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Work in Progress: 19th January


Roadworks TriangleCold, Bright and Sunny this week…

Last week was cold and wet with the rain turning to sleet and snow after lunchtime - hence no photos. Well done to the handful of volunteers who did brave the weather to begin the major track projects that can only be undertaken during the railway's brief winter shut down.

1. The view that welcomed the Thursday Gang today

2. & 3. Work continues undercover on the construction of the signal posts intended for the railway's extension plans.

4. Undergoing some winter maintenance is carriage No.7, currently over the pit for checks to the brake gear and underframe, etc.

5. In the paint shop, bodywork repairs to carriage No.17 are being continued by Jim Pounds and a masked Barrie Cann.

6. The "electrical Daves" are back. Here’s Dave Blencowe finishing off the upgrade to the lights in the public toilets. This eco-friendly upgrade includes passive infrared (PIR) motion detectors to automatically switch the lights on when required for the visitors.

Last week, volunteers commenced the relaying of the two occupation crossings. The track was unscrewed, old sleepers removed, the old spoil ballast dug out, and the base ballast re-graded.

7. Today’s works train transported the gangs, tools to the site near Killington Lane.

8. New sleepers are in place in the gap in the crossing - rails are about to be reinstalled.

9. With the rails back in place and connected, the track is checked for gauge before holes are drilled to secure the plates to the sleepers.

10. Thursday regular Don Wood joined the track gang after lunch. Behind him, the team finish securing the rails to the new sleepers.

11. Next task was to slew the track using our usual low-tech method - Martyn Budd "sighting" along the rail and calling for the gang to push the track one way or another as required using their crowbars.

12.The "crow bar gang" await the next instruction.

13. HEDDON HALL then brings one of the ballast hoppers to site.

14,15,16. Carefully ballasting the track through the crossing.

17. Finally, Martyn Budd (amongst others) tamp the ballast under the sleepers.

18. Time to commute home. A very crowded Brake Van with the gang as the works train returns to Woody Bay.

Words and photos by Nigel Thompson, apart from 1, 7, 8, & 9 which were kindly provided by Roger Bye.

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