A summary of some of the tasks carried out over the weekend (Friday to Sunday). Not fully documented as the weather was variable (foggy, windy and very wet at times) and not conducive to good photography.
Over the last two years trials have been carried out with the use of composite sleepers, Made from a blend of recycled plastics, reinforced with glass fibre, the sleepers do not split, rot or degrade over time and can resist water, oil and chemicals. Designed for over 50 years of use, when they are eventually replaced, they can be re-used, re-purposed or recycled to make new sleepers or other composite products. Several track panels have been thus treated, where existing sleepers were either life expired or could be re-used in less onerous locations. Scrap ones will be sold for use elsewhere. Two further panels of track have now been relaid on composite sleepers.
Additionally, the opportunity was taken to carry out some spot re-sleepering in other locations.
Temporary shelter for rolling stock
A temporary shelter has been constructed at the rear of the shed to enable the painting of rolling stock during the winter months. This will supplement the paint shop and allow other work to progress in the shed without regular shunts to rearrange stock.
With Christmas fast approaching (the railway reopens on 16th December to 24th December with Santa Specials, and New Year Services from 29th December to 1st January 2024), our elves were busy stringing lights and adding seasonal decorations around Woody Bay. In their words, it's described as 'twinklyfying', and it looks good. Once again, Killington Lane has become 'North Pole Halt'.
The sorting of S&T equipment at Chelfham continued, and many items have now been moved to dry storage at Rowley Moor Farm. There are some items which are surplus to requirements, and they will be sold on.
Lineside vegetation has been prolific this year, and it has taken much effort to keep it under control. In pouring rain a hardy group of souls cut back the gorse on the boundary fences of the railway. This has ensured that the fences are not overwhelmed, and sight lines have been improved as well. Many other jobs were carried out; some of them small but of importance in ensuring that the railway is in a safe state for the next period of operation.
Cakes!! Lots of them
The needs of the volunteers were not forgotten and regular hot drinks were the order of the weekend, supplemented by an array of cakes and biscuits.
To all of the volunteers this weekend, on track work, moving S&T items, site work, cutting back, shelter building, and bringing Christmas to Woody Bay, with lenty of tea/ coffee and cake, humour and catch ups...... A massive Thank you!!