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Work in Progress: 19th January

The main job outside today was to finish off from last week, replacing the contaminated ballast from the recent flood, installing a drainpipe from the car park, and tidying up this area of the railway.


1. HEDDON HALL with a works train bringing up new ballast for later dropping around the flood-damaged areas dug out last week.

2. The works train after arrival at Woody Bay.

3. The gang continue digging out the contaminated ballast from the flood washout areas along the track by the down home signal.

4. The turnout linking the transhipment and headshunt siding also needed a lot of dirty spoilt ballast removed from around the sleepers.

5. Martin Andrews using a small trowel to scoop out the dirt from the point rodding.

6. Dave Tooke uses a long-handled shovel to scrape off the top layer of mud by the turnout.

7. Everyone hard at it removing the contaminated ballast.

8. A new drainpipe from the car park was back filled with chippings as a chain gang moved buckets along to tip in the trench.

9. After lunch, ballasting commenced using HEDDON HALL with the ballast hopper carefully dropping fresh ballast into the dug out voids between the sleepers.

10. HEDDON HALL and the ballast hopper.

11. Martyn Budd controls the flow and direction of ballast from the hopper.

12. New ballast spread all around the turnout after tidying and dressing.

13. Finally, Martyn is ballasting around the main crossover turnout.

14. Another inside job for John O'Dell and Tim Woods as they fix brackets for a new shelf in the mess room.

15. Work continues despite the audience of volunteers during the afternoon tea break.

16. Jim McFarlane (left) and John O'Dell relax in the mess room with the shelf they've just installed behind them. 

Words and pictures by Nigel Thompson

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