Saturday 17 February 2024

Cheltenham Signal Renewal

 Tuesday 30th Jan

The bracket signal at Cheltenhan RC has succumbed to the ravages of the weather,  so the time to replace it has now arrived.  We have been preparing a complete replacement for it over many months in Winchcombe yard ( well documented in previous blogs).

The CRC signal has had all its fittings removed a fortnight ago and was lifted off its concrete block last week ( unfortunately no pics). Now been offloaded in Winchcombe yard with only its dolls and upper ladders attached 

There is a huge number of fittings on one of these bracket signals - about 150 individual pieces (including split pins!) - here's a selection

Cleaning these up for possible future use will keep us busy for a while!

Thursday 8th Feb 

The replacement bracket signal was taken from Winchcombe yard and offloaded onto its concrete base at Cheltenham.

Scaffolding now to be erected and all fittings to be attached. 

The flanged base of this post is quite a bit larger than the old one and overhangs the concrete block so some shuttering was required to infil the void underneath.

Neil C levelling off:


Friday 8 December 2023

Broadway, the Concentrator pics

 Just a couple of internal Pictures which we meant to take when we were last there, I popped back  and here they are

A general view of the Blockshelf, Track Circuit Diagram and the finished Concentrator complete with 700 series phone.


 Thats about it for now, as I said earlier- Its the end of a 10 year project, now about those Paxes?

Mike S


Sunday 5 November 2023

Concentrating on Broadway

 Jus before the August Bank Holiday we got  involved in the new Signal Box at Broadway.

 Most of the Signal Post phones are mounted on the side of the Trackside Cabinets  so it was just a nut and bolt job,, but these things are rarely simple and two of the fixings were fine but the third had to go through the front internal timber so the bolts we had got specially wernt quite long enough!


The Concntrator unit itself had been in stock for some time  and gradually we ironed out the dusty gremlins  and  interconnected it down into the Locking Room and thence to the external Cable Heads 

There is one location a bit different from the others , its a 706CB  ( standard apart from having no dial) and it sits in rather a handsome  heritage correct pull down  cabinet 

So that just about completes the upgrade programme that we started back in 2013.

 In fact heres a pic of my original 3000 type prototype which was taken in Sept that year.  


The present versions have all been vastly improved and upgraded to almost entirely solid state thanks to  Keverns electronic skills and a bit of my dodgy woodwork!

So thats that project completed so now to pay more attention to the Strowger paxes, hoping to keep them working for a few years yet!

 Oh nearly forgot, the Team pics, here's (from left to right) Paul, Mike and Kevern) Dont forget  young Peter who took the picture! 



Wednesday 12 July 2023

The Steps

 Tuesday 11th July

I missed the installation of the steps for the token exchange platform at Gotherington due to hospital visits last Wednesday, but a picture has been e-mailed to me. 

So here it is with Malcolm W posing for the collection of an imaginary token!

They managed to get the black gloss on and dry on the steps in time for the diesel gala!

A good substantial installation. It is now about a foot closer to the track than the old one which should make exchange much easier.


Wednesday 28 June 2023


 Tuesday 27th June

A very brief blog today to report that the new steps required for the token exchange platform at Gotherington have now been re-purposed from an old set found languishing at Toddington. Some cutting up and welding by our colleagues in C & W have produced these:

From this:

Just primer and black topcoat to go and we should be ready to fit next Tuesday. Only drilling and bolting required. 


Tuesday 20 June 2023

Token Exchange Platform

 Monday 19th June

Our mission today was to install the new token exchange platform at Gotherington signal box. This is a steel fabricated structure to replace an old wooden unit. The main reason for this is that the old platform was too far away from the track ,  meaning that token exchange was difficult.

So....5 of us off we set off from Winchcombe with the platform already loaded on the railcar trailer.

This had been lifted onto the trailer by the telehandler and placed in such a way that it can be tipped off safely by hand at site.

The sequence of events was as follows:

Quite a heavy lump!

Then the levelling up began with a significant re- distribution of ballast and with the rear rh rear leg set solidly on a concrete filled brease block. So the measurements for the shape of this platform fitted the profile of the slope here pretty well.

The boards for the platform had been pre-cut and creosoted - now they needed drilling to place and bolting. 

A good view from this vantage point

And the whole team  (Peter B, John B, Neil C and Malcolm W) with me behind the camera

You may have noticed that access to the platform will need steps. These will be made back at base and will be in place in time for the diesel gala when Gotherington signal box will be in operation.


Wednesday 14 June 2023

A Catch Up

 Tuesday 13th June

I'm afraid I haven't done much blogging recently for one reason or another, so here's a brief summary of recent activity.

Today we have been restoring part of a bracket signal which has been stored on top of a container in Winchcombe yard. This needed the telehandler to get it down.

So a great deal of angle grinding to remove rust and a push to get green primer on before the end of play (four of us managed it)

The container is on the left in the middle photo above- so now that it is clear of stuff this is getting a bit of attention to ensure that it remains watertight.  Been here since the dawn of our railway storing many bits of signal.

A bit of repair work has been carried out at Broadway where there has been  a problem with some of the point rodding bolts rubbing on the underside of a rail. This potentially causing a track circuit fault. So the rodding joint has been moved to between the tracks . Suspect that this has happened as the track has settled slightly. The two John's in action here.

A pre-steam gala job :  Because the signal box was going to be open to visitors it needed a bit of a spruce up. Not much has happened there for a while and most of the lever handles were getting a bit rusty - so a bit of polishing was needed . Let's hope that it will see some action next season!

Also , during our clean up campaign in Winchcombe yard we have uncovered some extra length signal box levers. These are the type used in Gotherington signal box.  So we are cleaning these up and will fit them in the spare positions there.

Speaking of Gotherington  we hope to be installing the new token exchange platform there next Monday while we have access with the diesel railcar - so watch this space!

And finally the replacement of some faded spectacle plates on the ground signals at Winchcombe