Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Stool Report - 3

Monday 23rd July

Four of us sweating away at Broadway today.
A full load on the pickup readied for the days work, including a sizeable load of aggregate , the no. 14 dummy signal (under the barrow), and a few more lengths of rodding.

Not the best of days to transfer the aggregate by barrow to the top end of platform 2, but here's Carl S making a start:

Just as Steve appeared with the mini-digger to start excavating for the compensator positions:

Making a start with the first of two holes. To ensure that the compensators are well anchored we need a significant concrete block:

Then to assemble a 3-sided shuttering box :

And eventually set it in the hole - this took quite a while to achieve - difficult to prevent loose ballast from falling back in - anyway the end result leaves us with approx half a cubic metre of concrete to mix (twice)

Note that we had to lop off the end of one sleeper to fit this in.

Sweat of the day award, however, must go to Neil C who has made a start in clearing the concrete cable troughs off platform 2. He has pulled the bogey flats out of the Broadway North siding into the station with the Class 37 to do this.

Here he is in action. Didn't get an end of day shot of the total load but he must have shifted about 60 troughs and lids all on his own - we were too busy to help!!
These will eventually be transported south of the station to be unloaded along the fence adjacent to the caravan site and up to Childswickham bridge

The final act of the day was to fit the ground signal onto its freshly cast base in the 6ft between the siding and headhunt. I got a ride in the 37's cab to get a shot of it on the way back from parking the troughs back in the siding. The signal will have its disc fitted later:

And a closer view with the shuttering removed  looking back towards the station. Another concrete block will be needed just south of the signal to fit an angle crank which will guide a signal wire to the right under the rails.

Let's hope we've moved enough aggregate to get this lot done.

The usual Tuesday gang will be in tomorrow and one of their tasks is to angle off the end of platform 2 ramp to allow us to continue with rodding stool installation.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Stool Report - 2

Tuesday 17th July

Four of us off to Broadway today to continue with the setting of the rodding stools.
But before we left Winchcombe we loaded up with a few more lengths of rodding from the old stockpile (having now used up all of the reconditioned lengths). Most of this looks in reasonably good condition. A rough count up shows that we will have more than enough to complete the job at Broadway :

We have also taken a load of aggregate on the pickup and barrowed this into a pile at the top end of platform 2 so that we can mix concrete closer to the "action point" - still had to wheel the electric mixer all the way up from the signal box though. John P carefully wheels it along the edge of the platform :

and starts to mix just as 4270 does its first smokey run round:

During the day Carl S and John P concreted in the final 15 stools up to halfway along the platform ramp:

This is as far as we can go before the corbelling gets in the way:

This next picture shows the amount of ramp that will have to be sliced off to get the next two stools and four signal wires through:

So, for a change, once the next 3 fabricated stools are in place  we proceed with concrete stools directly into the ballast, without further concrete, up to the first set of points. This view gives a better idea of where we are up to, just short of the barrow crossing:

We had just enough aggregate left to complete another task just north of the route indicator signal.
A concrete pad is required for a ground signal in the 6ft between the headshunt and siding. This will control shunting operation out of the siding.
So, with some shuttering that had been prepared earlier we wheeled 4 barrow loads of concrete up to complete the job. Carl S on tamping duty!

And once levelled off, a wooden template holding the 4 mounting studs is "wriggled" into the concrete. Here's Malcolm W surveying the finished job- direction Toddington and signal number 14:

Just to finish off today's blog a little further clarification regarding the modifications to Toddington box to accommodate going north to Broadway.
This, as far as I can recall, was all carried out when the railway wasn't running during the winter of 2008/2009. The lever frame was extended by 2 levers as part of this. I can remember painting/repainting  all the levers in the box during a very cold spell when I had the stove going to keep warm while the rest of the team were outside shivering! I am still reminded of this when getting the "plum" jobs!

So, hopefully Toddington Box is prepared for Broadway action.


Thursday, 12 July 2018

Stool Report

Thursday 12th July

Just two of us at Broadway today. I couldn't make Tuesday this week where the main team continued with the digging in and concreting of the rodding stools. Only 10 more now needed to reach the North end of platform 2.
Spent today removing the shuttering from the ones so far concreted and tidying up the ballast round them.

And fitting the remainder of our stock of zinc painted rodding. 
Will now have to bring up another load from our Winchcombe stockpile. 
Tried pulling the levers to see how it all moves so far - surprisingly free moving. 

Meanwhile back in the box thought it time to practice with a few more levers and check their locking sequence. So with the approach of the DMU here are the levers set for the signals (yet to be installed of course!) for the approach to Broadway from Toddington.

Lever nearest camera (red) is the home signal into platform 1, next is the outer home (red), third from camera (yellow) is the motor operated distant and finally the acceptance lever (red top, brown bottom) - sorry the colours aren't very clear.

 A separate concrete block has been installed to support a "swinger" pulley to guide the signal wire more effectively onto the wheel which feeds the wire under the track to the wooden post signal.

And that's all for this week. We now need to modify the end of the platform 2 North end ramp to allow the rodding runs to pass through - a bit of stone cutting  will be required 


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Troughs and Stools

Tuesday 3rd July

Some pictures first of the replacement cabling work going on at Winchcombe. A new cable has been connected along the sidings to the signal box, but not yet fully dug in. Looking towards Toddington a trench has been excavated by Steve and his JCB and the cable placed in:

And buried along the side of the barrow crossing. Looking towards the station the cable continues in the trench.

When the tenching becomes imupossible at the convergent tracks/rodding the cable continues in the concrete troughing that was collected from Broadway last week:

Steve in action with the JCB with Neil C supervising:

And a few more troughs to put in here to finish the job off.

A new cable drum holder has been fabricated. This will mount on the diesel rail car trailer to lay the next 1000m of cable in a trench from Laverton to Little Buckland. Trench still to be dug - should be able to keep Steve busy for a while yet!

Back at Broadway (5 of us today) work continues bedding in the rodding stools. We have positioned and lined up another 9 today, just past the position for the compensators - decided to leave further concreting until next week. Meanwhile John P knocks out and re-assembles the shuttering (in the shade of the footbridge) from the completed positions:

And Peter B puts in and bolts up a bit more rodding. 

While the rodding team were in action, Malcolm makes a start with positioning and fitting some roller sets to the southern end of platform 1 wall (makes a change from rodding!). These comprise a four roller set (lower) and a two roller set (upper). 

Four wires are required at the bracket signal - two arms and two call-on arms. Then one for the outer home signal and one for the advanced starter. All these signals still to be installed. 

Main concern at the moment is that we will run out of the special rodding t-bolts. A new supply being investigated. 4 are required per rod.