Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Yet Another One

 Tuesday 25th Aug

Just two of us in today and another ground signal to remove and recondition - the double  one adjacent to the bracket signal at Winchcombe North.

Luckily this one is mounted on a steel plate secured to a concrete block with studs - so no clearing of ballast required this time.

We got most of the fittings off in situ so no heavy lifting required.

We haven't got another one of these double units so this one needs to be sorted out and replaced. It is an original GWR version. Here is the stripped casting ready to be cleaned. Unusually, the two balance weights came off easily with no drama!

So cleaning continues...........


Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Find the Signal Wire

 Tuesday 17th Aug

A good turn out today with a total of 5 of us. 

Report of signal 33 (advanced starter) at Winchcombe not returning to normal without a lot of lever jiggling. We suspect that a significant amount of vegetation growth is resisting the return of the signal wire - the balance weight at the signal is not overcoming the friction.

So off we go armed with bill hooks and clippers in the direction of Greet tunnel.

Smoke was still seen to be billowing out of the tunnel portal some 15 minutes after the train had gone towards Cheltenham - - nice breeze blowing it out. 

For most of the way between the bridge and the advanced starter the signal wire is invisible, pretty well buried in dense vegetation.

We cleared the wires but this will need some further strimming to make a job of it. Anyway we reached the signal after a good hour of clearance

This seems to have resolved the problem.

Then it was back to base for (guess what!) more Ground signal restoration.

I shall just pop back with a catch up of last Tuesday's work on dismantling the GWR signal which we had removed from Toddington. In order to get the balance weight arm out of the casting both the pivot pin and balance weight have to be removed - both were well seized and required concerted hammering before they yielded

So, today with all parts dismantled we proceeded with the continuous round of cleaning, restoring and painting. 

This lamp case getting the piece work treatment

The balance weight arm primed

The spectacle plate primed

The casting primed

And the boss inspecting the days work

Carl S found this paint brush in our store - it has an afro haircut - can't imagine what it has been used for - not much use for painting! 


Thursday, 5 August 2021

More Ground signalling

 Tuesday 3rd August

Three of us in today with Malcolm W  in charge. The mission being to replace two "weary" ground signals at Toddington.

The two signals that we took out at Winchcombe have now been fully re-conditioned and these will now have pride of place at Toddington.

We attacked the easy one first (no 15 out of the parlour road) which was mounted on a sleeper with four coach screws which were fairly easy to remove. So this was a straightforward replacement. But no 16 at the South end of platform 1 was a different kettle of fish. This was mounted on two submerged concrete blocks with bolt heads inside in ballast and clay. So we spent most of the morning on our hands and knees scraping out clay and ballast to be able to get a spanner on. 

And eventually got the signal off

Luckily there was a trolley parked up by the coal store which greatly facilitated moving the signals about - just had to be careful not to walk into the pit while pushing! 

Bact to Winchcombe and made a start on dismantling. Laid out all the parts off the Western Region one ready for cleaning. A lot of congealed grease and muck to be removed. 

And the balance weight locking bolt is seized solid so removing the weight will be a challenge - a combination of drilling and hammering in prospect! 

I took a photo  of Malcolm W with his 40 year presentation medal - two weeks late I'm afraid but here it is.