Thursday, 27 August 2020

Back to Work

  Great to be back - I have been a bit tardy about compiling a blog as some of us have been back in action for a couple of weeks so far. So a quick resume of these two weeks before bringing you up to date with this week's activity. 

Tuesday 12th August

We continue with the routine refurbishment of lineside cabinets. The main one in question has a phone compartment  at the top which is like a sash window with an opening panel to access the phone which has two hidden counterbalance weights

Having cleaned all external surfaces with an angle grinder equipped with a rotary wire brush, time to paint. We have decided to paint all the inside surfaces with red oxide primer (including the wood) - to be followed with dark grey undercoat. This should preserve it for a few more years. 

Wednesday 19th August

The weather was not very welcoming today - teemed down with rain for most of the day. Unfortunately we spent a lot of it outside in the wet trying to trace a track Circuit fault in the up line section through Winchcombe. This meant a locked bracket signal into the station.

Line walking didn't show any obvious problems although the insulation between a fishplate and rail at the start of the track Circuit opposite the signal box looked dodgy so we decided to replace it.

After much wrestling with tight bolts and fitting new plastic insulators  to this joint it did not solve the problem. The old ones weren't in the best condition with some cracks and bits broken off

So, on his return from coach shunting Neil C came with meter testing equipment to try to hunt down the problem.  With the meter connected across the tracks showing zero voltage we waggled the feed wire adjacent to the  fishplate with the replaced insulation and lo and behold an intermittent voltage which again disappeared. On closer inspection the feed wire had been trapped and crushed between the bottom of the rail and a chair. A lucky spot and problem solved with enough spare cable to reconnect and tie up out of harms way. 

A very relieved signalman now with an unlocked signal! 

Wednesday 26th August

Three of us in attendance with various tasks to go at. I continued with the painting of the lineside cabinet with the sash window type opening for a phone:
Here it is open:

Here Closed:

A ground signal needs to be replaced at Toddington so Peter W and Keith L dismantled a heavily weathered spare. 

And had most of the dismantled parts cleaned and prime painted by the end of the day:

Malcolm W has been preparing and adapting a rather unusual GWR  lamp case which will be used to illuminate the direction indicator signal at the Broadway headshunt. 

This case has a side opening door in addition to the normal top opening. 

A pair of led lamp holders have been mounted on a wooden block to mount behind the lens

This lamp case will mount behind a large frosted glass plate which should diffuse the light and make the indicating letters stand out. 

During the modernisation of the circuitry of most of the cabinets along the line, a considerable number of spare connection blocks have become available. Some of these will be required at Broadway. Most of them are in a dirty/greasy state so we decided to remove all nuts and washers to do a proper cleaning job in solvent. Here's the first bucket load. 

A bit tedious, but at least we could sit down doing it!!



  1. Thankyou Curly, great pictures and well explained.We have said before that the S&T side of the line is one of the lesser known aspects of the railway. You do have a good way of explaining what is going on and the work you and your team do is vital to the running of the trains so thanks for your efforts.
    Paul & Marion

  2. A good and informative blog. Thank you guys.


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