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Work in Progress: 13th October


Roadworks TriangleNot the weather we were expecting!

With Nigel Thompson "cavorting" in Iceland, our thanks once again to Roger Bye for this weeks report.

Despite a forecast of bright sunshine it was a grey and rather bleak Woody Bay that greeted the Thursday Gang this week.

1. General Manager, Martyn Budd decided that the gang having amply demonstrated their expertise at replacing 4 foot sleepers, it was time to increase the challenge and identified a 9 foot sleeper to replace in the station throat. Here Malcolm, Dave and Dave ponder the task after having removed the ballast from around the sleeper.

2. A replacement Jarrah sleeper was transported from stock at Killington Lane and Dave demonstrated that Aussie trained muscle would triumph over an Aussie hardwood sleeper!

3. With the new sleeper cut to length, manhandled into position drilled, and screws and clips re-fitted.

The hardwood used for railway sleepers is Jarrah, from Western Australia.Dave Robinson took the following pictures of a felled Jarrah tree when in Australia earlier this year.

The wheeled device in the top picture is a “Whim” used to enable horses to haul the logs.These are impressive trees and the wood is extremely heavy!

4. The team then set to work with jacks, track gauge, level and Kango hammers to pack and level the track.

5. Trains were of course running today and Guard Bob Ayres poses alongside AXE with driver-in-training Graham Bridge...

6...and in a timeless picture, Fireman Graham, Driver John Uphill and GM Martyn Budd chat prior to the departure of the next service train.

7. Resident Engineer John Uphill, had been busy earlier in the week remaking ISAAC's main steam pipe lower joint.  This had been leaking steam, adversely affecting performance.

Jim Pounds and Barry Cann were busy carriage refurbishing in the Paint Shop, whilst Dick Gunn, Trevor and Don were working on signal construction. 

8. Outside, Ali Burgess got down to the job of greasing point blades......

9....... Dave and Malcolm extended the cinder paths....

10.....and Jim Price painted the door of the recently refurbished signal equipment cabinet.

11. On Wednesday of this week, long-standing volunteer, Frank Daff hung up his fireman’s shovel as he completed his last rostered duty as fireman.


12. With Driver Graham Varney - who provided the photos to mark the occasion. Well done and thank you Frank. Although retiring from firing, Frank will still be engaged in his other favourite activities at the L&B – cutting the grass, lighting bonfires and recycling metal and timber!

Words and photos: Roger Bye

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