Wednesday, 28 April 2021


 Tuesday 27th April

Have had a couple of weeks off for medical reasons which also needed some quaranteeing beforehand - but I am now released for action!

We had an urgent assignment at Toddington this morning to re-bond rails. Neil C and myself set off on this mission from Winchcombe with all the necessary kit.

PWay had removed the crossovers north of Toddington Station to replace them with new ones. This meant that some of the track bonding wires had to be cut to enable this. Unfortunately because of track alignment problems the new crossovers could not be installed so the old ones have been temporarily replaced. So re-bonding was needed to ensure that the track circuits functioned to allow the running of trains.

Here's a view looking north with the new crossover lying in the siding 4ft

We used the positions from which the wires had been cut by chiselling off the residual wire and pins flush with the rail and then  drilling and punching out the remainder.

Thank goodness for battery drills! 

On the walk back to the station we inspected two of the lineside cabinets. Both of these are in the frame for re-wiring. The one nearest the road bridge is really showing its age and is very unstable with a rotten base. This is probably in need of fairly urgent replacement - a strong wind could see it keeling over! 

Luckily we have one of the same size back at base which, although in need of cleaning up and painting, will do nicely. So guess what the next job is! 

Having cut up some plywood panels, a box has now been constructed to provide a storage facility for coal and kindling in Winchcombe box (similar to the one previously made for Broadway) 

John P seen here with the brown paint over the green primer. 


Thursday 29th

Peter W in today to continue with the restoration of the cabinet for Toddington.

. Including the lid

Photos courtesy of Peter W

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Even More Painting

 Wednesday 7th April

A quick follow up - George B has been in today and top-coated the Winchcombe signal box steps. Here they are in their full black and white refurbished condition.

Photo courtesy of George B


More Painting

 Tuesday 6th April

Not a huge amount to report this week.

A start was made last Wednesday by George B to re-paint the signal box steps at Winchcombe. An all metal structure in need of a bit of restoration. George had cleaned them up and got a coat of primer on. 

So today, the two of us, John P and myself, set out to apply undercoat - the colour on the tin label said light grey undercoat  but it turned out to be this rather garish green! Hopefully it should cover OK with the top coat- white handrails and black everywhere else.

Malcolm W has been continuing with the updating of the locking charts for all the signal boxes on the line. You can see from the next picture that it is a rather complicated arrangement with some locking bars hidden behind those on the front. 

Should keep Malcolm occupied for a few days!

It is very important that the locking is correctly recorded so that future generations of S & T personnel can see how all this interlocking works. There are a lot of hidden rivets and screws behind some of the horizontal bars to which the locks are secured- this  makes it difficult to see which locks are operated by which locking bar. A bit of slackening off is required to get a view. 


Friday, 2 April 2021

Back in Action

 Tuesday 30th March

Yippee! Two of us volunteers back today. Needed to crack out the main sunblock - what glorious weather.

Started off the day with a bit of crossing maintenance. So a trip up the line to Gotherington Signal Box in the diesel railcar

The foot crossing that the signalman uses to access the raised platform for token exchange has some rotten boards which need urgent replacement.

The boards are covered with chicken wire mesh held on with numerous staples which have to be laboriously prised out.

It is planned to replace this platform with a steel unit and to make it a bit higher and slightly closer to the track to make token exchange a bit easier - too much overreaching at the moment which is not good with a life expired wooden structure. We have added a few more securing screws to the handrail to stiffen it up. 

We then carried on to Cheltenham RC to check that the signals and crossovers are working satisfactorily. Some of the signal wires have got a bit clogged with mud and ballast in the ends of the tube under the foot crossing by the signal box - so this is the reason John P is down on his knees to scrape it out!

Malcolm W is in the process of making sure that all the mechanical  locking positions in each of the signal boxes are checked and properly recorded for future reference.

Here we are in Cheltenham locking room writing it down. Malcolm W  is the expert on this. 

Returning to Winchcombe we busied ourselves with the fitting of the two doll ladders to the replacement CRC bracket signal which is still sitting horizontally in the yard. (probably be a while yet before it is put in at CRC). Just need some flat bar for the handrail then it should be finished.

Thursday 1st April

Volunteers Andy and Peter were in today and went off to Gotherington to replace another board on the foot crossing that we had started on Tuesday.

Malcolm continued updating the mechanical locking charts at Winchcombe box whilst Neil, Peter and Andy went off to Toddington to assist in progressing the new roadway project (entry into the station via the previous garden centre site).

Neil has placed some old concrete sleepers, and with the aid of the tele handler, to mark out the new route. Peter and Andy seen here painting them

Two Road sign posts have also been concreted in. 

We are a versatile lot!