Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Toddington Strip

 Tuesday 18th Jan

In preparation for the replacement of the pointwork at Toddington by contractors (starting this week I believe) we are in the process of removing a whole load of fittings.

So, with four of us plus the Ops Manager we set off in the diesel railcar from Winchcombe with all the necessary tools including a generator to power the large angle grinder for cutting off stubborn/seized nuts. 

It is necessary to:

1. disconnect and remove signal wires and stakes 

2. Remove facing point lock, stretcher bars and all connecting bars and cranks

3. Remove Rodding compensator and mounting plate

4. Remove Point detection unit and mounting plate 

5. Remove Point rodding and cranks 

6. Remove Concrete rodding stools. 

This will allow the whole area of the crossover to be dug out and be re-ballasted/regraded

Getting the FPL out:

At last:

The mounting plate for the compensator having its nuts cut off!

Signal wires cut and removed- just a few short lengths from the bracket signal remaining here

The booty unloaded from the rail car onto platform 2 at Winchcombe ready to take back for cleaning:

We have not attempted to remove the rodding stools yet because they are well secured in dirty ballast. These will be left  for digging out by mechanical means.

There are also a  number of other concrete blocks which will have to be dug out. I'm sure we could manage this with picks and shovels but so much easier with an excavator on site!

They will be replaced with the ones we removed from the North sidings. These have now had two wheel roller sets fitted. The bolt hole spacings for the older GWR units are a different pitch so the stools have been turned over to suit the fittings with a different hole spacing that you see here:

So plenty of cleaning and bolt sorting to follow. 


Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Preparation Work at Toddington

 Tuesday 4th Jan

Just two of us plus Malcolm W in today for a visit to Toddington to do some preparatory dismantling ready for some of the major rail replacement work. 

The point motor (for points no. 22) north of the station is planned for removal once all shunting moves have been completed. So to expedite this we have dug out the ballast underneath the sleepers to make spanner access to the bolt heads. (Yes, the dreaded throughbolting!). A liberal coating of release oil has been applied to the nuts so hopefully when we return to unbolt it there will be some yielding!

We then moved further up the track to the North siding which is to have its trap point removed. This means that we need to remove the detection unit and all its connections, about 50 yards of point rodding, a compensator unit, a set of angle cranks and associated linkages to the point motor and finally dig out all the concrete mounting blocks and stools.

Having removed the point rodding Malcolm and John P wrestle out the stools with the aid of a crowbar and brute strength:

The detection unit being disconnected:

A short pause in operations while one of the shunting moves passes with a rake of coaches:

I'm sure that there is going to be a lot more hard graft from many volunteers over the next few weeks. We have to get everything done by the beginning of March!

A happy  New Year to all our followers.