Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Work starts at Hayles Abbey

Work on the reinstatement of Hayles Abbey Halt has started with a contractor digging out the foundations.

At lunchtime today the contractor was about halfway there. The excavated spoil is being stored a little further along, for future re-use when back filling the new platform wall.

The track is already in the correct position. In the bottom of the hole you can see original clay (grey) and pea gravel, used above the existing track drain. This will stay in place.
As this is the winter season, there are no trains running.

Although first impressions were that there are no traces of the original platform, it was possible to see from track level a depression where the corrugated iron hut had once stood.

Here is a view looking towards Winchcombe.

It was interesting talking to people on site, who remember the August 1976 derailment of a coal train at Winchcombe, which provoked the closure of the line. Apparently local residents were quick to bag up the spoils that rolled down the embankment from the upturned trucks. It was ever so.

Next to the original Brunel bridge rail fence posts, a quantity of piping was found. This was used in the 1920s to make up the handrails along the original approach path.

At the end of the day, the foundation trench had been 2/3 completed. The rest will follow tomorrow. The concrete will come on Friday. Once it has gone off, the first row of blocks can be laid. The two inspection hatches for the trackside drains will be bridged within the wall, so that future inspections remain possible. They were in good condition, and water was flowing north inside quite freely.

More news on Friday.

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