Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Braised Off

Tuesday 29th August

Three of us off to Broadway again while three more went to the approaches to Gotherington to dig/pull out some redundant lineside cable.

So, what were we up to. During the week Malcolm has sawn one of the large tunnel blanking planks in two to facilitate the cutting of individual notches for the point rodding. This will significantly reduce the possibility of wildlife ingress. To ascertain the correct height for this a length of point rodding has been attached to one of the angle cranks and then levelled on blocks to simulate (hopefully) how it will sit. A view from inside:

And from the outside

Quite a good sliding fit. 

A few thoughts about the following stages under here in the tunnel. There are currently some steel channels cast into the concrete floor onto which will be bolted (parallel to the track) some further C-channels . On top of these will be bolted two substantial steel plates which will then hold all the angle cranks and pulleys for the rodding and signal wires. The plates will protrude approx 12" out from the platform wall - but this will only be done once we have ballast and track in to get the best positioning of the rodding stools through the platform. The horizontal length of rodding you see in the picture is approx 12" above the concrete floor. We are hoping that with all the steelwork installed we shall have enough vertical space to use our magnetic drill for all the holes required! Otherwise a lot of sweat with hand held kit!

Meanwhile work continues with the mechanical locking. We now have one of the proof machine couplings which will connect the vertical tappet blades to the electric locks

A bit of fettling is required to get a nice cosy fit on the blade with the dowel pin fitted. John P in action with drill and angle grinder

In between our Tuesday visits to Broadway, Malcolm W , Ian and George have been making steady progress with the locking. There are about 100 brass locks to fit altogether and several new slots to cut in the tappet blades. The various combinations of locks are connected together with horizontal locking bars. A lot of mounting and dismounting to mark hole positions and then drilling. Here's a close up:

Having a bench drill at our disposal here is a great asset

Keeping tabs on what locks are required where and what has been completed is kept religiously up to date on Malcolm's master plan. Otherwise a great muddle would ensue.

So far 36 brass locks have been fitted. A lot of filing required to make sure that everything moves easily but without slack. We did trial pull combinations  on levers 8, 20 and 21 and the locking worked perfectly with little perceived effort. Going to be significantly harder with a few hundred yards of point rodding and points attached! It's all in the technique I'm told!

And finally, another electric Lock being tested for position. A bit more drilling required to mount this  once it has  been lined  up with its coupling.



  1. Very interesting to see the locking bars and the tappits. As you say, hope there is enough room for the mag drill in the tunnel! Soon have ballast in the platform roads. BTW, how are you doing with the bracket signal for Broadway approach from the south? Regards, Paul.

    1. Still a bit of sorting out to do - will report further when we get stuck into pre-assembly.

      PS Spelling amendment - Braised off in the blog title should read Brassed off (proof reading not up to standard)

    2. I thought that 'Braised off' referred to the heat of late. Can be quite warm working in the locking room! Regards, Paul.

  2. Never mind Curly, you got the message across though. Great progress being made even though only a few of you in!
    Paul & Marion

  3. Now the track layout has been curtailed wouldn't it be easier to replace the Platform 2 Starting signal with an ordinary straight-post job and move the bracket to the south end of the bridge? That way you've got a ready-made bracket for the job!

    1. Good suggestion but I think the view is that we keep as is should we ever revert to Plan A. We have all the necessary kit for another bracket which we can instal without too much drama.
      Out of interest we have a spare bracket assembled at Winchcombe which is destined to replace the aged bracket at Cheltenham - planned to happen during the next closed season. So we are getting into some serious "Heavy Metal"!