Thursday, 20 December 2018

Making Way for the Wires

Tuesday 18th Dec.

Only five of us at Broadway today to continue with barrow crossing work at the south end of the platforms.
Platform 1 side needs a channel  through which the signal wires pass. Some shuttering has been prepared using old scaffold boards - now ready for some concrete:

And here with the concrete poured:

The length of point rodding on the right is secured in the concrete with some studs - the point rodding on the left holds two pieces of c-channel (the rodding will be removed once the concrete is set). A steel plate will then be bolted on to cover everything up.
On the opposite side of the crossing you can see a similar arrangement but with some block work. Because the ground to the left falls away significantly we need to build a retaining wall for the infill required. Peter W starts by digging out for some footings.

And now it is time to practice our bricklaying skills to match up with the platform wall. I'm afraid rain stopped play after the first row so I guess it will now be after Christmas before this is finished.

Adjacent to this another concrete block has been prepared to mount a horizontal pulley to direct a signal wire across to the base of the bracket signal.

I had a walk up to the signal by Childswickham Bridge with Malcolm to joint up the wire for this signal with the sling. This is now all connected up to the balance weight arm. The ladder, platform and upper fittings are still required to finish off this signal.

I promised a picture of the completed mechanical detector at the south points so here it is

Showing the three detector bars (one to each blade and one to the fpl). The piece of rodding on the left attaches the body of the detector to the rail to ensure that it cannot move.
The two locking bars (at right angles  which attach to the signal wires) have been tied off in a retracted position. This is to ensure that the ground frame can still operate.
Talk about leaves on the line causing problems - the fpl and locking bars were completely covered in leaves when we arrived, so we took some time to clear them away to prevent them clogging up the mechanisms

That's all from me until the New Year - so a very Happy Christmas to all you readers!


Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Filling the Gap

Tuesday 11th Dec.

Today's efforts at Broadway spent in doing work to fill in the gaps in the barrow crossing at the south end of the platforms.
We arrived with the blue pickup loaded with a fresh heap of aggregate which needed barrowing from the station entrance gate to a pile by the wooden signal post where we will do the concrete mixing. About  20 barrow loads later with 3 of us marching up and down:

We achieved a reasonable pile which should be enough for a day's concreting:

Just as we finished this we heard the unmistakable "roar" of the diesel railcar pulling into the station (slowly) un-reeling a 20 pair cable between the rails platform 2 side (this shows our newly fabricated reel holder in action).
Neil C had just reeled out the major part of this drum between Little Buckland and the distant signal ready for burying.
Calculations worked out fine because there was just enough cable remaining to complete the two runs required between the signal box and a cabinet to be installed adjacent to the existing bracket signal.

Having the railcar trailer here was the ideal opportunity to remove the pile of cable troughs to clear space for the line-side cabinet. You can see here where the cable has been manhandled  into rough position to be buried:

And the troughs loaded up for despatch to Winchcombe.

(There's a few more hundred still need moving from up near the signal box when we have an idle moment! )

Anyway, I digress from the main event. Preparations made for a concrete pour with some scaffold board shuttering in the gap between the rubber pads in the six foot and a bit of rubble to eke out the concrete:

Here is the finished pad which was eventually levelled out after much tamping :

In the foreground of this shot you can just see part of the concrete channel we are preparing for the rodding and signal wires to pass through - this is essentially the same arrangement as that at the northern crossing - with a steel plate to be fitted over the top.

And a close-up of the pad prior to a bit of tidying up:

I sloped off to walk up to the Advanced Starter signal up nr Childswickham Bridge where some further work had been carried out last week. A scaffold tower had been erected  to facilitate the mounting of the upper fittings:

And the counter-balance weight arm and pulleys have been fitted:

And finally, the railcar off back to Winchcombe with George B keeping us all clear of the tracks!


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Pulley Work

Tuesday 4th Nov.

More concreting was the order of the day today.
Ready for action with the PWay trolley

A double pulley wheel set and a single vertical pulley wheel are required at signal B8 (advanced starter at Childswickham Bridge).
So we prepared a substantial concrete block to mount these using some of the concrete cable troughs as shuttering (we have plenty of these to play with) - they should be removable once the concrete has set. I think we got a bit carried away with the size of the excavation  but we should have enough aggregate to fill it with a few added brick ends.

But first to get the height for the concrete right for the pulleys using the nylon rope. The wire for the home signal will cross under the track through a plastic tube which will be then be buried where the up main used to pass which is now used as an access roadway. Another concrete block will be required here to turn the wire through 90 degrees.
The stakes for the signal wires will then continue over Childswickham Bridge and along the opposite side of the embankment to the Home Signal.

So, many barrow loads of concrete later (all laboriously trundled up from the mixer at the end of platform 1 on the trolley), we have a concrete block with the two templates containing the studs for mounting the pulleys.

Picture quality not too good I'm afraid - it was getting quite dark by this time and the flash doesn't seem to have done much for the image. 

Other stuff going on today was the feeding of some more signal wire through the rollers southwards - John P wrestling with a new coil - it really is awkward to deal with :

And Peter W on the end threading it through. This wire will operate the signal on the bracket behind him. There will probably be another pulley required here to get the wire in the correct alignment (another concrete block?!)

Neil C and Keith L disappeared southwards to do some cabling work - installing feed wires to the rails for track circuits.