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•service update•

WED 13 DEC

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Saturday 16 December

Track Pack - June 2014

July 2014 Working Weekend - Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th

With the Forties weekend in full swing over this weekend, and the accompanying two train service, some off track activities would seem to be the order of the day this time.

On Saturday, when a larger gang is usually available, the plan is to continue with, and hopefully complete the cutting back job at Deacons Lane bridge. If progress allows some clearance on the lineside around the structure itself and towards Ashey station is also available. There is only limited parking for vehicles adjacent to the bridge itself so it is probably best if we all gather at Havenstreet as usual (8.30am) before deciding the best means of transport, road, rail or a combination of the two.

Sunday will be based in the Havenstreet Station area, the work to be done, clearing again mainly I’m afraid, being but a short walk from the station.

We hope to see you all at the usual time at the P.Way Depot, 8.30am both days.

What's Been Going On?

Once the tools were loaded and an ominous torrential downpour passed over, a procession of P.Way vehicles set off towards Smallbrook on Saturday of the Jne Working Weekend. One gang stopped at Deacons Lane Bridge to make a start on clearing away a large Ash tree that had fallen during the winter storms. Although located well away from the railway track it was on one of the “quarters” that forms part of the road approach to the bridge over the line. A good assortment of clearance tools and bods to operate them was set to work on both the tree and the surrounding undergrowth.

Gang two continued on the Calloways crossing, where after a cup of coffee, the BLH machine was used to attend to a couple of dropped joints and a cant correction. As well as some fettling work to relocate and tidy the ballast after the progess of the machine, the area of lineside around the crossing was given a trim to maintain good visibility.

A Wedding Charter train was booked for the afternoon so at about 12.45pm a regathering took place at Deacons to see how the clearance work had gone before returning to Havenstreet. As is usually the case, the tree was much bigger than it first looked but happily the gang had managed to clear all the brash and branches that had overhung the neighbouring land. Some of the surrounding undergrowth was also cleared, but there is still a fair bit to do to complete the job.

After dinner in the Depot at Havenstreet the running time for the Charter was getting ominously close so a “stroll” up the line was taken to Briddlesford Woods. Here one group, those involved in the cutting back in the morning, used a strategically placed pair of slewing jacks the straighten out a few of the displaced rail joints, fitting in around the passage of the charter train. A second gang, mainly those involved in lifting and packing in the morning, gave the area around Woodhouse Crossing a good strim to check the vegetation growth. Once the charter had passed a walk back to Havenstreet by one lucky chap enabled “La-La” to meet up with the gang and tools ready for a trip back to Havensteet at five.

On Sunday a smaller gang was available to carry out the inspection and lubrication of the S&T installation at Havenstreet. Good progress saw half the work completed by just after dinner time. By way of a change in the afternoon one or two little “upgrade” jobs were carried out. One electrical, the servicing of the contact boxes on Nos. 8A and 8B signals (including rebushing the drive rod spigot), and one mechanical, installing a new piece of rodding to enable a redundant crank to be removed later on.

Many thanks to everyone who lent a hand over the weekend, we hope the range of work was enjoyable.  We are looking forward to seeing you for another weekend of fun in July!

What Else Has Been Going On?

The main object of our endeavours since the last Track Pack has been the ballasting up of the new sidings complex. A quantity of “Island Stone” was used to fill the beds between and around the sleepers, ash from the loco dept. to form a level walkway between the sidings themselves.

Once connected, Siding No. Four was consolidated with the BLH machine to ensure the sleepers were adequately supported. There are still one of two bits of filling to do, mainly associated with sidings four and five, but not enough to prevent an enormous two day shunt to take place, over all sidings, to get most vehicles into their correct locations in the shed. A final inspection by the SS&P Committee to enable the current restrictions to be removed remains to be carried out.

The two hardy perennials of Lifting and Cutting have not been neglected. Some after hours shifts have enabled the BLH machine to be used for track work, the rest of the day being filled with cutting various areas of lineside banks. 

As a break from ballasting the inspection and lubrication of the S&T at Havenstreet, as well as Wootton and Smallbrook, was completed in the week after the Working Weekend.
The Friday Gang continue their activities, at present working in the area adjacent to Long Arch and Whitefield. A small group have decided to work after trains on Tuesday evenings too.

All the best,

 Ian, Phil and Pete.