Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Winchcombe platform progress

A visit to Winchcombe today to chat to C&W about ticket hatches, and FoWS about GWR lamp posts, also allowed a quick look over the fence to see how the new platform extension was getting on.

It's looking pretty good ! All the brickwork and infill is done and compacted. Looks finished then? Not quite.

Another layer of fines is due on top, as a surface on which to lay the final topcoat of tarmac. A conduit also needs to laid along the rear to service a new lamp post, which will be positioned where the slope starts. FoWS have decided to join Broadway in their order of replica GWR posts for this last one. That's great collaboration.

Here's an overall view of the almost finished platform extension. Doesn't it look neat! It's even received a new white line, painted during a brief spell when there was no rain. The slope behind the rear blocks still needs a little infill, to meet up with the top of the blocks.

 Just when you think you're in the low season without any traffic, there a toot, and a train comes along. In this case it's the hired in tamper, back out after lunch to continue where it left off at 13m 53ch. It's nice and warm in that tamper (it was bitterly cold outside today, with temperatures just above freezing, and a strong wind) and the cosy cabs were filled with PWay volunteers ready to follow the tamper's progress and fill the holes left by the tines with ballast. This is relentless, back breaking work, which can stretch for a whole mile in a day if it makes good progress.

The work on the Winchcombe relay is also nearing the end. Today the tamper handled the track between the platforms, and the second PWay gang is filling in irregularities and voids by bringing in fresh ballast on a trolley. This is also back breaking work. At least the trolley is filled with the forklift, and shovelling the stuff in means that you are warm. They replenished their energies in the PWay mess coach on a meal of hot faggots. Well, you've got to look after yourself, haven't you?

Chatting to FoWS produced a peek into the weighbridge house, where this item was discovered. It is a coal scuttle, stamped GWR ! They really put their house style on everything. It was offered for the Broadway signal box, if we want it. We shall confer, it would be a lovely historical item with provenance too. You can just make out a 'G' under the front lip.


  1. Please correct me if I'm wrong, and not wanting to put a dampener on what is a great job of platform extension; but I thought that platform ramps were not painted with white lines due to trains being able to pull up at the end of the line during a power (lighting) failure, or in the first instance of using a white line at all, namely in wartime when there were blackouts.

    1. My understanding concurs- it should be as per the opposite platform. The only exception- unless the GWR did it differently, which is always possible, is that if a barrow/passenger foot crossing was located at the immediate end of the ramp, then the white line would/could be continued to the bottom of the ramp.

    2. Yes. When I worked for B.R. (ex GWR area, and the doctrines continued into BR ownership),as a Guard and was standing spare to requirements one time, I offered to paint the white lines of the platforms and mistakenly did the ramps as well. When inspected, I was given a tin of black paint to obliterate my error.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. [Re-posted because I left it too late to do an edit!]

      A quick look through a few books - in particular 'Western Branches, Western Byways' and 'Dawn To Dusk - a Colour Rail Journey' - indicates that the usual Great western/Western Region practice was to stop the white line at the top of the ramp, with no line at right angles across the platform. Ramps themselves were not lined unless they formed part of a public access route.

      However, there were (unofficial?) variations. Some platforms had the white line carried part-way down the slope, while others didn't have a line at all. There's a 1960s photo of Paddington that shows unlined platform edges, and a pic of Ross-On-Wye which shows old, worn, paint carrying on down the platform ramp, while newer, fresh paint has been applied just up to the top of the slope. Perhaps different station masters had different ideas!

      You could probably make a case for any variation, but in general I'd say it's correct to stop the line at the top of the ramp.

      Incidentally, extending the line at right-angles across the platform to denote the end of the public area seems to be a fairly new feature. Nowadays lines like this (although typically shorter) are seen at many stations on the national network, but I can't find any photos earlier than the 2000s which show them. Certainly they don't appear in any 'period' GWR/WR shots. Possibly a recent Network Rail innovation?

  2. Had to add to your comments about the fantastic coal scuttle. Yes, the GWR stamped absolutely EVERYTHING, even hinges. The watchword about obtaining anything GWR is - If it isn't stamped GWR, it ain't GWR! Hope this may help.