Thursday, 3 January 2019

Our new truck

With heavy demand for the railway's blue Transit from C&M, S&T and other departments, relief was sought by means of a second Transit, which was sourced by a C&M gang member.

Here is a first picture of it, after it arrived over Christmas. It's very similar to the one used by the drainage gang, which has been found to work well in practice.

We'd like to say it had one careful owner, but this isn't quite true.  Yes, one owner - Network Rail - but it had multiple users in the Pway Dept in South London, and wasn't treated too carefully.  Still, that does account for a reasonably low mileage and it does have 6 seats and a tail lift, which will be most useful. 
Yesterday saw a rather modest turnout, no doubt due to excessive Christmassing, and perhaps the bitterly cold weather.
The first fence panel is fitted by Phil, Martyn and Mike G
Nonetheless, work continued on two fronts. The first was the fencing at Toddington.

Concreting the fence posts continued, after which they were painted.

Finally the fence was erected alongside the play area.
 Here Mike G holds the gate in position.

 Martyn put the last screw into the post.

With the gate in place, you can see the whole of the fence in front of the play area. The new pods will go in front of the older, grey ones in the background.

A final view at the end of the day, with new posts fitted in the foreground, and the gate re-hung in the background.

The last run of fencing will be left until after the Pods are delivered, which should be next Wednesday.  The last touch will be the gravel boards, and then this run of fencing is finished.

In other news Barrie removed and trimmed the storeroom door on P1 at Toddington. This has been sticking for some time.

The second group yesterday worked on the platform at Toddington. Here the slabs, laid back in 1982, have become rather uneven.

All of them need re-laying, so enter the expert Broadway platform slab layers. They are pretty experienced now. They are equipped with knee pads, a level and the trusty vacuum lifter, also used at Broadway.

Note that under the slabs is sand, whereas at Broadway a dry mix was used. The sand is easier to lay, but over time water seeps through and then differences in level begin to appear.

The whole of the platform will be re-done.

Here Dave and Terry are looking into some electric cabling that runs just underneath.
Although Toddington was our one station acquired with the station building still up, it needed an awful lot of work to get it up and running. One of these jobs was the replacement of the platforms, and as a result, also the relaying of the platform slabs.
John Lees photographed all this; you can see his work on the Flickr site here:
More pictures are still being worked on, until CRC is reached.
Here are two of his pictures, showing the platform slab relaying in the first half of 1982:
In the picture, a short stretch of P1 has been rebuilt (it used to just slope down to the trackbed) and a supply of replacement slabs has been found, and piled against the side of the building.

No P2 yet, of course!

Here a first batch of slabs has been laid, on sand. 

On the right is a Midland yard lamp post, used on a GWR platform. In those days, you were lucky to get anything at all. Today, we strive for greater attention to detail, and the Midland post was swapped for a GWR one.

Behind the ex Barry locomotive on the left is the spot where this month's PWay relay has just started.

Yes, the track is that old, and it was second hand even then!


  1. What has been achieved is simply amazing

  2. So much different today with the before and after photos! Lots of hard work which is a credit to you all.
    Regards, Paul.

  3. Great to see the new truck! Hopefully that will make some people's lives easier at the GWSR! It's wonderful to see that the railway has the resources to put into things like this; the increased productivity that will result will redound to the railway's benefit. Isn't a positive feedback loop wonderful!?