Wednesday, 18 October 2017

More at Winchcombe

Tuesday17th Oct

Eight of us on site at Winchcombe today. One team carrying on with sorting out the faulty cable across the tracks from the signal box and the other preparing some more parts for the signalling at Broadway.
A lot more ballast digging to prepare a trench for the replacement cable (a 20 pair armoured).

The cable will pass under the siding track through the orange plastic tube. This piece of cable will be approx 25 metres long to join the existing lineside box and the new (smaller) one pictured last week.
It has now been buried in position and will be connected up as soon as poss on a non-running day so that we don’t cause any disruption to operations.
We are now interested in finding out exactly what and where the fault is with the old cable. So, another ingress has been cut into it (at the position of the piece of covering grey tubing pictured below):

And then having bared the suspect wires carry out the magic pulse test -

This indicated that there is a fault approx 2 metres away in the Toddington direction. At this position the cable passes underneath water and electricity supply cables so we can’t pursue any further investigation until we have cut and dragged it out. You can just see the tubes carrying these services coming out between the sleepers:

A bit more tidying up for the Cheltenham cable with some additional trunking 

And a view of the spaghetti of existing  connections inside the cabinet. 

Part two consisted of organising some more fittings for Broadway.  Once we have fitted the steel plates for mounting the angle cranks for the point rodding and the pulley wheels for the signal wires we can start to line out their positions. To assist with this we have prepared two of the fabricated steel  rodding stools and bolted on a four wheel set of rollers: 

 The screwed rod bolted at right angles to the feet will serve to anchor them in a concrete “boot”. The height at which they will be set is determined by finished sleeper surface. The face onto which the roller sets are bolted will be level with the sleeper and spaced in the gap between the sleeper end and the platform wall. A length of point rodding laid on these two sets of rollers will then give us a good datum for positioning of the fittings. 

Here are a few of the bits in the process of being cleaned up:

and some of the speed restriction signs destined for Broadway

and some of the lineside cabinets now undercoated - silver and black top coats to follow:



  1. A nice report from a department that gets very little recognition for the work done! This is a very interesting blog Curly! keep up the good work and look forward to more reports and pictures. It must be getting very difficult to work at Broadway with all the track work going in and other work happening there! Well done though for another good report.
    Paul & Marion

  2. Those services don't look very deep.
    Has the tamper been in use along there?
    I cannot see if there is any marking on the sleeper warning of services below.

  3. Don’t think this siding has seen a tamper in many a year (probably never) so probably not the reason for damage. More likely to have happened when the services were trenched in over the top. Hopefully we can establish this when we can extract the old cable. This old cable has some pretty substantial steel wire armour which is difficult to damage easily, or could be water ingress if the insulation is damaged - we wait expectantly - will let you know our findings.

  4. Whilst the new piece of cable was lying in the four foot we took the opportunity to measure it electrically and then physically. (The Tester is an ex BT301c) so its designed for the characteristics of telephone cable, not armoured grease filled such as this one. Interestingly the length came out about right so we can have more confidence in the test results next time! Looking forward to having a look at that old cable when its recovered from under those services.