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SAT 21 OCT

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Sunday 22 October

Track Pack - March 2015

April Working Weekend - Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th

After the excitement of fishplate greasing, matters of a more everyday nature will be the target for this month’s Working Weekend, which falls over the Easter Bank Holiday.
 
A train service will be operating on both days of the weekend, so the plan is to do some housekeeping at Wootton station on the Saturday. This will involve giving the banks around the station their first cut of the new season, as well as moving and fettling up the quantities of ballast that are located in the station area. There is also a bit of general clearance to do on and around the trackside to give everything a tidy up. The plan is to travel to the station by road, so those for whom it is easier, may wish to meet up at Wootton about 9am. Otherwise it’s the usual 8.30 start time by the P.Way hut at Havenstreet.

For the Sunday gang a programme of similar work can be carried out, this time centered on the Havenstreet station area.

Looking forward to seeing those who can make it over the weekend.

What's Been Going On?

The March Working Weekend was focussed on fishplate greasing. Once everyone had filled their toilet requirements a hardy band of oilers set off to Callaways Crossing. After the usual shuffle to get vehicles and staff in the correct order, steady progress westwards was made through a lovely early Spring day.

By lunchtime everyone was well in the swing of things when a halt was called just beyond Ashey station. The only hold up was caused by a rogue can of “oil” that the miserly ganger had asked to be used. Unfortunately its oily looking contents proved to be more leaves and water than oil ! The well practised lubeing team soon got over this though without too much delay.

The afternoon went by smoothly in the warm sunshine, everyone stopping for tea on the outskirts of Havenstreet station. After the advanced start at Callaways, Havenstreet station was easily reached by the end of the day.

Sunday’s weather proved to be a bit less clement but this didn’t delay progress as the gang stormed the bank in time for tea between Bridge 12 and the Forest Crossing. With the keen wind behind them the section to Packsfield Crossing was finished in time for dinner, the loop at Wootton station being completed immediately afterwards. With the work done by a 1/4 past two, there was time for a trip back to Havenstreet to do the loop there before the end of the day.
 
Many thanks to everyone for all their hard work over the weekend.

What Else Has Been Going On?

Between the departure of the Tamper and the start of the new operating season the usual round of maintenance and inspection has been the order of the day. The S&T installation has received its dose of inspection and testing, along with the necessary lubrication.

In the station areas, which did not see a visit from the tamper, several minor level faults were attended to with the BLH before the start of the new season.

Progress has been made on clearing the latest delivery of leaves from the lineside. The majority were moved out from around the track before the visit of the Tamper, the aim now is to use the various suckers and blowers to remove them completely. The output of the large machine looks like quite good mulch that could be of use by gardeners. Unfortunately, it is unlikely they would welcome the accompanying weed seeds, etc.

The grassed areas at Ashey station received the first cut on the 19th of March. Once finished the station looked tidy and smart, ready for its big day in the year as the local stop for the Isle of Wight Grand National.

With their blades sheathed awaiting the annual explosion of growth, more brash clearance and disposal has kept the Friday gang busy. To keep their collective hands in though the summit area at Ashey was attended to last week.  

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.

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