It's a while since Mike S gave us an update on his ongoing work with the GWSR communication system. We have gained a new recruit, Paul, whose background is in office phone systems - so straight away we put him to good use in the Stationmasters office at Toddington who were requesting a second, easier to reach, phone in the office. It was lucky that a cable route was seen which was nearly all on wood making the tacking much easier. Hope the staff can enjoy this new more convenient location.
The next task was in the Steam Dept signing on lobby where a new extension had been long overdue. A black phone was chosen from stock for this as we thought the standard ivory would look a bit grubby before long!
|From Left to right: Keith (Digger) Livett, Mike S, Jim Price and newbie Paul. Curly was behind the lens.|
To explain the above photo, we move to Toddington signal box locking room where four of us are struggling to lift the 3cwt PAX (Private Automatic Exchange) telephone unit to enable a fifth volunteer to slide a repaired support trolley underneath. One of the original castors had expired, so all 4 have been replaced with heavy duty castors.
The reason for having this unit movable, I hear you ask?
Well, some very important cross connections ( jumpers) are only accessible via the back panel and the trolley allows access all round whilst the unit can be stored close to the wall. This gives better access to the mechanical bits in the confined space.
Work also continues on the new concentrator phone system. The one for Toddington signal box will be the largest capacity 15 SPT lines, that we have built so far.
We hoped to change this during July but preferring to err on the side of caution and knowing how critical these systems can be, we may delay it until we can see at least a two day gap in the running schedules. Even if this means waiting until the winter shut down.
This will then complete a series of four installations leaving only Broadway when the time is right.
This will be a completely new install- much easier than trying to keep two systems working together.
Each signal box will then have telephone concentrators which are similar in operation and appearance.
Finally, we erected a new set of racking up against the container in Winchcombe yard. We are going to stack 4 GWR motor point operating units on this. They are currently languishing on the ground out in the open by the MSC shed. One of these will eventually be installed at Broadway south near Childswickham bridge once it has been overhauled. Another job for the near future.