Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Stools Progress in Concrete

Tuesday 15th May
Seven of us at Broadway today for a bit of seriously hard work .
Fortunately Malcolm and Steve had been at Broadway yesterday with a mini digger to excavate some holes in the ballast for the concrete stools and blocks but a bit of fettling was required to get levels and positions right. Carl S taking a well earned breather:

We now have 15 concrete stools to bed in up to the point where the compensators will be situated. The first five of these are three roller sets up to the point where a second fpl may be needed in the future, and then 10 two roller sets up to the expansion compensators. Here's a 3 roller set bedded in. We shall leave filling in the ballast  in case we need some final adjustment by the time we reach the compensators.

Some way still to go!

Len W follows on with the bolting up of the rods. Doing this as we go along checks that the alignment looks good. This shot shows us approaching today's goal of us reaching the compensators. Team 'B' of Malcolm W, John P and Keith L are in the hole at the top of the picture:

The two compensators are to be mounted on two steel plates on four large concrete blocks. Putting these on the pick up back at Winchcombe with the Telehandler was a breeze, but getting them into the hole back here was a little more tricky - at least a 3-man lift, but the rails came in useful for a breather!

After much mauling and tweaking the blocks have steel plates bolted on and the first compensator fitted. We are now in almost the correct position.

But this is where we left things at the end of the day. A bit more
adjustment to line up with the rodding and then holes can be filled in:

And a view back towards the bridge of the stool planting:

In my absence last week (to make a change from point rodding duties) the team had cast two concrete blocks on which pulley wheels for signal wires are mounted. These will direct wires under the tracks. This one at the base of wooden post - a single wheel :

And one opposite at the base of the bracket signal for a double wheel.

So next week all being well we should complete stool installation up to the point where connections will eventually made to the points and fpl.



  1. Curly, I'm a bit confused about the location of the thermal compensators. I thought they had to be placed at the mid point of a run of rodding? They seem to be quite near to the points. And does the cross track link, converting from push to pull, also act as a temperature compensator? This mechanical stuff is all new to me as a retired electronics engineer!

    1. Yes, these links are self compensating

  2. Thank you Curly and the team, how long do you think before the signal box is in use? It seems to be taking a long time but we do understand these things do take a little longer to complete and you are all volunteers on our line. keep up the progress reports as Peter says above for those of us who deal in electronics and different types of engineering this is all new to us and your reports explain things so well. Well done the S&T team!
    Paul & Marion.

    1. The grand opening of the box is aimed for the beginning of the 2019 season. There is still a bucket load of stuff to do, not least all the electrical wiring and the population of the Block shelf with all its instruments which hasn’t been started yet. There will no doubt be a lot of testing and tweaking to make sure everything operates correctly - and then it all has to be signed off officially before we can go into action for real!

  3. Very interesting all this point rodding and signal wire running. I have seen a lot of it done on the SVR but, in many instances, the infrastructure was already there and only modifications were to be seen THEN (1970s). I know that Hampton Loade and Bridgnorth had to be signalled from scratch but I was working at Highley then and thus, didn't get to see much of it going in. Therefore, it is great to have these blogs to 'see how it was done in the day', so to speak.
    Regards, Paul.

  4. Just to say that you definitely have a bird's nest in the SB chimney - I saw a Jackdaw go down in there.
    Time to light the fire a few times :-)