Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Bonding Complete

Tuesday 18th June

Nine of us turned up at Broadway today with several tasks on the list. Firstly the remainder of the track bonding to complete.
The motorised drill is barrowed to north of the barrow crossing (a bit heavy to manhandle all that way)

With Neil C conducting operations to show where all the connections needed to go round the pointwork

And Peter W, Carl S and Keith L fitting the wires - the job was completed in time for a late lunch

Jim P and myself set to with the protective paint to continue coating the point rodding along platform 2. We got as far as the second compensator before rain stopped play. We should have just enough paint to get up to the end of the platform so the view for the  travelling public should be suitably enhanced!!

Meanwhile, back in the signal box locking room John P has removed the covers from the locking trays to apply some lubrication to the brass locks on the locking bars and the covers taken outside for a coat of black gloss paint:

The electric lock locking bars now need their final fitting having been cleaned and oiled.
Now that it was raining outside we set to to finish this off :

This means that beneath stairs is now complete except for the copious amount of wiring inside and out required to connect everything up.

Above our heads another piece of "equipment" has to be installed - The Block Diagram. Two brackets have been fitted to the roof on which the diagram will hang. To ensure that it will fit with the minimum of fuss, a lightweight template has been made and hung up:

Then this quite heavy piece of woodwork is lifted into place and secured with two bolts:

This is just a temporary fix to ensure that everything is OK. It will come down again for the artwork and fitting of indicator lights (led's?) for the track circuits. Not sure at the moment whether the artwork will be painted directly onto the white board or on a separate piece of white paper to be stuck on. This next picture gives a better idea of the scale and colour of this construction:

We are not sure but we think that this diagram once adorned a box at either Honeybourne West Loop or Evesham Road Crossing, Stratford (both originally on this line) - so a good bit of heritage salvaged to work again!

And finally, the Signal box steps -
the project of George B. The steps have now been undercoated:

And the treads primed and undercoated ready for final painting:


Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A Washout

Tuesd ay 11th June

Not much we could do today because of the horrible weather.  Painting definitely off!

We have had notification that the ground signal at Hunting Butts, CRC has been vandalised so John P and myself set off on the 11.20 behind P & O to retrieve the parts which need attention.
The red and green glass lenses have been smashed and some of the white enamel has been chipped - presumably some mindless idiots using it as target practice with pieces of ballast.
So we have unbolted the disc and it's mounting plate to take back to base.
This signal has a detector on it operated by a pin on the back of the plate which we have removed. A bit of a worry this because we are not sure if this detector can lock the points. Luckily this was not the case - it just indicates that the signal is off/normal in the signal box.
A quick call to the signalman from the lineside phone opposite the signal  to check that the points operated OK and we hot-footed it back to the train with 5 minutes to spare.
Here is the damaged disc:

We will replace the lenses with some coloured plastic ones. We have some of these but will need to cut them to size - you may have noticed that we are not strictly GWR here - this is from a Midland signal (at least out of sight up Hunting Butts!)

Back at Winchcombe Peter W is removing the boards from the platform of the bracket signal to enable us to freshen up the rest of the paintwork and to store the boards under cover to dry out before applying another coat of creosote

Work continues with the refurbishment of the point machines for Toddington. These continue to be a bit of a jigsaw but have now had the operating and detection bars removed together with their locating plates.

The bars were all pretty rusty on exposed surfaces but have been taken indoors for a good clean up

One set of plates have been degreased and given some fine emery treatment

Will show a clearer picture of how all this fits together when we re-assemble.


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Bracket Preparations

Tuesday 4th June

Eight volunteers at a wet Winchcombe yard today. It was OK until lunchtime and then down came the rain, curtailing most of the outdoor painting objectives.
No jaunt to Broadway today - still a bit more track bonding to finish at the northern end. Best to have Neil C with us for that (he is on hols).
So, what were we up to?

The bracket signal which is  to be installed at Broadway to control entry from Toddington into platforms 1 & 2 is currently languishing horizontally in the yard at Winchcombe and is in need of some tlc. The support strut is being removed so that we can give the main post a good rub down and some decent coats of paint

Having washed off the grime Jim P gives it a good sanding

Followed by primer (where needed and then white undercoat

The base is in pretty good condition but gets another coat of black gloss anyway. The top structure consisting of a mass of riveted angle iron has been showing some rust so some chipping, priming and undercoat has been applied:

The two dols have been removed and are receiving attention by George B  by the side of our mess coach. Managed to get primer and undercoat on  with sufficient time for reasonable dryness  before the rain started. So hopefully no pock marked surfaces when we arrive next week!  Unfortunately these parts are too large to move undercover.

Keith L sorts out the paintwork on the support strut:

Two electric point motors are needed for Toddington South. So we have to select the best available from several units we have stored at Winchcombe. The best looking two have some broken parts or parts missing and others are beyond being repaired, so John P and Carl C spent most of the day selecting the best bits.

These Alstom units are pretty complicated with a mass of electrical wiring and it is virtually impossible to remove individual components without cutting wires. Luckily we have a wiring diagram which only the experienced electrician is likely to understand (this is where Neil C is invaluable!)
Some of the wiring will need replacing anyway.


P S Absence of blog last week was because I was down in Hampshire and managed to fit in  a quick visit to the Mid Hants and capture a shot of this 9F pulling into Alresford Station.
Those of you who may have read the latest edition of Steam Railway will have had a feast of information about  these magnificent machines! Quite a lot of them.