Thursday, 14 January 2016

Wednesday / Thursday update

The Winchcombe platform extension is rather in the middle of it all at the moment.

Wednesday saw work on the platform by the B&S gang, as well as further ballast removal by the PWay.

Today, Thursday, fresh ballast was ferried into platform 1 and levelled, so that the relay can begin on Saturday.

First of all, platform slabs from CRC2 were collected and brought to Winchcombe yard. Some of these are for the platform 1 extension.

In the foreground is the drainage gang's little store - aren't they neat !

With the PWay gang present, the telehandler was available to ferry enough slabs down to the platform 1 site at the end.

Wednesday was a unique 'window' to do this, as the trackbed in this area was devoid of rails, and fully dug out. Thursday the ballast went back in,. and Saturday the rails go back in ! Quick !

The lighting conditions this time of year are poor, so apologies for the grainy picture here.

We can see the B&S gang busy laying further blocks - they have almost finished now, but ran out of blocks. More were delivered today.

At the same time, more spent ballast was dropped behind the new wall, and there is now enough to back fill to pull forward into the gap newly created. It still needs compacting though. You can already see people walking around as if they were on the new bit of platform.

Today, Thursday, a large 100T supply of fresh ballast was steadily scooped into the dumper during the day, and bit by bit trundled over the foot crossing and down the trackbed to the southernmost part of the loop. Here it was dropped in a series of neat piles, calculated to achieve an 8ins layer once spread out. On top of this will go the reinstated track.

As you can see from the loading picture, the weather was dire to start with, although basically dry. After a dozen or so dumps though, the sun broke out, with this view under the bridge. Isn't it beautiful!

Don't think the whole day was like this though - it did start to rain after a while (sleet was forecast) and we took this opportunity to revisit C&W's canteen in the hope of further chocs and tea. Instead, we got cheese rolls; they do know how to look after themselves up there!

Downstairs in the changing room was another hungry worker - he is sitting on a row of coat hooks, and was quite unafraid.

Got any crumbs then, mate? How about it, eh?

 Back outside, and we spotted S&T loading the B&S van with bits of kit. All nicely restored and greased up. These are lever guides, and they are for - BROADWAY. All the different groups that make up our railway are working together for the same goal.

Lunch was taken in Malcolm's S&T den, accompanied by good humour and - another hungry worker! This one flies in through the gap in the door, and is quite happy to potter about inside in between the items of kit being restored.

After lunch, more loading and dumping. Steve had judged the quantities brilliantly, because here he is near the end of the 100T pile, and the last few gaps in the trackbed were also being filled.

Here is the gap, and the last dumper load parked up next to it. We left the last load in there, so that we could take it where it would be needed once the piles had been graded.

Seen from the footbridge, there is a neat row of piles of ballast up to and under the bridge. Job done !

Now for Steve to level it with the mini digger. A special gauge has been made to allow him to rake the piles into just the right height - platform top to rail level, rails, chairs and sleepers - then the ballast bed.

This last picture gives you an overview of both jobs. On the right the platform 1 extension, with the blockwork almost completed, and the piles of spent ballast for back filling in evidence. Two piles of slabs are ready to be laid at the rear. The corbelling will be achieved by re-using the half concrete sleepers previously used, but double spaced to make them stretch further.

In the centre is the re-ballasted southern end of platform 1. Steve in the mini digger has just started levelling what was dropped earlier in the day.

To the left of the mini digger, and onwards to the northern end of the platform, is the No. 2 road that still remains to be dug out. This is 2 more days work. Steve has no dumper driver tomorrow - anyone fancy the job?

Saturday the No.1 track will be relaid.


  1. Excellent new blog but needs more updates please.

    1. Well, on Wednesday B&S did not work on the platform as they did not wish to clash with the PWay relay.

      I would expect to post updates about once a week. Bear in mind that different departments around the railway work more or fewer days a week, depending on their volunteer levels. If you come and help B&S, then they will be able to work more often !