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Work in Progress: 23rd February


Roadworks TriangleIt does get windy 1000 feet above-sea-level!

The report this week is a combined effort by Roger Bye, Graham Rust and Nigel Thompson!

Although media reports may have given the impression that most of the UK was paralysed by wind and snow, an undeterred Thursday Gang were again in action at a "Windy Woody Bay."

1. The first job today was replacement of two sleepers in the point-work at the station throat.  Although sleeper replacement has become a routine operation, this job was complicated by the rail formation, the length of the sleepers and the proximity of the point rodding and signal cabling.  Consequently more ballast than usual had to be removed before the sleepers could be released.

2. With the new sleepers manoeuvred into position, holes were drilled and the plates fastened down. New (youthful!!) gang member Peter Batstone tries his hand at track screw fastening.

3. The removed ballast was of poor condition, so Graham brought the ballast wagon up and new ballast was dropped into place. Here, Don operates the hopper wagon doors, while Dave checks the distribution, under the watchful eye of General Manager Martyn Budd.

4. After the ballast was spread and levelled several gang members took turns to pack the ballast with the Kango hammer to ensure the final track was...

5. ...up to the high standard required.

Boarding a works train and armed with a suitable collection of tools, some of the gang departed for the farm crossing nearest Killington Lane.

6.  On the way they passed the new ditch and drainage that Martyn Budd had dug during the week to deal with the spring that that had appeared recently in the first farm crossing and was making the area very wet indeed.

7. Arriving at the second crossing, the gang finished dismantling the wooden cattle-trespass guards designed to discourage animals from straying on to the track while crossing between fields.

8. The triangular timbers (arris rail) were recovered, any remaining nails cut off and the timbers stacked ready for the application of preservative and re-use.

9. The supporting timbers, having been in contact with the wet North Devon clay for ten years or so, were in very poor condition and were....

10 ...loaded onto the works train and transported to Killington Lane for disposal.

11. & 12. While most of the gang were working outside in the strong winds, a smiling Barrie Cann and Jim Pounds were cosseted (?) in the paint shop. Our photographers are always trying to find new ways of portraying the seemingly endless carriage painting. This week they have been artistically framed by their step ladders!

13. Back outside, still faithful painting Nigel Spencer, easily recognisable by the liberal distribution of green paint on his person, continued workng on the fencing and yes that is PILTON in the background....

14. ...emerging from its long stay in the shed after undergoing major surgery!

15. Note PILTON's new lowered cab. The loco had a test run today not only to check the refurbished torque converter but also all the other modifications. All worked just as it should. Quite a milestone for the engineering team!
Read more about PILTON HERE.

Words Roger Bye, photos 1 - 10 Graham Rust, 11 - 16 Nigel Thompson.

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