of steel.

Just a quick aside at this point. The two steel plates that you see here have been cut from one of the larger pieces that was originally covering the culvert (re-built recently) under the track at Bishops Cleeve. So a good bit of re-cycling achieved.

Cranks now lined up, bolted down and waiting to carry on up to the bridge. I climbed up the ladder of the adjacent bracket signal to give a better overall view of the crossing over. You will see that the alignment of the opposing sets of sleepers doesn't give us much to play with but we have ended up with adequate clearances.

Getting the rodding over the bridge is proving a little more problematical. We are using a modified roller support which is clamped onto the vertical web of the bridge and with one foot down into the ballast which will eventually get a "boot" of concrete when everything is levelled up.

Carl S and Jim P discovered that some carpentry was going to be needed to modify the ballast protection boards to fit round the  additions.
We didn't manage to get the rest of the stools dug in and concreted today , but hopefully we will get over the bridge next week.
Having got this far we have now run out of the fabricated stools for the 3-roller sets, so from the far side of the bridge we will need some serious digging to sink in the far more substantial concrete stools - at least these will not need further concrete. (picture of one of these next week)

This is where we left it - all getting rather wet.

Foremarke Hall , glistening in the rain, was giving us the run-around in between showers :


P S Did manage to repair our vandalism to platform 2 ramp. The rodding now sits neatly underneath

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Crossing the Tracks

Tuesday 10th April

Six of us at Broadway today to
continue with the southwards march of the point rodding.
A bit of tidying up first to remove the shuttering boxes from the concrete blocks we cast a couple of weeks ago. The ones out in the open are easy to knock off - the ones up against the platform wall need a fair bit of coaxing off. So now all the roller blocks are installed up to the point where we need to cross under the Tracks to platform 1 side.

The two sets of rodding are then finally installed and bolted together with fishplates. John P down on his knees (painfully) in the ballast spannering up.

Just a reminder that although we have three sets of rollers here we only need two runs for the points and FPL with the current track layout. The rodding for a second FPL will only be fitted in the future should an extended loop be required.
So, now that we have reached the point where we need to cross over, the installation of a pair of concrete blocks is required on  which will be mounted the cranks to route the rodding through a right angle  So Keith L to the fore with shovel - a mix of roots, soil and ballast here in the shadow of the bracket signal :

You will see from the next picture that we are using a wooden template to line everything up. P  Way have adjusted sleeper positions for us so that the two runs of rodding will clear. Note the cranked connecting rod that drops the level to enable access under the rails :

With everything marked in position the template can now be used to mark a steel plate which will be prepared back at base.

Then over to the opposite side to repeat the operation. But hold on, here comes 2807 on its way into the station - our  day was interspersed with pauses while we stood and waved at the happy travellers - quite exhausting when you start to realise just how long a slowly moving  8 coach train is!

Another pair of Keith's holes in the ballast with the template set for marking out:

The next  challenge is how to get the rodding over Evesham Road Bridge. Malcolm W and John P discussing how to set the roller blocks. A modified bracket and a small mod to the gravel boards may be required.

Meanwhile I have volunteered to make good the brickwork at the bottom of platform 2 ramp. You can see how close the rodding is, there is approx half an inch of vertical clearance underneath.
We will replace the top slabs next time when the mortar has set. Brickwork probably not quite up to BAG standards but fit for purpose!

And finally a view looking back to the signal box of the completed runs  of rodding. George had a pull on the two levers in the signal box which slid across smoothly - will require a bit more effort when the points are attached!


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

More Stools

Tuesday 27th March

More of the same I'm afraid at Broadway. Five of us continued the setting of more rodding stools southwards down the side of platform 2.
First job was to remove the shuttering from the concrete blocks we did last week. These needed prising apart and lifting off after the rodding had been removed.  Quite a nice neat lump of concrete left behind:

And then to repair/re-assemble the shuttering boxes to position the next batch of stools: 

Had a bit of a problem when we reached the end of the platform and had to remove some of the brickwork from the end of the ramp to get the rodding to clear. We will make good our "vandalism" in due course!

We utilised the P Way trolley again to barrow the concrete from the mixer on the back of the pickup - as close as we could get now that the track is in. 

By the end of the day we have installed a total of 19 stools which brings us up to the bracket signal where the barrow crossing will be. Here goes the last shovel full of concrete - we have now run out of aggregate so time to call it a day


Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Stools March On

Tuesday 20th March

Seven of us off again to Broadway to carry on with the installation of the southbound run of rodding support stools.
The blue pickup had been loaded up at Winchcombe with everything needed for the day :

All this then has to be off-loaded on to the large PW trolley (we have borrowed) and walked up to the station. The cement mixer, aggregate and cement are left for mixing on the back of the pickup which is parked at the top of the ramp opposite the ground frame. The concrete will be barrowed up on the trolley later.

Some preparation work first to prepare a few more shuttering boxes. John P has brought his own portable saw unit to speed things up and to make sure that a nice square box results:

Jim P and Richard C  set about bolting the roller sets onto the Stools - 8 bolts per stool and two lengths of screwed rod. The screwed rod is to stop the unit tipping until the concrete sets.
We need 15 sets of rollers to reach the southern end of platform 2.

Some rodding was fitted and a lot more tweaking was required to get level and alignment to a satisfactory condition before concreting.  Eventually Malcolm was happy and Keith L began:

Here is the first one complete. We'll remove the rodding and remove the box next week after the concrete has set. We  have 15 boxes so that will be more than enough to get us up to just short of Evesham Road Bridge. The rodding will then cross under the tracks to cross over the bridge on platform 1 side

And here we are at the end of the day. Should look good when the boxes are removed and the ballast tidied up:

Must have it tidy for Friday 30th!!