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•service update•

MON 23 OCT

we are open

WE ARE OPERATING FROM OUR
GREEN TIMETABLE

Track Pack March 2014

APRIL 2014 WORKING WEEKEND - SAT 5th/ SUN 6th

The plan for the April weekend is to use the train free Saturday to complete the fishplate greasing and inspection in the three remaining station areas. Starting with the Smallbrook station area we can then move westwards to do Havenstreet before hopefully arriving at Wootton in the early afternoon.

If staffing levels allow, for those who have had enough of fishplates there are a couple of wind blown trees on the Smallbrook Section which require the usual attention. It may be necessary to move some of the resulting brash to a different location for disposal, them at present being a bit adjacent to Ashey Road.

Sunday is of course a day on which trains will be operating so we will probably have to drop back onto the sidings fan to continue with the ballasting. A bit of shovel work will be required but hopefully some of the heavy grunt can be done by the plant.

Once the train service begins it will be possible to do the small bit of Havenstreet station where the stock would have been berthed on the Saturday.

Hope to see as many of you as possible on either day, 8.30 at the P.Way hut.

TP_Mar_14_1
A February view of the Train Story track fan.

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON?

The fishplate greasing was completed in its usual efficient manner, despite Ian managing to break two Bance nut runners over the two days. After the usual start from Smallbrook steady progress was made through the day, a red spot or stripe denoting the fishplates that had been attended to. A halt was called for the day at Havenstreet’s Down Distant.

A slightly smaller gang continued on Sunday morning, and once a demarcation dispute was sorted out, good progress was made; a dinner break being taken at Bridge 12. The forecast rain speeded progress in the afternoon, with the job being completed just before it started to fall at about 3.30. The usual clean up and cup of tea in the hut completed things.

Many thanks to everyone for their help over the weekend to make a potentially grotty job almost a pleasure. 
TP_Mar_14_2
The view towards Train Story from the far end of Griffins Sidings.

WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN GOING ON?

Since the last edition quite a lot has happened within the Department, not all of it directly related to track, signals or Estates.

Perhaps the biggest item of news was Dave Walker’s decision to resign from the Head of Department position here. Although it came as quite a surprise to almost everyone I’m sure you would all like to join me in thanking Dave for all his hard work for the railway over the years. The amount of enjoyment, and dare I say fun, I, and lets hope you, have had at work over the past few years is another thing to thank him for. All the best in your future endeavours.

Another sad piece of news was the passing of Viv Orchard after his recent illness. Those with a long memory will remember that Viv was the initial editor of this august journal back in the late 1990’s. His main area of expertise was on the S&T side, a major achievment being the complete resignalling of the Havenstreet Station area and associated works. Always willing to pass on advice or experience, and ready with a story from his life on the “big” railway he will be dearly missed.  Condolences to his many friends and relatives.

On a happier note the couple of weeks leading up to the first trains of 2014 were spent carrying out the regulation checks and tests to ensure all was well before the start of operations.

Dave Walker spent the last couple of weeks of his service completing the new drain at Swanpond Copse. This involved digging a ditch beside the cess before refilling it with pea shingle. Results so far seem to be good.

The new workshop set up continues to come together as time allows , though the inevitable call on our time for everyday activities means it is fitted in where it can be. We are starting to find a home for most things.

With the gaps in the operating pattern at this time of year it has proved possible to get round to the usual areas to attend to them with the BLH packer.

The Friday Gang continue their usual activities, presently working in Ashey Grounds Area.

Well that’s all for now folks, apologies for the tardiness and brevity of this month’s effort. Hopefully normal service will be resumed next time.

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.