Friday, 31 January 2020

Cable Re-location

Tuesday 28th Jan

Two activities today - the main one  being to re-locate the cables and lineside cabinets north of Winchcombe station between the road bridge and Greet Tunnel. The embankment adjacent to the new build houses (where the Harvest Home Pub used to be) is collapsing towards the track and is pushing over the existing lineside cabinets and cable troughs. Contractors are endeavouring to sort the embankment out - temporary pipework has been installed to take water directly into the track drains to alleviate the problem. (See drainage blogs for details). The two cabinets shown here will eventually be removed once the new cabling is installed. (note the temporary drainage pipe on the right)

To sort this out we are moving cables to the other side of the tracks (platform 1 side). Three cabinets (on point rodding legs!) are to be concreted in first.

One "post box" at the bridge

And the two large ones which we reclaimed from the Far Stanley area recently are positioned to deal with the new cables which will be routed under the tracks away from the slippage. One by the repeater signal at the end of platform 2

And one on platform 1 side:

Then the hard work to transfer the troughing to the other side.

We are utilising two lengths of the 30 pair cable that we rescued from Far Stanley recently during the re-cabling up to Greet Tunnel. One length dragged back from Winchcombe yard ready for re-locating:

In the meantime two of us went off to CRC to apply undercoat to the outer home signal post that we are re-conditioning - already cleaned and primed.
White undercoat at the top and dark grey ready for black gloss at the bottom:

There has been an intermittent problem with the electric lock on signal 22 in CRC signal box so the locking bar has been modified to adjust slot position - Malcolm W here re-fitting it down in the locking room:

And a modified link inserted to tighten up the signal wire


Thursday, 23 January 2020

More Restoration

Tuesday 21st Jan

Two activities today with one group off to CRC in the diesel railcar to renovate yet another signal. This time it is the outer home signal. They disappeared on their mission with the trailer loaded with scaffolding. A generator also needed to power the angle grinders to clean up the post once all the fittings have been removed. We will have enough re-conditioned fittings to replace them once the post has been re-painted.
Neil C, Carl S, John P, Keith L and Peter W went on this mission leaving Malcolm W, George B and yours truly behind. No photos of CRC I'm afraid.

So, back at Winchcombe we started the clean up of the two lineside cabinets that we retrieved from the Gretton area following the re-cabling there. These are going to re-sited between Greet Tunnel and Winchcombe Station where we are currently suffering some embankment slippage. The existing cabinets here are being pushed over by the encroaching 'mush'. Also the concrete cable troughing is being pushed out of alignment. So some cable alterations and cabinet re-positioning are to be carried out. Contractors are currently sorting out this problem.

And two lids

These are in surprisingly good condition apart from a bit of rottem wood round the bottom, so a good clean up with the angle grinder and wire brush and we're ready for paint. George attacking number two :

They will be mounted on two lengths of point rodding to raise them off the ground-this should overcome any further deterioration of the woodwork.

Finally, the CRC post has now been returned to the yard after the welding of the base plate and webs by Carriage and Wagon next door. Now got some primer and undercoat on:

More Painting next week.


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Cables In and Cables Out

Tuesday 14th Jan

Not a day to be working outside but we need to get some jobs under our belts. A good turnout with 9 of us (plus Mike S and Paul D on comms work).

So first of all its off to Toddington in the diesel railcar to lay all the cables required for the new southern point machines, ground signal and trackside phone.

Some shallow trenches need digging in the ballast to route the cables from the yellow tubes under the track to their appropriate connection points.

And then the removal of the concrete lids from the cable troughs

And then the threading of the cables through the yellow plastic tubes under the track. All the cables are routed from the troughing which runs down the Cotswold side of the track

Cables then fed into the troughs

All the cables have been previously cut to length leaving a generous allowance at each end for connection - none were too short!!

Then all cables are  buried and  the troughing lids are replaced again--no sign of anyone having been here!

So, an explanation of the cables of which there are seven
 Two go to the ground signal for its lamp and its detector. One goes to the phone situated next to the ground signal and two go to the  adjacent point machine - one cable serves the motor for normal and reverse position and one serves detection for normal and reverse positions.
The final two cables serve the other point machine.

This picture shows the layout looking towards Toddington signal box

Having fed the cables through the troughing they will terminate at the adjacent lineside cabinets from where  cables ready feed back to the signal box.
All connections here still to be made but now far too wet and windy for further work - lunch beckons!

I may have regaled you with these shots before but just in case here are the two point machines now fitted with all their detection bars and stretchers

So, that's all of "cables in" - now for "cables out". The job we didn't finish last week was the removal of three remaining lengths of redundant 30 pair cable along the southern stretch from Greet tunnel. We used the railcar to assist using Malcolm W's new fixture to clamp this rather unwieldy cable to the trailer

And then dragged it out to deposit it back in Winchcombe yard. This shot taken  out of a rather wet railcar window (warped the track a bit!) Three trips via the tunnel 

 Carriage and Wagon have agreed to weld the baseplate to the CRC bracket post for us on Wednesday, so the final act today was to manoeuvre it into their workshop. Tele handler to the rescue

And position it on a pair of pedestals - important that the baseplate is in the correct orientation relative to the two holes at the top which locate the clamping blocks - Malcolm W will be on hand to advise. 


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Re-furb Continues

Tues 7th Jan

Start the New Year as you mean to carry on!
What is that I hear you cry - more cleaning and painting!
Prior to the removal of track from Stanway Viaduct, a small team was despatched to remove track bonding and disconnect cables. The lineside cabinet on the viaduct has been removed and returned to Winchcombe for refreshment - we availed ourselves again of the BS workshop to get out of the drizzle which seemed to go on for most of the day.

The bottom end of the main post for the replacement CRC has now been cut off to square it up ready for welding on the baseplate - this is having its holding down bolt and drain holes drilled by John P and the mag drill (allowing a bit of extra clearance for margin of error in our measurements - don't want this hanging on the crane and not fitting the existing studs!)

Also in the relative comfort of the BS workshop Peter W is assembling a series of lampholders for all the new Broadway signals - about 17 of these needed I think. These have small bayonet fittings for LED bulbs and have wooden bases which will fit snugly into the lamp cases

One of the crows nests removed from signal 4 needs a complete refurbish - now dismantled ready to clean up and make some new boards for the base. The distant signal south of the tunnel is earmarked for renovation - the boarding here on the crow's nest is rotten so we will do a complete swap with this one :

And the final job of the day was the organising parts for the platform of the CRC bracket. This needs four support arms to support the planking  and eight bars to support a handrail.

Support Arms primed

Eight handrail supports cut ready for threading on both ends