Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Another lovely Day, inc the Wildlife of Winchcombe


The fog steadily cleared to some lovely Tuesday sunshine. We started with a tidy up / clear out under the Signal Box at Winchcombe.

What did we re-discover?
Malcolm new this would come in handy, it will be the overhead board which will show the track circuit and signal positions  Broadway Signal Box. Carefully stored away.

Can see Carl S and Richard E,but where's Malcolm?

Ah there he is !

Meanwhile Keith and John Proth were  doing a bit of Undergrowth clearing and what did Keith  find?

As Richard E said " Its a good job we'ed got our toadtectors on"
 Not sure quite what happened after that as I left to go to Toddington with Roy to investigate the crackles on Extn 40 in the signal box and to replace the handset on the Barrow crossing phone as the curly cord was poorly. 
We eventually changed the phone and rewired the extension completely. 
Lets see how it goes now!
Also Roy  measured up for a small winter heater to go inside the pax unit.

When we got back to Winchcombe, Neil came down the yard with a drum of 20pr cable which he wants run through the ducting to feed the new C&W Building.  That'll be next week then.
Eventually we will all be be back on the  phone. Have also made a note to look at the Building Services extensions as well.

As a fitting end to the day I was let in to C&W to pick up the newly varnished boxes that they have tidied up for us. Very nice too, very many thanks. ( Will try for a pic later)
Now about that offer to make a steel frame to go under the pax?

Mike S

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Tuesday Sept 17th
MW away in the sunshine and has left us a long list of jobs to do. Problem is that whilst He may be away on a beach, We are in the pouring rain!

So basically we try to pick the dry jobs. Andy P and his Dad John start to reassemble the ground signal castings that have been rebuilt and are now repainted in shiny Gloss Black. I decided to see if I could get a bit further with the cable problem that lurks on the inter Box circuit between Cheltenham Raccecourse and Winchcombe signal boxes. I have long thought that it was in the section betwen Gotherington and Winchcombe but that was what we wanted to prove, ready for Neil to take further, opening up lineside cabinets etc.
As I said, it was pouring with rain and we ( John Collier and I) were looking for an indoor job. By about 2.00 we were wet through having marched up and down Gotherington Platform, its a wet walk to the Signal Box. But we did it and I can now say its a 30v battery contact on the B leg and its probably nearer to Winch than Goth, also slightly worrying the contact is not coming from a phone line, possibly something more critical so we need to keep an eye on it. Wrote up our work  report to update the fault report sheet, watch this space.

Need to try to do some work on the rear of our beloved Strowger Exchanges. Unfortunately they were placed against a wall and we need access to the rear. Especially at Toddington where the fault is the reason why some extensions will receive calls but can't get  dial tone. Thinking of some sort of platform frame  on big castors that will enable them to be rolled out and then put back when  the work is done.
 Question:  has anyone got any knocking around ? The exchange units weigh 3cwt each so it will be substantial, is this a new answer to mobile phones!!

Mike S

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Blog Begins

Our Railway consists of many happy gangs not the least, but so far blog -free, is us at S&T.

This is my first attempt at Blog writing ( sounds a bit like Bog Snorkeling!) and any view or inference is mine not necessarily that of the Dept. Just informative entertainment.

A lot of our work revolves around the mechanical signalling side , the Telegraph part heavily involves the redoubtable Neil Carr-he knows where all the cables are. We also have a smaller group, mostly me at present who, whilst I rejoice in the fine arts of restoring rusty metalwork,  prefer to use my skills to maintain the telephone side. More of which as we go on.

We are led by Mr Malcolm Walker. He is often  found behind a cloud of pipe smoke unless he happens to be leading us forward around the dusty wastes of Winchcombe yard.
Here we see a meeting in progress between MW and the Protheroe Gang, assessing which one they need for a certain job. From what I overheard the holes were different sizes. ( Whitworth of course)

The rest of us lot help out in all sorts of ways and make tea.

Richard Collier and Carl Smart. Carl is smiling as I he thinks he will be getting a new Tabard soon!

Projects recently completed include the Down Gantry signal in Winchcombe yard which was assembled from scratch and the pre assembly  of the lever frame for Broadway Signal Box. 
Apparently , the easiest way to find out if we had enough bits was to put it together. Unfortunately we will have to totally dismantle it to install it, but that's the railway philosophy , nothing beats us!

We are also preparing to replace all the Signal Box Concentrators so that they will work in exactly the same way and look in keeping with our heritage railway. In this respect I have taken advice and continue to be amazed at the help I have had from from a number of other railways including Dean Forest, Mid Hants and Bluebell to name but a few. Big thanks also to our own Carriage and Wagon who  are varnishing mahogany cases for us whilst we gather  together all the bits and pieces to build five new ones, all different. 

 As I said, its all my own personal view. Hope you enjoyed reading it, more as and when.
Mike S