Friday, 20 November 2015

Concrete arrives

On Wednesday a mixer lorry came to pour the concrete for the platform extension footings at Winchcombe.

The mixer lorry and the pump have arrived on the road above the station
It was quite tricky working out how to make the concrete up, and how to get it to the footings, which were in an awkwardly inconvenient place. One option was to get a gang of men and barrow it in from the front of the station building, but a rough estimate of the weight of the spoil removed (10 dumper loads) and the likely weight of fresh concrete to be barrowed helped us to decide that ready made, and a pump, was the most workable option.

The location chosen for the supply of concrete and pump was on top of the road bridge, which gives a good view over the site. There were 6 B&S volunteers, and as most of the work was going to be done by the concrete supplier and pump operator, two volunteers were detached with the blue van to go to Broadway and collect more bricks.

All is ready - start pumping!
Setting up the pump lorry only took 20 minutes or so, but once the concrete started flowing through the pipe, blockages were met and the supply became somewhat intermittent. This was relieved by a well aimed series of blows with a lump hammer, clearly a well accepted cure for that ill!

Here we can see the concrete flowing freely, and beginning to fill up the trench.

B&S volunteers helped with filling and levelling, so that the whole pour, once set up, only took an hour or so.


 In the meantime, the lads were back from Broadway with a supply of blues, so once the concrete has gone off, brick laying can commence.

Half way there
The use of the pump can clearly be seen here - how else to get concrete to this inaccessible site?

...and looking north, towards the rest of the platform.
The completed pour, looking south...

As the pour came to an end it started to rain, so the day was completed by unloading the blues from Broadway.

The B&S gang would now like to progress as quickly as possible, because in a separate operation the PWay gang will be relaying the track in platform 2 (looking rather weedy in the pictures above) as well as the southern part of the track in platform 1. The spent ballast that will come out is ideal for use as infill behind the new wall. 

The track works will start at the end of the Santa Special season, i.e. in January, so that wall needs to be up by Christmas. The next full working day will be Wednesday next week, and more volunteers in B & S are always welcome to help get the work done on time.

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