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WED 13 DEC

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Saturday 16 December

Track Pack - November 2016

DECEMBER 2016 WORKING WEEKEND - SAT 5th/SUN 6th

With a full service of Santa train’s running over the weekend, lineside work of varying types will be the chief activity this month.

After some recent tree work at Swanpond there is a quantity of sub-log sized material to be disposed of. As seems to have become a tradition at this time of year, a bonfire, or more, will be necessary for doing this. While in the area, there are various other jobs to keep everyone occupied, and warm, such as some minor fencing repairs or leaf clearance from the track and cess. All being well the leaves can hopefully make their way to the bonfire. The plan is to take the Wickham to Swanpond on Saturday morning, and then use the service train to return at the end of the day, unfortunately via Wootton.

Sunday will see a similar schedule of work, but this time on the area of track between Woodhouse and the Forest Crossing. Besides the small fence repair, if the weather allows, there is a drainage issue to investigate at Woodhouse Crossing.

Hope to see as many of you as can make it on both days at 8.30am by the P.Way Hut.

What's Been Going On?

A large gang gathered at Havenstreet on the Saturday morning of the November Working Weekend to carry out the rail exchange in the Down Loop.

With an Engineer’s Possession safely in place work started on the platform side rail once the first joint at the Foot Crossing end of the loop had been adjusted. For safety, due to the proximity of the Platform wall, the rails in the chairs were replaced by the prelaid out ones in the four foot using the Iron Men rail cranes. Allowing for a refreshments break back at the P.Way Hut at 10am, the rails on the platform side, bar the closure, were in and keyed up by 11.30am.

The gang now returned to the Foot Crossing end of the loop to perform the same task on the South rail. With the greater amount of elbow room available the quicker jack method was used to remove the existing rails before Iron Manning the replacements back into the chairs. The only hold up came with on particular rail adjacent to the loco pit which took a lot of releasing from the chairs before it could be removed. The last full rail was dropped in a bit after dinner at 12.30pm.

A smaller gang now started to do the necessary sleeper adjustment at the new joint positions while the others cut the necessary closures to complete both rails at the Goosefield Sidings point end of the loop. They turned out to be exactly 57 foot long; the final key being put into the final closure in time for tea at three.

The final hour or so of the day was spent moving the displaced rails to the Wootton end of the loop ready for future storage. This had the added advantage of clearing the new joint positions and so easing the way for the joint gang.

The smaller five-strong gang on Sunday split in half to finish off the outstanding jobs. A pair fitted the fishplates to the new rail joints, all straight ones, except where it connected to the existing rail at the point end of the loop where a 1/16th inch lift was required. The others put in the necessary new sleepers at the joint positions, plus changed a couple of poorer quality ones found during the course of the work.

More rail moving from the loop to the adjacent siding filled up the afternoon till an early finish at three, some gang members retiring to assist with the Christmas preparations.
Thanks to everyone who turned out over the weekend to enable a safe and speedy job.

What Else Has Been Going On?

Following on from the Working Weekend, a busy Tuesday morning with the BLH saw the necessary sleeper packing done in the Down Loop worksite. The final joint at the Foot Crossing end had its lift plate fitted too. After a clearance check the loop was reopened to traffic at 3.30pm that afternoon.

The period of non running, as well as a warm start to November, has also allowed the opportunity to apply a new coat of anti-slip paint to the platform surface at Smallbrook. There still remains a small “low traffic” area to be completed.

Steady progress, at the usual range of tasks, has been made through the list of work produced in the middle of October.

The Friday Gang have concentrated their efforts on to the Wootton Section since the last update, mainly between Woodhouse and Packsfield Crossings. With a further item of machinery added to their mighty arsenal they expect to reach Havenstreet Station in record time.

That’s the lot for now,

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.






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