Monday, 15 February 2016

The slabs go on at Winchcombe

The B&S gang were hard at work both Wednesday and Saturday last. Slab laying has now commenced along the level top edge, and 8 slabs were laid on Wednesday.

Here is Pete in a 5 ton mini digger with a slab ex CRC2. Steve and Chris were nearby to give advice on tactics, such as sorting out the pile of all different slab sizes in the background. Many also have to be rotated through 180 degrees, to get the best side upwards. Tricky, without breaking them, but achieved by Pete with a 100% success ratio. Often this natural stone is spalled after years of exposure to rain and frost.

Interesting to see how the slabs are lifted, with loops across the 4 corners. At Broadway we use a scissors grab from Fairview, but they are quite scarce. As there are no rails (yet) at Broadway, the lorry with the HIAB can stand on the trackbed, but at Winchcombe and later at Hayles this is not possible. So this is a neat, workable solution.

If you look carefully, you can just about make out the join in the brickwork where the new bit of platform wall starts. A nice job there.

While Pete was busy with the slabs, Pat continued with laying the concrete corbels on the slope, in this picture being admired by Pete taking a rest from working the mini digger. The weather was kind, after an appalling previous Saturday, so wet that work was suspended for the day.
A whacker plate was taken up and down the platform to consolidate the infill.
Peter M was also on site with a loading gauge to help get the slabs in exactly the right spot.

You can see from this picture that the infill needs a bit more adding to it, and on Saturday this was achieved using ex platform 2 ballast stockpiled further up the yard. More muscle for the job came from Ken, on holiday from C&W just up the road. A change is as good as a rest!

Saturday was a little less friendly with some drizzle, but further progress was achieved, with the corbelling just about finished, and the last slab laid along the top. Following a request from S&T the end of the slope was altered very slightly, to give more room for the signal wires to run by. This also means that, as at CRC, the last slab on the slope will be level, to allow the wires to pass underneath.

With a bit of luck, slabbing should be completed this Wednesday - watch this spot to find out.

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