Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Two Down Two to Go

Tues 23rd Oct.

A good turnout today of 9 and three separate tasks to continue with.
Firstly, Peter W and Paul D headed off south to make a start with the "proper" laying of the cable troughs that had been dropped off the works train last week. A lot of levelling and aligning to get a smart looking run. The lids have been left off ready for cable(s) to be dropped in:

After a full day's grafting the troughing was laid up to the start of the fencing round the goods shed. Only another 200 yards to go to Childswickham Bridge!

George B, Carl S and Keith L set about configuring some shuttering to provide a concrete base and supporting steel structure for a steel plate to span over the point rodding and signal wire tube  at the barrow crossing (platform 2 side north) .
The blue tube has been shortened to match the width of the crossing - the four runs of rodding removed with excavation for a concrete base:

Three pieces of c-channel have been bolted to a piece of inverted rodding. Once concrete has been poured and set the rodding will be unbolted leaving bolting holes for the steel plate which will sit flush with the crossing pads :

In the next picture you can see another piece of rodding (supported on bricks on the lh side of the shuttering) - once this is set in the concrete we shall tap some holes in it to match securing holes in the other edge of the steel plate (with c/sunk heads of course)

And the finished structure - steel plate to follow.:

Meanwhile the rest of today's team continued with the fixing of the first pair of temperature compensators. John P in action with the magnetic drill after marking out the positions of the four mounting holes for each unit:

Then re-connecting the rodding and fitting split pins

And the completed set up with ballast replaced round the concrete block:

Not enough time left today for fixing the second pair of compensators but we are getting there.
We had quite a lot of interest shown from both the opposite platform and from the coach windows while this work was going on "what are those orange things for? So we had some interesting conversations  - so I think our compensators were the star attraction this week!


Tuesday, 16 October 2018


Tuesday 16th Oct

Not a lot to report today.
Four of us at Broadway to produce the concrete blocks for the compensators.
With the compensators now finally lined up with the point rodding, they were removed together with their mounting plates to give access for the pouring of concrete, and being careful not to disturb the mounting frame which will be secured in the concrete.

We then proceeded to pour endless barrow loads of concrete (John P on the mixer up on platform 2) - approx 36 loads to fill the two holes up to within 2" of the top of the  c-channel (to enable nuts to be fitted from underneath).

These blocks need to be pretty substantial to prevent movement.

Then the mounting plates were re-positioned to ensure that all holes still aligned:

Drilling of the mounting holes for the compensators will be done next week once the concrete has set. This should hopefully bring the rodding saga to a close!


Monday, 15 October 2018

A Good Wet Workout

Monday 15th Oct

An extra day today to take advantage of a train-free line to unload cable troughing - six of us braved the rain.

The class 73 had two objectives today once it had retrieved the two bogie flats from Broadway North siding - the empty one is destined for Stanway where PWay need it for loading a significant number of scrap/surplus rails which will be   transported  Winchcombe for sorting.
The second one has about 300 of the stored concrete cable troughs on it.

After a bit of shunting the empty one was despatched to Stanway and the other lined up just past Evesham Road Bridge - we gradually worked our way up to Childswickham Bridge unloading the troughs and placing them in their approx positions. There will still be a fair bit of work to level and align them. They will not be buried.

And looking south along the caravan site fence past the goods shed - a total of 300 offloaded up to Childswickham Bridge.

All rather soggy - it rained all day.  The next phase will have to wait for better weather!

And for a bit of respite lever 3 was pulled off in the box and I walked up in the drizzle to take a picture of the route indicating into  platform 2 - looks OK to me as UP M! !


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Missing Link(S)

Tuesday 9th Oct

Six of us at Broadway today on a mission to fit the "missing links".
The long awaited new couplings to join the temperature compensators up to the point rodding have at long last been delivered! All eight of them. Here are the first pair to be fitted:

These have an offset of approx 3" to allow the compensators to be set lower so that the other sets of rodding can pass over the top. All this is necessary because of the limited space between the platform wall and the track.
Quite a lot of head  scratching going on to try and get everything in without fouling:

In the end it was necessary to trim a bit more off the end of an offending sleeper to achieve the optimum positions.
In the absence of a chainsaw Carl S drew the short straw and valiantly attacked the sleeper end with a handsaw. You can see a pair of the offset couplings connected with the rodding for the next pair of compensators passing over the top:

A bit more tweaking of positions is still required but we have all four of them in situ. Called it a day at this point - drilling of mounting holes and concreting next time.

We did a bit more finishing off of the signal wire connections in the locking room. This picture shows the pulleys taking the wires to the direction indicator signal (northern end of headhunt points). These two wires have the ability to be tightened or slackened by a wire adjuster upstairs.

I will attempt to describe this set up. The vertical wire comes down from the adjuster upstairs , round the  LH black pulley and back up and over another pulley on the tail of the lever ((see next picture). The wire then comes down and under the LH red pulley and out under the black LH pulley through the tunnel

And to prove it all worked here is a shot of the direction indicator with lever no. 2  in action.

This signal still has the lettering from its previous life, but luckily this will be OK for entry to platform  1 as Down Main!  I can't remember what the lettering is for the other route but we will probably have to do some artwork! - the lever for this couldn't be pulled today so we will have to wait to reveal.


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Making Connections

Tuesday 2nd Oct

Seven of us at Broadway today to carry on with the connecting up of signals. All the eight wires have now been threaded through the rollers down both platforms. There are now a lot of connections to make to the signals and signal box. Here are a few of them:
Starting to get a little congested at the tunnel

And several connected up in the locking room:

And at the other end connected up to signal 39 - after a bit of tweaking this signal operates perfectly:

And two wires to the double ground signal at the base of the direction indicator

Who can resist a shot of P & O running round and passing the signal on the opposite side

This is a close up of one of the joints attaching the end of a wire to a pulley sling. To ensure that the joint is secure each individual wire is unpicked and wound round progressively locking it all together.
The ends of the slings are made by bending the flexible multi-stranded wire round a thimble and crimping with two aluminium alloy collars. Should have taken a photo of the crimping tool but if you can imagine a pair of bolt cutters with attitude that's what it looks like! A batch of these of varying lengths have been made back in our workshop  at Winchcombe.

And further jointing in progress at the pulleys opposite the box on platform 1

Now that the majority of the work is completed at the north end we have made a start with the southbound wires. There will be a total of 6 wires here (all on platform 1 side) - four to the bracket signal (still to be installed), one for the Advanced Starter and one for the Outer Home (posts soon to be erected and "dressed").
Remember that the wooden post starter signal is already connected from a wire crossing from platform 2 and the single arm on the existing bracket is also connected down platform 2.

John P and Malcolm spent most of the day sorting out the wire routing from the end of platform 1 up to Evesham Road Bridge and beyond. Some brackets have been fixed to the bridge to carry the sets of rollers. Although there are only six wires crossing the bridge there will be two unused rollers.
The reason for this is that we are very short on 2 and 3 wheel castings and have plenty of 4 wheelers!

To avoid the brickwork underneath platform 1 ramp the wires will be directed down by passing underneath the rollers:

Here is a view towards the bridge using a rope to get the best position for the rollers. Another set will have to be placed  just past the ground pulley to ensure the wires are clear of the point rodding cranks

The jigsaw is gradually coming together!!

Having got across the bridge there is quite a distance to go to the outer home - this is 720 yards from the signal box - so many more stakes to install yet.

Finally, the story of the golden T-bolt! All the correct t-bolts have now been fitted to the rodding runs. Not quite the same as the golden spike of American fame but nevertheless the end of a long rodding journey (sorry, not quite accurate - the compensators are still awaiting their connecting linkages!) Neil C poised here for the final tighten with an impact socket.