Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Broadway Bracket

 Tuesday 27th Oct

Three of us braved the inclement weather today to continue with fitting out the new Broadway bracket signal. 

There is still quite a lot of work to do here, some of which is quite fiddly. Although most of the fittings were assembled on the ground at Winchcombe some while ago, it's a different matter getting it all to fit up in the air with a stiff wind blowing and intermittent rain. I have to say that the highlight of the morning was when P&O stopped on its run round with its chimney opposite us engulfing the signal in steam and grit and a welcome blast of heat! 

Engine approaching:

The first task was to mount the lamp cases on the two dolls

Followed by the lamp case brackets and cases for the call-on arms

Then the fitting of the two upper ladders which give access to the two main arms.

A couple of problems have arisen which will need attention back at base. The bracket holding the down rod guide on the long doll won't reach so a welded extension is required - and the down rod on the short doll just fouls on the platform handrail (a bit of tweaking required). Otherwise apart from the electrical wiring for the lamps the work up top is complete.

But meanwhile down below the main ladder needs support brackets attached to the main post. We have done this by drilling a hole in each side and securing two flat bars with a piece of M12 threaded bar passing through the post. Luckily the holes were in line!

And finally a shot from up top of P&O arriving tender first from Toddington


Friday, 16 October 2020

Wildlife Intrusion


A large wasp nest discovered in one of the lineside cabinets at Broadway by Neil C while he was sorting out some issues with the track circuits on Tuesday.  Make a bit of a mess getting it out! 


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Bracket Gets Dressed

 Tuesday 13th October

At last a day out at Broadway. Having got the scaffolding up round the new bracket signal last week we can now get it looking like it belongs to a railway!

Pickup loaded with most of the parts and ready to go. 

We need a decent lengthed ladder to enable easy and safe access to the platform. We start at the top by fixing the finials then the pivot and plunger castings to the long doll followed by the pivot pin and back blind. Note that there are no detectors on this signal because they are well within vision from the signal box. 

Repeated for the short doll and then fit the spectacle plates and signal arms (nice sparkly new ones) 

Good view of approaching train from up here - 4270 approaching from Toddington

Down below George B and John P manoeuvre the metal ladder into position between the scaffolding and hollow out a hole to secure the bottom in. To be concreted at a later date

Moving down a level we fixed on the castings for the balance weight arms and adjusted the down rods to connect with the arms. That's as far as we got today - here's a shot of the state of play.

And just a reminder of the set up for connecting the signal wires. Two for the main arms and two for the call-on arms.


Friday, 9 October 2020

Finnial Fitting, etc

 Wednesday 7th Oct

We continued today with more signal? refurbishment. Signal 33 (just north of the entry to Greet tunnel) was having a problem with its spectacles!  The green  lens (plastic) has turned white -

So the signal arm has been removed from its spectacle plate - a few stubborn bolts had to be cut off with an angle grinder - and then cleaned and bolted back onto a freshly  refurbished plate.

Then back up to the signal in the railcar to refit the plate and arm. Here's the signal post without its arm (looking towards  Greet tunnel portal) 

Neil C who  was up the ladder wrestled the spectacle plate assembly back onto its pivot and re-connected the down rod. It needed the strongest of us to do this!

Today's team of Neil C, Carl S and Keith L having ticked off another job. 

Meanwhile back at base Peter W was busy preparing the lamp holders which will be fitted in the signal lamp cases at Broadway

And a few more preparations for the replacement Cheltenham bracket, including the drilling of a plywood template which will be used to set the mounting studs in a new concrete base. Here Carl S is drilling the holes in the template to match the baseplate

And just so that we don't get it the wrong way round on site - a bit of marking

Finial fitting is always a bit awkward. Even with the through bolt tightened they will not sit vertically. So our solution is to cut and fit thin rubber discs inside the base of the finial - these two needed three to ensure that they sit squarely on top of the post. 

The down rods which attach to the balance weight arms for both the main signals and the call-on arms still have to be made. Each one has to be made in two halves and them welded together once the correct length has been set. Bottom end shown here has screwed end into a fork and pin for fine adjustment  whereas the top end has an eye which fits on a peg in the spectacle plate.

(should have taken a few more pics, but I hope you get the drift!)

Note the coned end prep for welding. 

Stop Press - Action at Broadway , Thursday 

Neil C, Malcolm W, Andy D and George B erected scaffolding round the new bracket signal. This now opens up the prospect of some more open air activity with signal fittings. Hope we can find them all!