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Track Pack - February 2018

March Working Weekend - Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th

Despite the predicted cold blast, Spring is almost here and thoughts turn to this year’s session of fishplate maintenance.

As in previous years, the plan is to begin on Saturday at the traditional starting point of Smallbrook’s Single line point. Working Westwards towards Ashey and Havenstreet,  meal breaks etc. can be taken at the appropriate times.

With no rail cropping  having taken place this winter, we will have a clear run through. Judging from past experience we should reach the outskirts of Havenstreet Station by Saturday evening.

Look forward to seeing you all by the P.Way Hut, 8.30am Saturday and Sunday, for a Wickham trip to the start point.

What's Been Going On?

February’s Working Weekend saw the gang commence the renewal works on Number Six points, at the East end of Havenstreet Station.

Saturday was used to disassemble the existing equipment, including the S&T mechanism on the blades. This was all then carefully moved away from the worksite using the Iron Men rail carriers.

As the new layout would be a measure longer than the existing setup, some ballast and sleepers were cleared away from the tip end to allow room for expansion.
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With the new crossing dropped roughly in position, the gang prepare to remove the old crossing with the Iron Men.
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The old crossing is moved clear of the worksite.
Sunday saw the start of the reassembly process, the first item being the new common crossing.

After much careful measurement, the moment of truth came as the requisite amount of rail was cut from the crossing legs to secure a match with the existing rail alignments.

After a celebratory dinner break, the afternoon was used to fix down the crossing in the new location.

Many thanks to all those who turned out over the weekend to give both physical and technical assistance to the job.
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Ian Wilcox (left) and Graham Deegan prepare to cut excess rail from the crossing.
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Using the slewing jacks to get the crossing into the correct position.

What Else Has Been Going On?

As can be imagined, the continuation of the pointwork project has kept everyone occupied since the start of the month.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, the new switches did not arrive in time for the Working Weekend, being delayed until the end of the following week. Happily they were quickly moved into their position on the layout, and as this is being written the associated closure rails and fixings are being attended too.
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The state of progress on Monday 19th February.
As highlighted last month, this Winter’s session of tree work was completed on the 18th of January.

Not previously mentioned was work completed on Saturday 20th January at Deacons Lane Bridge, where two trees on the South-East quarter were reduced substantially in height.  The material produced here is still to be dealt with, but an afternoon in the third week of January was used to remove that created at Long Arch to a more suitable location for disposal.

The Friday Gang have been busy showing their fire raising skills to dispose of the large quantity of brash produced from the tree work in Rowlands Wood.

That’s the lot for now,

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.

Join The Team

The Civil Engineering Department is responsible for all of the railway's  track, signalling equipment and lineside fencing - It's all healthy outdoor work!

Monthly working parties are organised to tackle important tasks requiring a large team, regular weekly gangs tackle lineside clearance, fencing renewals and many other maintenance tasks.  We also have our 'Friday Gang' who do a great job of keeping the lineside neat and tidy, it's Men In Sheds - but without the shed!

If you are interested in joining our team please contact the railway's Volunteer Coordinator for more details.






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