Friday, 28 September 2018

Bolting up and Wire Threading

Tuesday 25th Sept

A record turnout today with 9 of us at Broadway.
The t-bolts that we have been waiting for for ever have now been delivered so we can now do a proper bolting up job on the point rodding. Temporary bolts need removing and replaced with the proper ones - so a great deal of kneeling on the sleepers along platform 2 with the spanners. We need to fit approx 350 of the 500 delivered.

Jim P makes a start working North from the signal box

The four signal wires along platform 2 have all now been threaded through the roller blocks and connected to their respective signals. Here is a close up of the configuration of wires approaching signal 39 (platform 2 starter ) :

The bottom 2 wires feed round the top two pulleys to starter signal for platform 1 and the adjacent ground signal (see next picture), the middle wire goes through a swinging pulley to guide it down to the lower pulley across to platform 1 starter signal and the top wire carries on up north through single pulleys to ground signal no. 14 :

The roller blocks have now been secured at each end of the tubes at the barrow crossing. The wires are guided down under the rollers and now pass neatly through.

Threading the wires continued along platform one side. Here's the first one in up to the direction indicator signal. All four wires will go up to this signal.

I had to leave early again today so a full report on the day's work will have to wait for next week but I guess that all the northbound wires will now have been fitted - could even be pulling a lever next week if Malcolm has finished all the splicing!!

I understand that the signal posts for the advanced starter and outer home signals have been dropped off in their respective positions at the south end of Broadway. Steve and JCB job to be done here.


P S  A parting shot of  the usual culprits in our temporary mess room. Apologies to George and Peter out of shot on the left!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Threading Signal Wires

Tuesday 18th Sept.

Seven of us at Broadway today to continue with the installation of signal wire stakes and to make a start with the threading of the wires.
A couple of barrow loads of tools loaded ready for action.

The roller blocks have now been fitted to the stakes all the way north on platform 2 side so wires can now be fitted. Here is a close up of one of the four roller sets on its stake (now concreted in). These rollers are brand new:

Now comes the tricky bit. These coils of signal wire are notoriously difficult to un-reel and can end up in a serious tangle if care is not taken. 
Carl approaches cautiously with the first coil! 

And then it is a three man job to uncoil. One to feed through the rollers, one to guide the wire off the coil and one to slowly rotate the coil. So John P will gradually work his way back from the signal at the North end of platform 2 threading back to the signal box while Carl S and Peter W man the unwinding:

Malcolm W then connects the end of the wire to the sling that will go round the pulley to take another piece of wire across the tracks to the platform 1 starter signal. This requires some splicing of the wires after passing  round a bushing to ensure a joint that won't pull undone (needs strong fingers and two pairs of pliers - not shown! ) :

Across the tracks a start is made with fitting the stakes which will take four wires up to the direction indicator and ground signals. Again we are making a 3  man job of this - the piece of wood on top of the stake to protect the nice shiny zinc coating as it is hammered in:

Neil C is finishing off the securing of the fpl (at the siding) with the mag drill  Four new holes for M20 bolts required in the mounting plate. Contrary to what I said last week, it does not now appear necessary to slice a piece of the base of the fpl - so full steam ahead:


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Levelling Off

Tuesday 11th Sept.

Malcolm (the boss) is away on hols this week so we have been left a list of things to do.
So, a good turnout of 7 of us at Broadway to tick some boxes.
Four stalwarts set out to dig out and barrow some of the loose soil and small gravelly ballast from beyond the signal at the top end of platform 1.
The purpose of this is to infill round the concrete blocks on which the cranks are mounted. As it rains this will get washed down through the larger ballast and consolidate the packing round these blocks so ensuring that they can't move.
Steve and George having to carry a barrow full across the tracks:

And then deposit it round the blocks:

Looks a lot neater now that everything is levelled off:

As mentioned last week the stretcher bar which the fpl controls at the North siding points still has to be fitted. But before this can be done a bit of rectification needs to be carried out to straighten the end of the point blade - it doesn't seat correctly against the adjacent rail. So, bring on the heavy mob!
Neil C has brought this natty set of hydraulic jacking equipment to try and bend the blade a bit. There is a block of wood between the blade and rail (on the lhs - which you can't see) to act as a cantilever. Then pump up to 10 tons and leave for a few minutes. This was repeated 3 times.
Gap now a lot better:

Now the stretcher can be fitted. The following picture shows the bolting arrangement of the insulated joint on the platform 1 side. From the top of the picture coming down from the blade is a thick steel spacer followed by a plastic insulating shim butting up to the stretcher. On the other side of the stretcher is a second plastic insulating shim with a thin steel plate  butting up to the nuts.
The bolts are sleeved with a plastic tube to insulate them from the metalwork:

The stretcher bar is attached to the opposite blade using metal shims to maintain the correct spacing:

Unfortunately, with the fpl lined up with the locking slots in the stretcher the base of the fpl fouls by a small amount  on the joint in the baseplate. In a previous life these components probably didn't live together. The solution will probably be  to slice a little off the chamfered base of the fpl. We don't want to weld and re-slot the stretcher.

The stakes for the signal wire pulleys have now been set and concreted in alongside the rodding runs on the siding side:

And the supporting roller assembly for the rodding in the signal box tunnel has been wrestled into place.
With the lengths of rodding now in a settled position there is a bit of rubbing on the slots cut in the wooden "rabbit proof fence" - so a bit of easement required!

 John P hoping to drill and bolt down to the concrete floor this pm
(I had to depart early so got no pictures of this - will report outstanding observations next week!)


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

A Mainly Pulley Day

Tuesday 4th Sept.

Seven of us in attendance at Broadway today with the focus on pulleys and concrete.
Firstly the usual moving of several barrow loads of aggregate from the pickup to the pile at top end of platform 2 ready for mixing.

We need a fairly substantial block of concrete at the base of signal no. 39 (northern starter into platform 2) for signal wire pulleys. Peter with one of several barrow loads of concrete:

A three wheel pulley set is required here. One wire will operate this signal, one will operate the shunt (ground) signal attached to the post of no. 39, and one will direct a wire across the tracks to operate no.38 (starter signal into platform 1). The positioning of this is fairly precise to ensure that the wire will clear the staggered sleepers on its way across. We have mounted the pulley set on a wooden template with 3 lengths of screwed rod pushed down into the concrete - a length of rope attached to the opposite pulley gives us the alignment - all rather close but clear

The pulley opposite at the base of signal 38 is awaiting its concrete "boot"

The pulley directing the wire up to the shunt signal is one which was set some time ago when the post was installed - some rapidly encroaching undergrowth appearing:

And just a reminder of where this shunt signal is positioned :

John P and Carl S continue with the drilling and fixing of the 4-wheeled pulley blocks along the wall of platform 1. The installation of these pulleys has been completed along platform 2
Today should see them all finished along platform 1.

Next stage is making a start to position the stakes to hold the pulley blocks outside the platform limits. These will be knocked into the ballast and supported with a pool of concrete. Malcolm makes a start:

The two pulleys guiding the wires through the tube at the barrow crossing have been set :

Back up north I fitted the two straps to ensure that the spacing between the sleepers that carry the fpl and its operating crank cannot change and affect its operation:

The  fpl and its operating "slotted" stretcher have been positioned here - some drilling required to mount the fpl on the steel plate. The stretcher also has to be insulated from the Cotswold side rail for track circuiting purposes - will expand on this when we have the parts sorted out