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Track Pack - April 2016

May Working Weekend - Saturday 30th April to Monday 2nd May

Hot foot from Doncaster, this year’s batch of new softwood sleepers has arrived. The plan over the three days of the weekend is to get a proportion of them into the track to replace the in situ ones of lesser condition.

Surveys have shown that the Swanpond area would be a good place to start, aswell as the access being good via the two train service operating over two of the three days. To get to the site a Wickham trip each morning would seem the best bet rather than wait till 10.30am.
If/when the Swanpond area is completed, operations can move to either the Ashey Grounds, or Deacons Lane to Ashey Summit areas. 

Hope to see you all at the usual time at the P.Way Depot, 8.30am on all three days.

What's Been Going On?

A smallish gang gathered on Saturday morning for another session of Fishplate maintenance. Activity concentrated on the Down Loop at Havenstreet until the departure of the first train to Smallbrook. Here the Ryde end of the run round loop and platform road was attended to before catching the 12.17pm back to Havenstreet for dinner in the P.way Hut.

Afterwards a road trip was taken to Wootton to finish off the bits leftover from last month’s Working Weekend. Work started at the loco release end of the station and made steady progress Eastwards. After a pause to allow the use of the lines by the 2.20pm ex Havenstreet, the loop was completed, after one or two rail joint/rail adjustments. Loading up the van was followed by a trip back to Havenstreet, arriving at 4.20pm in time to pack away all the gear.

A trio of gang members arrived on Sunday morning to spend the day round Havenstreet station. With the stock berthed overnight in the Down Loop, the opportunity was taken to do the joints in the Up Loop, before moving onto those on the points at the Ashey end of the station. After a lateish teabreak at eleven, the rest of the day was used to give attention to the plates in the siding areas in the station, particularly the Goosefield and Griffin’s Curves.

Many thanks to everyone for their help over the weekend.

What Else Has Been Going On?

Another signalling project has occupied some time since the last issue. This involved the replacement of the post of the Smallbrook Up Distant Signal. The existing post was getting into poor condition and developing quite a significant lean so the decision was taken to replace it. The new post construction and painting has been used as a wet/running day job for the last few months. A fact-finding visit on the 7th, to remove the lamp box and ladder took place before the big day arrived on the 11th of April. Happily the job went well, the hole produced by extracting the old post was augured out to a greater depth, allowing the new post to be placed into it with a machine. The arm was replaced to accommodate railway operations on the following day, the other fittings like the finial will be installed over the following days.

After its installation over the winter, the first line wire has been installed onto the new Wootton Section pole route. The line concerned connects the track treadle adjacent to Wooodhouse Crossing with the “Up Train Approaching” annunciator in Havenstreet Signal Box.

Trips to Wootton and Ashey Stations have been made to cut the grass in the Public areas and where necessary around Ashey Station crossing.

On the subject of grass, the Friday Gang have been busy, despite the fact it always seems to rain on Fridays. The roadside banks around Bridge Nine has been the latest spot for attention.

All the best
Phil, Pete and Ian.


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