Thursday, 19 January 2017

Action on Two Fronts

Tuesday 17th Jan

Working on two fronts today. John P, Carl S and Keith under the guidance of Neil C continued with re-cabling at Winchcombe. The objective here is to instal an armoured mains cable from the station up to where the mains operated point motor will be installed for the re-positioned pointwork. The point motor that we took out was operated from the lower voltage line side battery pack. Managed to get a shot of the gang before the rest of us went off to Broadway to collect the balance of concrete trunking required to set the cable in (a total of approx 70 lengths required)

We needed 40 troughs from Broadway - here we are moving them for the 4th time!

A good load for the pickup

We took the opportunity to carry on with a bit more of the mechanical locking jigsaw under the Signal Box. Neil C has constructed a pair of substantial "benches" that we can stand on to make access to the upper part of the frame easier: 

We have now identified all the positions for the brass locks, subject to bit of checking.  The combinations of what locks what has  been established by Malcolm W and is quite a complicated system to arrange the locking bars connecting the locks without running out of channels. Will give a better close-up shot of the set-up once the locking bars are fitted.

Paul, Len and me behind the camera trying to get our heads round "normal and reverse" locking. Top edge taper on the lock for locking the lever in its normal position and bottom edge taper on the lock for locking the lever in its reverse position. Hope I've got that right! There's gong to be a lot of cutting and filing of slots for the locks in the vertical tappet blades - to be continued.........

We have now brought the two brackets that will support the block shelf from the roof of the Box. The brackets we think have come from Norton Fitzwarren and have now had some extensions welded on and have been painted black:

And the finishing touch to the lights in the signal box - looking good with their shades fitted :


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Cables Galore

Tuesday 10th Jan

Before work can start on the foundations for the new Visitor Centre at Winchcombe now that the wooden structure has been dismantled, S&T have to remove and re-route various cables which have been lying in troughing round both sides of the site. So where do we start? Good job we've got the  electrician with us who knows what's what!

We started just station side of the signal box and worked our way up behind platform 1 by removing all the concrete troughing covers and then attacked the platform and grassy sward:



Some cables have been removed completely and will be re-configured . It's amazing just how much mud and muck gets into this troughing - in places the cables are completely buried . We had to remove all the covers up to the station building to lift the cables because they could not be pulled through. The feeds to two of the lamp posts on the platform have been removed prior to re-positioning:


35 troughs and covers were dug out and will now be used for the re-cabling of the re-positioned pointwork motors and signalling up towards Greet Tunnel (about 70 more will be required so we shall bring some back from the ones currently stored on platform 2 at Broadway). Here's the pile taking shape with Keith L keeping fit in Winchcombe yard

One length of 30 pair cable was removed , approx 50 yards long, and dragged down the yard for cutting up by the skip. It took 3 of us to pull it. Malcolm led the procession with 2 more of us behind the camera.  It was decided to scrap this because there was significant damage to the armoured  cover.


And finally back in the "Workshop" an update on the progress of the wooden signal arm for Broadway, only a bit of white gloss to go now:

The frosted glass panel in the background is part  of the Route Indicator Signal destined for Broadway. It sits in front of the lamp case to diffuse the light. 


PS While all this was going on Malcolm W and Richard C went off to Cheltenham RC to fit a new signal arm and undercoat the ladder of Starter Signal 22  -  will need another visit to complete. No picture I'm afraid.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Preparations at Winchcombe

Tuesday 3rd Jan

Urgent preparations today to remove all the point operating equipment at the north end of Winchcombe station ready for PWay to attack sleeper renewal up to Greet Tunnel and the re-siting of the pointwork starting tomorrow (Wednesday).

Seven of us in attendance today ready to wield the spanners to attack the usually well seized bolts. However, we were extremely lucky with this. Most of the bolts holding the equipment  to the sleepers are fitted from underneath with the nuts on top, so if the bolt turns there is no option but to clear away  a whole load of ballast from underneath the sleeper to fit a spanner. This luckily happened only once!

Here's some of the action

These points are operated by an electric unit which is a bit of a beast to handle - it took four of us to manhandle it with the aid of planks onto the rail mounted  trolley

The connections to the electrical detection unit and the point motor were "chopped" and the cables removed

We had quite a load of parts to take back to base for cleaning and re-conditioning

And finally here's a shot of the brand new signal arm in preparation which will adorn the wooden signal post at Broadway. This is best quality teak!