Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A Change of Direction

Tuesday 5th June

We have decided to pause our efforts going South with the rodding - we can't do anything meaningful with with the setting of the cranks on the blocks that we installed last week until the connections from the ground frame are temporarily disconnected. So the grand plan is to do this next Monday (a non-running day) . We will then re-connect the ground frame (having checked that everything works from the box) leaving everything ready for connection to the signal box at a later date.

In answer to one of the questions to the blog last week regarding the positioning of the rollers that the rodding moves on. After several pulls on the levers it appears that rollers (having random positions in their slots initially) all adopt the same position along the run - so a pure rolling action of the roller stub axles in their slots is achieved (ie much reduced friction).
However, the Eagle eyed  observer will note that some rollers do not adopt this regimented position - this is because some of the lengths of rodding are not perfectly flat which means that some rollers do not make contact and do not move!
Similarly, some of the rodding lengths are not perfectly straight laterally which may result in contract with the sides of the rollers - so a certain amount of friction is unavoidable.

Anyway, enough of this roller talk and back to today's activity.
We are now marching northwards with the installation of stools. These have now morphed into the four wheel variety :

Quite a lot of time spent bolting the rollers onto the bases. Each set has 10 bolts. The bolts we happen to be using are a bit longer than they need to be so the winding up of nyloc nuts is a bit labour intensive- but very secure.

Here's Peter B our American volunteer from Hawaii (the current volcanic activity is not on his island) - over here for the summer, having a good workout with the spanners :

Our logistics for concreting today left a bit to be desired. We manhandled many barrow loads of aggregate from the back of the pickup by the station to a pile at the end of platform 2. A barrow crossing needs  a Barrowcrossing:

Concrete then mixed with a very temperamental petrol mixer
which somewhat hampered our progress today:

Then barrowed up the platform and shovelled into a bucket to be handed down to Jim P below

We managed to complete six stools today with a further three ready for concrete - so a modest start.

We were treated to KEII twice today with  well populated carriages:



  1. Very interesting, Curly, about the rollers! It sounds as though they will self correct over time, and they will set somewhere near the "low friction" position, even with seasonal temperature changes. Out of interest, which signal will be interlocked with the southern points using the mechanical detector unit?

    1. The wooden post platform 1 starter

    2. Ah, I thought so. I was a bit confused as you operated the signal the other week with a pulley just opposite the signal. I assume that you will have a long loop of wire up to the points, through the detector and then back to the signal - requiring perhaps 5 pulleys (in addition to the support pulleys)?

    3. Why would that signal need a detector? It reads through the points in the trailing direction and you don't normally detect points for trailing moves like that.

    4. Curly said there would be a mechanical detector at the points in answer to a previous question of mine. I can see that you'd want the points locked for trains coming into Platform 1 though.

    5. Your question was "which signal will be interlocked with the southern points using the mechanical detector unit?" Curly said it would be the wooden post Platform 1 Starter, which I say is wrong because that's a trailing movement. It will be the Up Home signal (that hasn't been erected yet) that reads into Platform 1 that will have the detector for the facing move over the points. The only 'detection' (for want of a better word) that there will be between the Platform 1 Down Starting Signal and the points will be the mechanical locking between the relevant levers in the frame.

  2. All progress is good progress, even if the mixer is temperamental! When the northern points are reached by the rodding (and the signal wires are to their relevant signals), will the box be used to control the points and signals, even if it is before the proposed box opening date? (i.e. prior to commissioning of the single line block apparatus).
    Regards, Paul.

  3. No I Don't think so. Will have to wait until everything is operational and signalman trained, etc.