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WED 13 DEC

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Saturday 16 December

Track Pack - March 2016

April Working Weekend - Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd

Sadly the Operations Department couldn’t be persuaded to give us a Possession of the Havenstreet Down Loop for this weeken so activities will revolve around Fishplate greasing again, as is usual in April.

The station area at Havenstreet will prove a good starting point on Saturday morning, and hopefully work can be completed in time to catch a train to Smallbrook to do the loop and platform lines there too. With a fair wind there will be time to take a trip up to Wootton to do the loop etc. in the afternoon, after it having to be omitted from March’s Working Weekend. 

With the smaller Sunday gang the sidings complexes at Havenstreet can be attended too. There are also one of two little track and S&T jobs to do aswell if time allows.
Hope to see you all at the usual time at the P.Way Depot, 8.30am both days.

What's Been Going On?

Saturday dawned reasonably fair, much better than the weather that was forecast. After a final bit of loading and a shuffle around, the Wickham and Permaquip Trolley (aka La-La) were on their way to Smallbrook before nine.

A start was made halfway along Swanpond Copse, these being the rails that were cropped and reset last year. Once everyone was in the swing steady progress was made in time for a cuppa at Whitefield Crossing.

Ashey station was reached by dinnertime, activities being livened by the odd rail needing a bit of running to get the fishplate on or off in the Station area. Despite being overcast most of the morning, the clouds did start to break up a bit in the afternoon, and the results of last Autumn’s rail running meant a speedy trip along Ashey Grounds.

A poor quality cup of tea followed at Havenstreet Down Distant before a final push saw the gang on the “right” side of Rowlands Lane Bridge by 4.30. Somehow a halt was called at just the right place on Saturday Evening, as there were quite a few difficulties first thing on a chilly Sunday morning. The first half dozen or so joints all put up a fight to some extent, so to avoid too many hold ups these were left for a later occasion and everyone pressed on towards Havenstreet.

After a cuppa around Bridge 7 an arrival at Havenstreet occurred at 10.55am. After a break at the Forest crossing everyone pitched in well to get as far as Packsfield by 3pm, one or two bits of rail running being required to get that far. So the traditional tour round the platform and loop was postponed, but there was time to use the Booking Office kettle to make everyone a warming cup of tea. A brief inspection was also made of the recently resited Ground Frame building.

Just time for a wipe and tidy up at Havenstreet before being away at 4.30. Thanks to everyone who turned out over the weekend to help out with the job.

What Else Has Been Going On?

The main item of news since last time has been the completion and bringing into use of the new Signalling arrangements for the Wootton Single Line.  All proved well on the commissioning day on the 10th of March and, the first service train under the control of the new system departed for Wootton on the 17th. The fact it was late leaving was not down to the S&T Department!

Aside from that the usual spots have received a visit from the BLH Machine, as well as the areas affected by the re-railing exercises carried out over the closed season.

The Signalling installations at the various stations have been given their customary round of testing, inspection and lubrication in time for the start of Public services.

Armed with a panoply of freshly serviced machinery the Friday Gang have begun their annual battle with the lineside vegetation. Ashey Grounds and the area between Bridges 7 and 9 have received their latest ministrations.

All the best
Ian, Phil and Pete.


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