Friday, 17 September 2021

Point Gauging

Tuesday 14th Sept

Rather a wet day to be continuing with the gauging of points that we started at Toddington last week so we decided to wait until after lunch before venturing onto the line. So we busied ourselves with a bit of tidying up in the Winchcombe yard during the morning - two large barrow loads of metal into the skip. 

After lunch the weather eased to a fine drizzle so three of us set off along Winchcombe platform 1 to arrive at the pointwork south of the road bridge (adjacent to the rows of large concrete blocks retaining the slipping embankment).

Once we had a good interval between trains we set to work - keeping in contact with the signalman, Malcolm W does the gauging of the "off" and "normal" blades

While John P does the hand cranking of the point motor

The "rocking" contacts (moved by the detection bars)  - I hope you can see in the centre of the next pictures  - must not make if the gap between the blade  and rail is greater than 3mm (the size of the gauge we are using) . When contact is made this indicates in the signal box and the point lever is fully released.

No contact made - points fail

Contact made to left, detection and  points OK

We conclude that these points are in good order and get the signalman to operate from the box before we depart. 

We also check that all bolting is fully tightened, all split pins in position and secured, cables secure and not damaged, blades undamaged and seating to rail, oiling and greasing ok, etc- all recorded

We had reports of a broken bonding wire at the entrance to Greet Tunnel, so a bit more of a walk to sort it. It turned out to be a short way into the tunnel but we managed in the gloom. I think these wires suffer from corrosion from the sulphurous atmosphere where the zinc plating has been damaged by tamping.


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

In Winchcombe Locking Room

 Tuesday 31st August

Just John P and myself in with Malcolm W today.

John P took on the task of re-assembling the GWR ground signal that we recently took out at Toddington. It has had all its parts cleaned and painted and now looks pretty smart.

I continued with the painting of some of the parts of the double ground signal removed from Winchcombe last week. The main casting has now received its primer and undercoat

And one of the lamp cases cleaned and primed

The metal covers on the electric locks and contact boxes in Winchcombe signal box locking room have been removed for cleaning and painting. The numbers corresponding to their lever numbers have been carefully re-painted in black. Our task today was to refit them without dropping any of the small securing screws into the nether depths of the signal wires, pulleys and rodding!

Looks a lot tidier and makes lever identification much easier at a glance.