Friday, 17 September 2021

Point Gauging

Tuesday 14th Sept

Rather a wet day to be continuing with the gauging of points that we started at Toddington last week so we decided to wait until after lunch before venturing onto the line. So we busied ourselves with a bit of tidying up in the Winchcombe yard during the morning - two large barrow loads of metal into the skip. 

After lunch the weather eased to a fine drizzle so three of us set off along Winchcombe platform 1 to arrive at the pointwork south of the road bridge (adjacent to the rows of large concrete blocks retaining the slipping embankment).

Once we had a good interval between trains we set to work - keeping in contact with the signalman, Malcolm W does the gauging of the "off" and "normal" blades

While John P does the hand cranking of the point motor

The "rocking" contacts (moved by the detection bars)  - I hope you can see in the centre of the next pictures  - must not make if the gap between the blade  and rail is greater than 3mm (the size of the gauge we are using) . When contact is made this indicates in the signal box and the point lever is fully released.

No contact made - points fail

Contact made to left, detection and  points OK

We conclude that these points are in good order and get the signalman to operate from the box before we depart. 

We also check that all bolting is fully tightened, all split pins in position and secured, cables secure and not damaged, blades undamaged and seating to rail, oiling and greasing ok, etc- all recorded

We had reports of a broken bonding wire at the entrance to Greet Tunnel, so a bit more of a walk to sort it. It turned out to be a short way into the tunnel but we managed in the gloom. I think these wires suffer from corrosion from the sulphurous atmosphere where the zinc plating has been damaged by tamping.


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